Press Clips: Kombucha in Cans, How Slingshot Coffee Entered Target

Are Cans What’s Next for Kombucha?

Most brand owners know that a product’s packaging helps crafts its identity, but when a category chooses to adopt a certain type of uniform what happens to the brands that forego it?

For example, would consumers consider purchasing kombucha, which is commonly packaged in glass bottles, that came in a can? Some brands are giving it a shot. Washington-based Kombucha Town and specialty food retailer Trader Joe’s have each released canned kombuchas, a move that Oregon Live’s David Greenwald suggests could meet the same success as canned wine. With Portland, Ore. currently a hive of kombucha innovation, Greenwald believes that entrepreneurs in the city will soon adopt cans.

“The arc of history bends toward kombucha convenience, and we’re sure someone in town will start canning sooner than later,” Greenwald said.

How Slingshot Coffee Got Into Target

Breaking into Target and other mainstream retail chains is a major boon and an important stepping stone to success for any brand. But few have made as serendipitous a landing into the channel as Slingshot Coffee Co.

Business Journal reported Thursday that the small North Carolina-based coffee company had launched in nearly 250 Target stores. But according to co-founder Jenny Bonchak, it was Target that made the first move.

While vacationing in Florida, a Target buyer had purchased a bottle of Slingshot from a Whole Foods store. The buyer fell in love with the brand and sought it out for placement at Target. Bonchak turned down the opportunity for a much larger launch in favor of a more relaxed rollout.

“She [the buyer] was like, ‘this was the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life,’” Bonchak said. “Things just kind of fell into place from there.”

Caffeine Overdose Kills Teen

A coroner’s report found that a South Carolina teenager’s consumption of an energy drink, a McDonald’s latte, and a Diet Mountain Dew within a short period of time was responsible for triggering a cardiac event that killed him last month.

Davis Cripe, 16, of Richland County, died suddenly on April 26 from a caffeine-induced cardiac event, which a local Fox affiliate reported as “probable arrhythmia.” Cripe collapsed at Spring Hill High School after drinking the beverages..

The incident marks yet another death linked to consumption of energy drinks. In 2015, Consumer Affairs reported that the high amounts of caffeine and sugar can produce arrhythmias. “Masked” caffeine found in ingredients such as guarana, ginseng, and taurine can mislead consumers, however research shows that one 250 mL can of an energy drink per day is generally considered safe for most healthy youth.

Woman Wins $100K from Starbucks

The third degree burns sustained by then-79-year-old Stella Liebeck in the 1994 McDonald’s “hot coffee lawsuit” became a running joke in American pop culture over so-called “frivolous” court cases.

But severe burns caused by too-hot beverages are no laughing matter, and USA Today reports that Starbucks has been ordered to pay $100,000 to a Florida woman who sustained first and second degree burns after the lid of her 20 oz. offee cup popped off in 2014, pouring the 190-degree contents over her mid-section.

A jury awarded the plaintiff, Joanne Mogavero, $15,000 to cover medical bills and an addition $85,000 for pain and disfigurement. Mogavero’s attorney argued that Starbucks should warn customers about the potential for lids to pop off. Starbucks receives more than 80 complaints per month about lids popping off or leaks, a company representative testified during the trial.

Study: Sparkling Water Might Make You Hungrier

Sparkling water may whet your appetite, according to a recent study from Birzeit University in Palestine and published in Obesity Research and Clinical Practice.

Researchers, seeking a connection between carbonation and weight gain, studied the results of carbonated soda, diet carbonated soda, flat soda, and tap water on lab rats. The study found that rats who drank carbonated beverages had heavier appetites than those that drank the flat soda and the tap water, Bustle reports.

According to the report, carbonation creates elevated levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger and appetite. However, the study did not account for variances in lifestyle such as exercise.