PepsiCo made waves in April with news of the launch of Rockstar Energy + Hemp. It marked the company's first foray in the hemp category (hemp comes from the cannabis family but does not contain THC), with its drinks using hemp seed extract alongside ginseng, guarana, B vitamins, caffeine, sugar and taurine.
Rockstar was acquired by PepsiCo for $3.85bn in 2020, marking a big push into the energy drink category.
Zero sugar and personalized innovations have been driving the category forward; while both companies see the potential of the sports category appeal to a wider audience and tap into increased emphasis on health and wellness as a result of the pandemic. So how are the top brands shaping up the market? (Note - as widely anticipated, Coca-Cola acquired BodyArmor later in the year.)
In January, online retailer Drizly set out its predictions for the year ahead. And many of these can be expected to remain relevant in 2022: such as the growing popularity of tequila and mezcal and the increased importance of e-commerce.
South Africa's alcohol industry has taken a particular hit from the pandemic with government bans on the sale of alcohol (imposed when the country issues level 4 restrictions).
In January, the industry warned it was near breaking point (This particular ban was lifted the following month).
In September, Coca-Cola outlined its modern marketing model: focusing on recruiting new consumers, measuring results, and stripping back mediocre marketing campaigns.
Having previously announced a strategic review of the division, Nestle announced in February it would sell the Nestlé Waters North America business – including brands Pure Life, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ozarka and delivery service ReadyRefresh – to One Rock Capital Partners and Metropoulos & Co.
The new business is now called Blue Triton Brands.
Nestle has retained international premium brands such as Perrier, S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.
There's always a lot of interest in NPD - and bottle water brand evian's expansion into new categories was no exception.
A 330ml can of Evian+, has a magnesium content of 50mg or 12% of the daily recommended intake (150mg per liter), alongside 1.1mg zing representing 10% of the daily recommended intake (3.3mg per liter): creating a brand with added minerals to help support normal cognitive function.
The brand's Global Vice President explained that - rather than jumping on immunity - boosting minerals was a natural extension for the brand.
How is the world's largest soft drink company navigating the pandemic? Insights from Coca-Cola are always valuable to readers: particularly, as in this case, maintaining an innovation culture in the times of uncertainty and cutbacks in SKUs.
2021 has seen plenty of action in investments and M&A: particularly in premium and super-premium categories.
Well-established in the US, hard seltzers are now making their way across Europe and other markets. Heineken is just one of the big players in this category: Coca-Cola's Topo Chico Hard Seltzer being another major European hard seltzer launch.
BeverageDaily takes a break over the holidays and returns on January 3, 2022.