Press Clips: Odwalla Closes Dinuba Plant; The History of German “Swamp Soda”

Odwalla Closes Dinuba Plant

The Coca-Cola Company is laying off 164 employees at an Odwalla Juice production facility in Dinuba, CA. The Fresno Bee reports the facility will cease operations on April 18, giving the employees a 60-day layoff notice, along with two months of pay and benefits before their terminations are effective between May and July. Coca Cola North America public affairs director Nancy Limon told The Bee the brand is moving on from the company-owned production facility to a Corona-based co-packer to “bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to our business.” Odwalla originally opened the 65,000 square foot plant in 1994.

Spezi_bottleThe History of German “Swamp Soda”

The Wall Street Journal recently explored the swampy goodness of Spezi, a German “cloudy brownish” soft drink an American taste tester described as “carbonated swamp juice.” The drink dates back to World War II, when trade embargoes left Germany without Coca-Cola. Upon its return in the fifties, parents began mixing Fanta – which had been invented in Coke’s absence – with Coca-Cola as a means to curb their children’s caffeine intake. The cola-citrus combination took off, and Spezi was born. In the decades that followed PepsiCo created its own version under the brand name Schwip Shwap while Coca-Cola invented its own called Mezzo Mix.

Cactus Water’s Coconut Comparisons

In the never-ending race to name the next coconut water, The New York Post has its eyes on cactus water. Its profile on the plant-based water subcategory came out of the recent announcement of green tea beverage brand Steaz’s green tea + cactus water line extension. The Post’s taste test described the beverage as having “a berry-like flavor without the chemical aftertaste found in other sports drinks.”

Women’s Lifestyle Mags Laud Cold-Pressed Juice

Juice Served Here was recently named “Best Juice Bar in L.A.” by InStyle Magazine. The chain, which operates 12 locations throughout the greater Los Angeles area, earned the honor for its “creative blends” – which includes the likes of Block Rockin’ Beets, Pipe Cleaner and Hot Lei – and commitment to using fresh produce and ingredients in its juices.

Meanwhile Haute Living took a look at the desktop situation of Suja co-founder Annie Lawless, who keeps candles, lip balm, gum and water by her computer. Lawless stepped down from an active role in the company at the top of 2016 to concentrate on her blog and upcoming YouTube channel.

California Assemblymen Propose Soda Tax

Richard Bloom and Jim Wood, two Democratic assemblymen representing Santa Monica and Healdsburg, respectively, are proposing a two cents per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The Los Angeles Times reports the “health impact fee” would raise the price of 12 oz. soft drinks by 24 cents, to be charged at the distributor level. The assemblymen estimated the tax would raise more than $2 billion annually, which would go towards creating and supporting obesity and diabetes prevention programs. The proposed measure has already gotten the support of groups including the California Black Health Network, the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, the California Primary Care Association and the California Dental Association.