As 2019 draws to an end, FoodBev takes a look at the global food and beverage industry in retrospect. Find out which new product innovations from the past 12 months went viral and what it says about the sector as a whole.
Coca-Cola launched its first energy drink earlier this year under the Coca-Cola brand, putting it in direct competition with the likes of Monster and Red Bull.
Launching into new categories like energy drinks is an important milestone in Coca-Cola’s efforts to establish itself as a ‘total beverage’ company, much as PepsiCo is more reliant on its snacks than its soft drinks. That is to say, trademark Coca-Cola volumes are falling, so the company wanted to diversify its revenues as much as possible.
James Quincey, the CEO of Coca-Cola, has previously said the company is “listening carefully and working to ensure that consumers are firmly at the centre of our business”.
“If we embrace where the consumer is going, our brands will thrive and our system will continue to grow,” he said.
Lavazza and PepsiCo iced coffee
Lavazza and PepsiCo formed a new strategic partnership this year which saw Lavazza launch its first ready-to-drink iced coffee product in the UK, and will establish the foundation for further product launches in the European market in future.
According to a statement from Lavazza, the UK launch is only the first step of a partnership which will aim to accelerate innovation in this rapidly growing segment.
To achieve this, Lavazza claims that both companies will work together to launch new product lines in future, as well as expand into new markets in 2020.
Country Crock dairy-free plant butter
In September, US-based Country Crock launched a new dairy-free plant butter, offering an alternative to its original buttery spread. The butter producer claims it offers “the taste of butter, made from plants”.
The dairy alternative is made with plant-based oils and features oils from olives, avocados and almonds. As well as being gluten-free and kosher-certified, Country Crock’s plant butter has been certified plant-based by the Plant Based Foods Association.
Brian Orlando, chief marketing officer for Upfield North America said: “We believe that plant-based eating has a positive impact on health and on the environment, and that plant-based food products should taste delicious.
“That’s why we set out to make a dairy-free butter that home cooks, chefs and bakers could cook, bake and spread with just like butter. We created a truly breakthrough product and have been so excited to see the response when people try it. We’re turning even the biggest butter lovers out there into Country Crock Plant Butter lovers.”
Coca-Cola’s sample bottles made from recycled marine plastic
The Coca-Cola Company unveiled its first sample bottles made using recovered and recycled marine plastics earlier this year.
Through a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas) and The Coca-Cola Company, about 300 sample bottles have been made using 25% recycled marine plastic retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches.
According to Coca-Cola, the sample is the first plastic bottle made using marine plastic that has been successfully recycled for food and drink packaging.
Danone ‘hydration coaching’ cap for Font Vella bottled water
Finally, 2019 saw Danone incorporate ‘smart caps’ into its Spanish mineral water brand Font Vella, allowing consumers to track their levels of hydration.
It works by clipping onto the existing bottle cap (ensuring no contact between the water and the device) and recording the volume of water taken in by the consumer. It can also remind people to drink using a discreet series of ‘blinks’ – and comes complete with an accompanying app that allows consumers to set daily hydration goals and adjust the fitting to their individual requirements.
The company has developed the devices in partnership with Water.io – the innovative smart packaging company whose bottle cap technology – as co-founder Yoav Hoshen told FoodBev in 2015 – has the ability to turn any ordinary bottle ‘smart’.
New beverage products were more popular than new food products this year, with almost all of the top 10 being new drink products.
With sustainability and plant-based product trends sweeping the global food and beverage industries, it will be interesting to see what new products we will see at the forefront in 2020.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019