Beverage Bites: news up to August 13, 2015

Coca-Cola on Greece, how artificial intelligence could predict wine value fluctuations, and more beverage bites

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Coca-Cola on Greece, how artificial intelligence could predict wine value fluctuations, and more beverage bites

Related tags Diet pepsi Coca-cola Indra nooyi

Coca-Cola has seen ‘positive momentum’ in Greece despite challenging conditions, but remains cautious about the remainder of 2015. Meanwhile, aspartame-free Diet Pepsi hits shelves in the US… read on for more Beverage Bites. 

Coca-Cola ‘continually monitoring’ Russia, Ukraine and Greece

The markets of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Greece remain challenging, says Coca-Cola Hellenic, as it releases its half-yearly financial report today.

The company, a Coca-Cola bottler covering 28 countries primarily across eastern Europe, said it is continuously monitoring the situation in the countries.

Ukraine and Russia have seen increased volatility in currency markets, causing the Russian rouble and Ukrainian hryvnia to depreciate against some major currencies.

“We continually monitor and assess the situation in order to ensure that timely actions and initiatives are undertaken to minimize potential adverse impact on the Company's performance,” ​said a statement from Coca-Cola Hellenic.

In Greece, volumes maintained ‘positive momentum and increased marginally in the first half’ of the year, despite challenging trading conditions.

However, an expected GDP decline for 2015 is expected to further affect consumers’ disposable income. “This may adversely affect the Group’s operations in Greece for the second half of 2015,”​ continued the company.

Coca-Cola Hellenic’s other markets include Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Ireland and Nigeria.  

Angry Orchard cider recall

Angry Orchard Cider Company is voluntarily recalling select batches of Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.

A statement from the company says: “We have identified two batches that appear to be showing signs of refermentation in the bottle. This could result in increased carbonation levels in the cider, and in some instances, bottles may overflow when opened or burst under increased pressure, especially if they have not been stored in a cooler or fridge.”

The cider poses no health risk but does not meet its quality standards, adds the company.

Nestlé Waters reaches 3.8bn CHF in sales

Nestlé Waters has seen 5.3% organic growth, reaching sales of 3.8bn CHF ($3.9bn), said Nestlé as it released its half year 2015 results this morning.

Nestlé Pure Life showed double-digit growth, while premium brands Perrier and S.Pellegrino delivered single-digit growth. Poland Spring (US), Levissima (Italy), Erikli (Turkey), Al Manhal (Saudi Arabia) and Buxton (UK) also contributed to Nestlé  Water’s growth.

Nestlé’s total sales were 42.8bn CHF ($43.8bn), showing 4.5% organic growth.  

Diet Pepsi goes Aspartame-free

Aspartame-free Diet Pepsi hit shelves in the US on Monday, a move PepsiCo says is in response to consumer demand.

Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi are now sweetened with a blend of sucralose instead of aspartame. A marketing campaign on the reformulated beverage also commenced on Monday.

The change was announced in April​, while PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi last month said the company would look to continue the availability of the aspartame version online.

Coca-Cola eyes up Suja

The Coca-Cola Company is close to buying a minority stake in US juice company Suja Life, according to reports from Reuters on Saturday.

Based in San Diego, Suja Life produces organic cold-pressed juices. A Coca-Cola investment would value the start-up company at around $300m, continued Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.

Artificial Intelligence can value wine better than humans

Artificial Intelligence can predict fluctuations in the price of wine - and do it better than humans, according to a study from University College, London.

Computers were able to identify what data which was most important for analysing changes in price, then the software tested using 100 fine wines. The software was up to 98% more accurate than humans.

The findings should give the industry confidence to use such machine-learning methods to help with investment decisions, said the researchers. 

And in other news...

Bai Brands has launched Antiwater,​ an antioxidant infused bottled water.

The UK government says gin exports can match the success of whisky​ following a revival in the category. 

Two workers were taken to hospital following an ammonia leak​ at a Nestle Poland Spring water bottling plant.

People will pay more for a coffee with latte art than one without​, suggests study. 

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