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Grocery Science Sustainability Technology

Coca-Cola Is Making Bottles Out Of Plastic Recovered From The Ocean

Research estimates that nearly 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our ocean every year. While some of that is now being cleaned up thanks to efforts like the Ocean Cleanup Project, there’s still the continual cycle of new plastic bottles being produced that can end up in the sea.

Coca-Cola is taking a big stride to close that loop with a novel bottle that’s made from the plastic that has been recovered from the ocean.

The new bottles aren’t 100% made from the recovered plastic, but they still represent a significant effort towards making beverage containers that are completely fabricated from that material. Coca-Cola just announced that in terms of current progress, the samples they’ve made have a composition that includes 25% ocean plastic. The particular material they used was recovered from the Mediterranean Sea and several beaches.

A process called “enhanced recycling” is responsible for making these bottles possible. In that method, impurities in plastics are removed that allow them to go back to being useable from a food grade standpoint. Companies like Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, and Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) worked with Coca-Cola to make this initial effort possible.

While the technology may still be in its infancy, Coca-Cola is going to push it to scale, hoping to release the first batches of bottles made (at least partially) with the recycled ocean debris sometime next year. In doing so, they’ll be making a concerted effort to stop adding to the plastic bottles that already make their way into the world’s oceans.

 

 

 

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Drinks Packaged Food

Coca-Cola Launching Energy Drinks That Taste Like Soda

When hearing that coke gives you a burst of energy, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t the drink — but Coca-Cola is about to change all that.

Coke just announced a line of energy drinks with some of its more popular flavors, as you can now get an energy boost in the form of classic Coke, Cherry Coke, Coke Zero, and Coke Zero Cherry.

The new energy drinks have a base of guarana, B-vitamins, and caffeine, which is a common base for most energy drinks on the market.

Each 12-ounce can will also pack 114 milligrams of caffeine, which is comparable to Red Bull’s 111 milligrams, and quite a bit more than what you get from Monster Energy’s 86 milligrams.

The big reveal was made at the  National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) expo in Atlanta, and is expected to hit U.S. store shelves in January 2020.

While Coca-Cola’s net revenue declined by 10% in 2018, they attributed the fall to “bottler refranchising,” and “currency headwinds.”

Their 2019 earnings have been steady thus far since then, boasting a 5% revenue growth in the first quarter, and looking to start 2020 strong with this announcement.

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Drinks News

A Sneak Peek At Disneyland’s New Coke Bottles For Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

When the new Star Wars-themed land, “Galaxy’s Edge,” debuts for Disneyland Park, May 31, there will obviously be some new eats and drinks to be had.

As we await its opening, we finally got a sneak peek at the first announced consumable item, as Coca-Cola will team up with Disneyland to release custom-shaped Star Wars drink bottles.

There will be four bottles in total, three being little soda orbs, and the fourth being a pretty standard Dasani bottle.

The orbs look like Thermal Detonators, and will be the vessels for Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite.

“When we first approached Coca-Cola and shared the idea of bringing their products into the Star Wars galaxy in a new and unique way, they immediately saw the opportunity to give our guests the refreshing drinks they love in a way that maintained the authenticity of the story,” said Scott Trowbridge, portfolio creative executive and studio leader, Walt Disney Imagineering.

You’ll also notice the strange writing on the label which is written in Aurebesh text, one of the most commonly used alphabets in the Star Wars universe.

The funky shaped Coke bottles will also be available at Walt Disney World in Orlando when its Galaxy’s Edge land opens  later this summer, August 29.

While more food and drink products will likely start being announced before Galaxy’s Edge opens, this is the first you can expect, and we’ll keep you updated as more foods become available.

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Drinks Packaged Food Products Toasty

Coca-Cola Begins To Explore The Possibility Of Making CBD Drinks

One of the world’s largest beverage companies is considering throwing its weight behind the CBD movement, something that would be huge for the future of cannabinoid-infused drinks.

Photo: Mike Mozart // Flickr, cc 2.0

According to CNBC, Coca-Cola is currently discussing a possible entrance into the marijuana-infused beverages space with producer Aurora Cannabis.

Reports indicate that the drinks would be marketed as health-focused, helping to ease inflammation, pain, and cramping.

With a few other major beverage makers, especially in the beer space, beginning to dabble in CBD, Coca-Cola’s interest in the infused drinks comes at a prime time. Support for legalization is spreading fast across the U.S., and Canada (Where Aurora is based, also has legal marijuana laws).

If they entered the space, they would be one of the biggest manufacturers to do so. Coca-Cola could potentially gain a global share of CBD-infused drinks (where legal) before anyone else as a result, opening up the floodgates for the industry to really start to crack off.

For now, though, we’ll just have to wait and determine if the company decides to go for it. A statement obtained by CNBC says,  “no decisions have been made yet at this time.”

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Drinks Fast Food

Coca-Cola Just Bought One Of The World’s Largest Coffee Chains To Challenge Starbucks

One of the few coffee brands that can challenge Starbucks in terms of scale and global image is Costa Coffee. This UK-based chain has spread to nearly 4,000 locations in 31 countries, making it a formidable rival to the Seattle-based megacorporation. Costa has never made it to the United States before, though, but thanks to Coca-Cola, that may be changing very soon.

The beverage giant just bought Costa Coffee for a whopping $5.1 billion US Dollars, according to Food Dive. With the acquisition of the second-largest coffee chain in the world, Coca-Cola just became a relevant coffeehouse player in virtually every continent, save for North and South America. They are looking at expanding the chain, though, meaning that Costa Coffee locations are likely heading to the United States very soon.

Coca-Cola doesn’t have to wait until then to begin challenging Starbucks stateside, however. They can leverage their massive talent and size in the consumer packaged goods space to start developing bottled Costa Coffee products, like iced coffees. These could make their way into US markets sooner than a storefront, and at a much wider spread.

Costa’s strong international brand image makes it a formidable opponent to Starbucks, especially when leveraged with the capital and resources a massive brand like Coca-Cola can supply it with. The fight to be the world’s top coffee chain just got a whole lot more interesting, that’s for sure.

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Drinks News Packaged Food

Pepsico Just Bought SodaStream, A Sparkling Water Rival, For $3.2 Billion

The battle for the top spot in the soft beverages industry just got a little more lopsided, as Pepsico just bought one fast-rising competitor SodaStream in a bold move.

sodastreamPhoto: Wassersprudler // Wikimedia Commons 

In a press release, Pepsico unveiled that they paid $3.2 billion for the at-home sparkling water maker that’s made their new owner a common target over the years. In the past, SodaStream targeted Pepsico and other beverage giants on their heavy use of plastics. Now, Pepsico is utilizing SodaStream’s strength to their advantage as they aim to both reduce plastics and move into healthier beverages.

Both sides will benefit from the new acquisition, which is expected to complete in early 2019. Pepsico wants to reduce their environmental footprint and reduce plastics, and SodaStream appears to be a part of that new strategy for them. They have tested out products with the sparkling water machine in the past, so reintroducing those could be part of their plan.

As for SodaStream, they will get a massive boost in distribution as a result of their new owner, meaning that they can rapidly scale who and what their product goes to. That means that you can expect to find more SodaStream machines and products in stores, while seeing a drop in plastic bottles used by Pepsico products.

The transaction also brings into question the future of soft beverages. As sparkling waters continue to dominate the market and soda continues to drop, Pepsico’s acquisition could be a telling sign that making full-sugar sodas may no longer be feasible for the industry’s giants. Only time will tell if that ends up being the case, however.

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Drinks Packaged Food What's New

Coca-Cola Japan Launches Frozen Coke and Fanta Pouches You Can Drink On The Go

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Frozen Cokes hit the spot on a hot summer day, as you can typically run down to 7-Eleven or a movie theater and chug one of these cold slush drinks.

While we love them here in the U.S., they must be more of a hit in Japan, because Coca-Cola announced it will be releasing Frozen Lemon Coke and Fanta pouches you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

The Frozen Fantas will consist of the orange and grape flavors, and all the drinks will be available frozen or unfrozen.

This is basically Coke’s version of Capri Sun that you stick in the freezer until slushed up, which is what many do with Capri Sun, as well.

According to the Independent, these pouches have been in the works for eight years, as they tried to get the formula right. Someone should have told them that they can just leave a bottle of Coke in the freezer for 45 minutes and get the same result.

It’s early, so there’s no word if this could ever reach the U.S., but until then, you’ll have to walk to 7-Eleven, or like, just use your freezer and do it the old fashioned way.

Categories
Drinks Opinion Packaged Food Sweets

Diet Coke’s Major Rebrand Is A Feeble Attempt To Challenge LaCroix

A major Diet Coke rebrand is underway. Coca-Cola has forgone the traditional can appearance for a more sleek design with simple branding and vibrant colors to match up with their new exotic and botanical flavors. Sound familiar? That’s because that description also matches the imagery of one of their fast-growing rivals: LaCroix.

diet coke rebrandPhoto courtesy of the Coca-Cola Company

With a promise that their quality (and formula) is not changing, Diet Coke is introducing four new flavors into the fold: “Feisty Cherry,” “Blood Orange,” “Ginger Lime,” and “Twisted Mango.” These are clearly flavors along the same lines as those of LaCroix, who dominates the sparkling water shelves with tropical and effervescent flavors like Pamplemousse (grapefruit) and Tangerine.

It’s obvious that this new Diet Coke rebrand is an attempt to challenge LaCroix in the zero-calorie, flavored beverage arena. However, there’s a glaring weakness in this strategy that the Diet Coke team somehow missed: people don’t just like LaCroix because it’s zero calories alone.

Sure, the fact that we’re not getting calories for sugar makes this new lineup a nice alternative to Cherry Coke or some of Coca-Cola’s other saccharine drinks. It probably also helps the soda giant avoid more losses to the increasingly popular soda taxes happening around the world.  However, the new Diet Coke still has sweeteners inside of it, like aspartame and acesulfame-K, that are going to be a turnoff to people.

Conversely, the reason the sparkling water industry has thrived is because typically, you’re not gonna find sugar OR its alternatives inside of a bottle of bubbly Hint or a can of LaCroix. Consumers are turned off to the real stuff for obvious reasons, but the zero and low-cal sugar substitutes are also a negative because of just how much sweetness they exude. The sweeteners in Diet Coke, for example, are about 200 times more potent than Dixie Crystal, according to the FDA. Some claim that that makes some of the diet sodas we drink even more addictive and gets us even more hooked on sugar.

Thus, everybody’s hopping off of the diet soda bandwagon and moving to LaCroix and its fellow allies in the sparkling water surge. Diet Coke’s attempt to make up for those lost sales is a justified one, but because it can’t fully ditch the sweetness, may not have the desired rebound the company hopes to see.

Of course, people aren’t going to stop drinking Diet Coke altogether because of the new rebrand. I likely won’t stop imbibing on the typical 3-4 cans it takes me to get through writing a piece. But if Coca-Cola really wants to make a dent in sparkling water’s market share, they could be putting the advertising and marketing energy in brands they own that can really challenge LaCroix.

Revamped cans of Dasani Sparkling, perhaps?