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The year that was: 10 of our most read beverage stories in 2015

By Rachel Arthur+

23-Dec-2015
Last updated on 23-Dec-2015 at 16:30 GMT2015-12-23T16:30:31Z

What have readers been most interested in this year? Pic: iStock / golero
What have readers been most interested in this year? Pic: iStock / golero

From craft creations to sports drinks for soccer stars, here are 10 of the top stories that have captured the attention of BeverageDaily readers over the past 12 months.

Oil and water do mix: FATwater launched by Bulletproof CEO

In July FATwater was launched by Bulletproof Coffee creator Dave Asprey. The beverage fuses water with nanoparticles of oil, which Asprey says helps the body absorb water for ‘extreme hydration’.

Asprey said the beverage heralds the next generation of energy drinks: those that don’t rely on stimulants or sugars. He added that, like his famous butter and oil-infused Bulletproof Coffee, FATwater shows that ‘fat is back'.

PepsiCo’s new Mountain Dew Kickstart flavors

PepsiCo launched two new flavors of Mountain Dew Kickstart in January - Pineapple Orange Mango and Strawberry Kiwi - with a higher juice content and coconut water.

The drinks contain Mountain Dew, 10% fruit juice, coconut water and 68mg of caffeine; are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, Ace-K and Sucralose, and contain 60 calories per 12oz can. 

This compares to original Kickstart which is sold in a larger 16oz (473ml) can and is made from 5% juice; contains 92mg of caffeine and no coconut water.

Heineken inaugurates Ethiopia’s biggest brewery

With a total capacity of 1.5m hectolitres, Heineken said its €110m ($95m) Kilinto brewery will enable it to meet rising demand for local and international brands. 

As it announced the inauguration of the brewery in January, Heineken said it has seen the Ethiopian beer market practically double over the past five years - yet per capita consumption in the country remained relatively low when compared to other east African countries. 

A growing population, urbanisation and rising incomes are all drivers of a growing beer market, it added. 

High blood pressure? Just beet it!

Researchers from Queen Mary University in London found that drinking a cup of beetroot juice every day can ‘significantly lower blood pressure'.

High blood pressure is a growing problem worldwide, and people are keen to control their blood pressure without drugs, observed the researchers. 

A daily dose of beetroot juice or other nitrate-rich green leafy vegetables ‘can be as effective as medical intervention in reducing blood pressure,’ they suggested.

Pepsi announces Stubborn soda

In June PepsiCo announced its latest craft creation, Stubborn Soda, designed to be served on fountain in the food service channel. The line of sodas includes black cherry with tarragon, and lemon berry acai. Stubborn Soda follows PepsiCo’s previous craft-style creations: Caleb’s Kola (launched October 2014) and citrus drink Mountain Dew Dewshine (March 2015).

Herbalife launches sports drink with Cristiano Ronaldo

In September, nutrition company Herbalife announced it had developed a sports drink for soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Described as ‘a contemporary take on a traditional sports drink,’ CR7 Drive was created by the company’s sports science team to optimise Ronaldo’s performance and nutritional needs.

It is made without artificial flavors or sweeteners, and the four-carb blend boasts electrolytes (135mg sodium, 125mg potassium, and 60mg magnesium) and vitamins (including B12 for supporting metabolism).

Coca-Cola GB’s ‘one brand’ strategy

Coca-Cola Great Britain wants more than 50% of Coca-Cola sales to come from lower and no calorie versions by 2020. 

With this in mind, it launched its ‘one brand’ strategy in March. The re-brand sought to integrate Coca-Cola Life, Coca-Cola Zero, and Diet Coke with its full calorie drink, spreading the ‘enduring appeal’ of the flagship version. 

Each version took on the same branding style, but with various low calorie or zero sugar attributes highlighted on the front of each pack. The distinctive colour coding for each variety (green for Coca-Cola Life, for example) remained.

Coca-Cola apologises after Fanta ad linked to Nazi Germany

Coca-Cola apologized for any offence caused by an online Fanta video in March, after viewers suggested it referred to Nazi Germany as the ‘good old times.’

Fanta was invented in Germany in 1940, and the video on Fanta’s German website took a nostalgic look at how scientists created the drink.  

But by referring to the ‘good old times,’ the brand faced a backlash from viewers who linked the comment to Nazi Germany.   

Coca-Cola responded that, although the product was created in Germany during WW2, the brand had no association with Hitler or the Nazi Party.

Wine trends in 2015

Spiros Malandrakis, senior alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor International, pointed out five key trends for the wine industry. 

Consumers are becoming more interested in drinking in moderation, he said. They are also becoming more vocal as wine critics, with social media letting everyone have a say.

Meanwhile, the centre of growth is shifting to the US. In terms of styles: sparkling wines are becoming more approachable, and niche segments such as port are ones to look out for.  

Drinking wine could help you burn fat

And finally, a US study published in February suggested wine could help drinkers burn fat better. 

Ellagic acid is a plant chemical found in fruit and vegetables, and slows the growth of fat cells, said the researchers. 

Muscadine grapes, a dark-red variety native to the south-east region of the US, were used in the study. This grape variety also contains resveratrol, another plant chemical that has been earmarked as an agent for lowering cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease.

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