In August of 2014 the Coca-Cola Company spent $2.15 billion to acquire a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage Corporation. As part of the deal, Coca-Cola and Monster swapped some of their smaller beverage brands, with Monster absorbing Coke-owned energy brands NOS and Full Throttle and Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) division taking ownership of Monster’s Hansen’s portfolio, which includes Hansen’s Natural sodas, Blue Sky Sodas, Hubert’s Lemonade and Peace Tea.
In the year and a half since the deal, it hasn’t been made abundantly clear what a Coke-backed Hansen’s might entail, but at last weekend’s Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, the company debuted new looks for Hansen’s Natural sodas and Blue Sky. BevNET caught up with Jeremy Faa, senior vice president and general manager for craft beverages at Coca-Cola North America to discuss the latest for the VEB-operated portfolio.
“We’re really excited to offer a broader array of products to consumers, in particular offering sodas that are preservative-free and made with cane sugar and natural ingredients,” Faa said. “It’s great to have these brands with such a strong position in the natural channel.”
Hansen’s, a brand with roots in California and a history that dates back to the 1930s, featured a throwback refresh of its branding across its graphics and packaging, introducing a new glass bottle that Faa said will play a complementary role to its canned format. Blue Sky also has a new look across its original, organic and stevia-sweetened lines, which will be marketed with the new tagline “Rooted in Real.” Faa also revealed that Blue Sky soda will also soon be available via fountain machines at food service retailers. Meanwhile Hubert’s will make its line of lemonades available in a plastic bottle identical to its flagship glass package.
As for how the brands will leverage its relationship with Coca-Cola, Faa said that while operating independently, the company will “tap into Coca-Cola in terms of synergies, supply chain innovation and key account relationships.”