Press Clips: Monster Rouses Tiger

0312s99-tiger-woods-50pMonster Energy Sponsors Tiger Woods

Despite not having professionally swung a golf club in 15 months, Tiger Woods still hasn’t lost the ability to generate headlines. ESPN reported on Monday that the 41-year-old golfer, winner of 14 major tournaments over his 20-year pro career, will use a bag sporting the logo of his new sponsor Monster Energy when he tees off at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas this week.

The story adds that Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, stated his client would debut a new sponsor during the 18-player tournament, but did not confirm it as Monster despite the speculation.

The move to Monster, of which Coca-Cola owns a 16.7 percent minority stake, would mark the second collaboration between Woods and a major beverage brand. Woods was the world’s top golfer from 2007 to 2010. At the time, he was sponsored by PepsiCo-owned sports drink brand Gatorade, which included the creation of a Woods-branded line called Gatorade Tiger. Gatorade’s website described the drink being “formulated to contain more electrolytes based on factors that affect Woods’ training and competition.” An article in Golfweek magazine at the time of the deal speculated it to be worth $100 million over five years, though official figures were not confirmed.

6f7b3a393b8478922a87c27600749ddd-image-1200x1200Coke Stoops To Conquer

A story on The Drum reports that, following a successful integration for its Coke product range that began last year, The Coca-Cola Company is expanding its efforts to introduce smaller pack sizes for its Fanta and Sprite lines.

The article features quotes from Coca-Cola North America President Sandy Douglas, speaking at a conference hosted by Morgan Stanley earlier this month, explaining the importance of the company’s packaging strategy to the its overall business plan. The story states that the move increased prices 3 percent globally in Q2 2016.

“We still have a lot of growth opportunity to capture, the transaction packs only make up 15% of our portfolios. So getting better at small will continue to be a big bet for us going forward in this very large and important segment of our business,” Douglas was quoted in the story.

The announcement underscores Coca-Cola’s shift in focus from volume to revenue in a bid to spark growth. Last November, Coca-Cola CFO Kathy Waller credited moving from a 12 oz. can to a 7 oz. can as increasing revenue.

Final Fantasy Soda Hits Target

Jones Soda continues to build its reputation amongst video game enthusiasts, as Gamespot.com details that the brand has collaborated with Square Enix, makers of the acclaimed Final Fantasy series, for a specially branded beverage tied to the release of Final Fantasy XV on Tuesday called “Wiz’s Energizing Elixir.”

Inspired by a location within the game called “Wiz Chocobo Post,” the orange and cream flavored drink is available exclusively at Target and will be included free with the purchase of Final Fantasy XV for either the Playstation 4 or Xbox One game consoles. The soda will cost $3 if purchased on its own.

The partnership with Square and Target follows a similar collaboration between Jones and Bethesda Software to create the branded drink “Nuka Cola Quantum” for the release of Fallout 4 in 2015.

13737070_995862320522222_47751571_nWhite Label Brings Yerba Mate Soda to States

Caffeine has been fueling all-night partygoers for decades, but John Barclay, the owner of Brooklyn dance club Bossa Nova Civic Club, is hoping his updated version of a popular German party potion will find its groove in the States, according to an article in Bedford and Bowery.

Barclay’s recently launched brand, called White Label, makes a sparkling yerba mate soda similar to the German brand Club-Mate, a staple of Berlin’s thriving late night club scene. After years spent tracking down and importing limited quantities of Club-Mate that he would sell at Bossa Nova, Barclay formulated his own version using organic cane sugar, molasses, and ashwagandha, an herb traditionally found in Ayurvedic medicine.

Currently available in New York, White Label contains 75 mg of caffeine and retails for around $3 for a bottle slightly under 12 oz.

Coffee, Vinegars and Functional Drinks Star at PLMA

A recap by Euromonitor of this year’s Private Label Trade Show, hosted by Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) from November 13-15, indicated strong growth for cold brew coffees, drinking vinegars and drinkable soups.

The report confirmed that brands continue to flock to the cold brew coffee market, pointint out Java House Premium Cold Brew as a new player of note. While drinking vinegars remain a niche category, the entrance of major beverage brands like Coca-Cola (through Suja) and Hain (through BluePrint) suggests that they are being considered by a broader group of consumers as a healthy alternative to soda.

The report noted the trend of added functionality in beverages, as represented by products such as coffee creamers infused with ginseng and B vitamins, and protein-enhanced RTD coffees.

Finally, the story offered an optimistic appraisal of the future for drinkable soups, stating vegetable-rich soups may be a way to reach consumers seeking convenient ways to include more vegetables in their diets.