Press Clips: Big Soda Embraces Small; Juice Startup Looks to Raise $120 Million

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.19.53 PMIt’s the Little Things That Count

Amidst an ongoing decline in soda sales, The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo are embracing a less-is-more philosophy. In November, 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that while sales of Coca-Cola’s 12 oz. cans and 2 L bottles were up just 0.1 percent, revenue from its 7.5 oz. “mini cans” and 8 oz. bottles rose 9 percent. Today, the Associated Press (AP) is reporting that both Coke and Pepsi are making their smaller sizes more widely available and increasing marketing efforts on behalf of their mini-cans, or in Pepsi’s case “skinny cans”. Despite costing more than their larger counterparts, customers are flocking to the “mini-cans” as a responsible, guilt-free option to enjoy soda, the AP wrote.

Good Juice Doesn’t Come Cheap

Business Insider (BI) recently profiled Juicero, a Silicon Valley startup attempting to raise $100 million in new round of funding. Mum’s the word on what exactly Juicero’s plans are, but according to BI sources the company will be manufacturing a Keurig-esque system for fresh pressed juice.

Backed by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and Campbell’s Soup Co., the company initially raised $4 million in October, 2013 and landed an additional $15.8 million six months later. In addition to the development of a juice machine. Juicero reportedly hopes to purchase sourcing farms to create a vertically integrated business in which the company’s fruit and vegetables are delivered to customers for use in their systems.

Machinery Malfunction Hampers Novelis’ Aluminum Output

Aluminum sheet manufacturer Novelis Inc. has had to import can sheet from overseas after a machinery breakdown at a mill in Kentucky. According to Bloomberg, the facility, which makes 44 percent of the beverage can sheet used in the United States, will be operating at below capacity until late January, when they expect the hot roller’s 6,000-horsepower motor to be repaired.

Novelis supplies aluminum sheets to Rexam Plc and Ball Corp, who in turn produce cans for companies as large as Coca-Cola and MillerCoors. For the short term, Novelis’ slowdown in sheet production isn’t expected to impact Coke or MillerCoors’ businesses, though a Novelis Spokesperson told Bloomberg they were “not prepared to quantify” the effects this machine failure could have on the can industry.

ABA Fights Back

The American Beverage Association (ABA), an industry trade group, has responded to a recent U.S. Senate report on energy drinks, saying the report “ignores crucial data about energy drinks and caffeine consumption in the U.S.” In their report, Senators Edward J Markey, John D. Rockefeller, Richard J. Durbin and Richard Blumenthal slammed Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group for marketing energy drinks to children under the age of 18.

In their response, the ABA came to the defense of the companies’ practices, saying “Energy drinks have been enjoyed safely by millions of people around the world for more than 25 years and in the U.S. for more than 15 years. Energy drinks, their ingredients and labeling are regulated by the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration], and like most consumer products their advertising is subject to oversight from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.”