Most Clicked ABA SmartBrief Stories

1. How PepsiCo is adapting to fickle notions of healthy food

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

PepsiCo sorts its products into one of three buckets; "fun for you," "better for you" and "good for you." That approach is helping the company adapt to "confused" consumers who have changing notions of what makes for healthy food and drinks, says CEO Indra Nooyi. Health-conscious consumers used to seek out diet drinks, but "now they view real sugar as good for you," Nooyi said. "They're willing to go to organics even if they have high sugar, high salt and high fat. It's a challenge." Fortune (04/23)

2. "Power of partnerships" big part of Coca-Cola system, says CEO

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 27, 2015

The "power of partnerships" is a big part of the Coca-Cola Co. system, CEO Muhtar Kent says in this interview. Kent says partnerships with retail and technology partners and brands such as Keurig and Monster generate the most revenue and value for the company. Such partnerships also strengthen what Kent sees as the keys to enhancing beverage brands over the next 10 to 15 years: ready-to-drink, home technology and foodservice technology. NBC News (04/24)

3. Beverage companies turn their attention to tea

ABA SmartBrief | May 01, 2015

Wellness and functional claims, flavor innovation and increased interest from major beverage companies such as the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo will drive the growth of tea, according to Euromonitor analysts. Hot tea was the second most-consumed beverage in the world in 2014, and brewed iced teas are gaining popularity in the U.S. (France) (05/04)

4. PepsiCo looks beyond orange to boost juice category

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

Rising competition in the drink sector, increased costs and shifting consumer tastes caused orange juice retail sales to drop 5.9% from a year ago, according to Nielsen data from the Florida Department of Citrus. PepsiCo is moving its Tropicana brand toward varieties such as Farmstand Tropical Green, a green juice, which are "focused on health and wellness innovation," according to CEO Indra Nooyi. Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (04/27)

5. PepsiCo to switch sweeteners for Diet Pepsi

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 27, 2015

Responding to consumer concerns and declining sales, PepsiCo is removing aspartame from Diet Pepsi. A new version sweetened with sucralose and ace-K will be available in August, the company announced Friday. Although the sweetener has been pronounced safe by all major regulatory bodies, "to Diet Pepsi consumers, removing aspartame is their No. 1 one concern," said Seth Kaufman, senior vice president of Pepsi and flavors. Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (04/24) USA Today (04/24) (France) (04/24)

6. Peas becoming popular protein source in beverages

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

As more health-conscious consumers turn to plant-based diets, peas are becoming a popular protein source. Peas' non-GMO and hypoallergenic qualities, as well as their high levels of amino acids and iron, make them appealing to consumers. Botan, Suja and Califia Farms have all introduced products with pea protein. (04/22)

7. Coconut water makers ponder function over flavor

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

Although coconut water brands such as Vita Coco and Zico have tried to boost sales by adding flavors such as chocolate and pineapple, the natural variety continues to be the strongest seller. Nielsen data show that only 10% of consumers -- mainly early adopters, natural food shoppers and those willing to try new things -- are buying the flavored blends, and companies are experimenting with different formulations to attract new consumers. (04/22)

8. Honest Tea to be sold at Wendy's

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

Honest Tea has signed a deal with Wendy's to sell an exclusive flavor -- Honest Tropical Green Tea -- in the chain's U.S. restaurants. The tea will be brewed on site using organic, fair trade sugar and flavors approved for use in USDA certified organic food, according to Honest Tea CEO and co-founder Seth Goldman. The move follows research done by both Wendy's and the Coca-Cola Co., which owns Honest Tea, showing consumer preferences for foods perceived as healthy or premium. Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (04/29) USA Today (04/29)

9. Pepsi turns to glass bottle to improve bar mixer cred

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Pepsi wants its Pepsi Max to be the new go-to mixer for spirits in the U.K., and the brand has unveiled a glass bottle as the center of its push. The narrow bottle will come in a 330ml and 200ml sizes and will feature recipes for mixing it with bourbon, vermouth, tequila and brandy. Bar magazine online (U.K.) (04/27)

10. Vita Coco expands overseas

ABA SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Top-selling U.S. coconut water Vita Coco has expanded overseas and is now available in about 30 countries, twice as many as in 2014, according to Michael Kirban, co-founder and chief executive of Vita Coco owner All Market. About 30% of the company's revenue will be generated outside the U.S. this year, with new markets in China, New Zealand and Spain, and one planned for South Africa later this year, Kirban said. Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (04/28)

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