Best Global Green Brands 2014

sip on this

Coca-Cola Brings Lower-Cal Green Soda to UK, Share a Coke to US

Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2014 03:43 PM

Coca-Cola’s global efforts to preserve its sales—and the essential nature of its brand and products—is beginning a crucial new test in the UK as the company launches both its new reduced-sugar Coca-Cola Life beverage and introduces a new anti-obesity campaign there simultaneously.

With 36 percent fewer calories and 37 percent less sugar than real cola, Coca-Cola Life will hit UK shelves in September, having passed its marketing launch in Argentina and Chile in 2013. Its upcoming launch in the UK will mark Life’s arrival in Europe (and the first new Coke product there since the launch of Coke Zero in 2006); no plans have been announced to roll it out in the US yet.

One reason Coke presumably started with Life in South America is that the drink is sweetened partially with stevia, a natural plant-derived substance that is native to the continent. PepsiCo has pooh-poohed the possibilities that global consumers will embrace stevia in colas because of aftertaste concerns, while still experimenting with the sweetener.Continue reading...

cola wars

Pepsi, Coke Fight It Out for the Soft Drink Market—Or What’s Left of It

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2014 03:42 PM

While anti-soft drink activists are preparing to dance on soda’s grave at the upcoming National Soda Summit this week, the industry’s biggest players, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, continue to fight furiously.

No less a personage than PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has recently admitted that the category looks moribund, noting at a recent industry conference that company executives anticipated the decline of the carbonated soft drink market three years ago. Of course that was also the time when Nooyi was accused by shareholders of allowing the Pepsi brand to slump voluntarily.

“It may never be the high levels of consumption [of soft drinks] that we had when we were young,” Nooyi said. “The new consumers have too many choices that they are playing around with.”

However, Nooyi said, “I actually think there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring the consumer back” to the category by providing lower sugar levels and avoiding artificial sweeteners. That is why Pepsi has worked hard to bring alternative sweeteners to its drinks even though one of the first big possibilities, stevia, doesn’t work well, in Nooyi's opinion.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Kellogg's, Netflix, target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2014 09:24 AM

In the NewsKellogg's struggles to stay relevant as cereal sales fall. 

Netflix sees video slowdown in conflict with broadband providers.

Target CEO is working to regain shoppers' trust.

Capital One causes backlash with policy about home visits.

Cinnabon thrives on licensing and co-branding.

Coke is warned over sub-standard Sprite in Nigeria.

Facebook copes with attention drift by users.

GM plans shift toward aluminum pickup trucks too, report says.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nokia, TacoBell, P&G and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 11, 2014 09:22 AM

In the News

Nokia releases first Android phone as Microsoft deal finalizes. 

Taco Bell gears up for mobile ordering nationwide.

P&G raises prices on higher-end Tide versions.

Alibaba opens US e-commerce site.

Ameriprise jumps on Olympics bandwagon with Tommy Lee Jones.

Barclays plans to axe up to 12,000 jobs.

Bloomberg plans splashier storytelling on TV.

Boeing faces challenges in raising Dreamliner output.

Coke launches special edition Sochi cans across Eastern Europe.Continue reading...

brand battle

Coca-Cola, Green Mountain Join Forces to Fight SodaStream In Home

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2014 01:46 PM

Remember that sassy YouTube-only version of SodaStream's Super Bowl commercial, with Scarlett Johansson cooing, "Sorry, Coke and Pepsi"? Then imagine the sheer, private delight of Coca-Cola executives because they knew what was coming next.

"Next" happened this week when Coke announced a deal with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to sell its drinks through KeurigCold, an at-home soft-drink dispensing system being developed by the owners of the Keurig coffee-brewing technology to be ready some time in 2015.

Coke said on Wednesday that it signed a 10-year partnership with Green Mountain, which sold a record 5.1 million Keurig brewing systems in the first quarter, to adopt KeurigCold and also is acquiring a 10 percent stake in the single-serve drink pioneer for about $1.25 billion.Continue reading...

sip on this

Sliding Coca-Cola Sales Apparently Cost Job of Coke's Americas Chief

Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2013 03:49 PM

Steve Cahillane has been sidelined in the horserace to succeed Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, with the president of Coca-Cola Americas leaving the company as Coke restructures management yet again. It appears that slowing soda sales in the US nixed Cahillane's chances for the company's top job.

It was just a year ago that Coke streamlined its management to set up an apparent contest between Cahillane and the new head of the rest of the world, Ahmet Bozer, to succeed Kent someday; he's been CEO since 2008. Bozer now has been installed as a clear No. 2 to Kent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In its moves this week, Coke also said that it would divide North American duties into a job overseeing corporate North American operations that will be occupied by Sandy Douglas, who will also continue as global chief customer officer, and a North American bottling portion that will be overseen by Paul Mulligan, who had been in charge of bottling investments in Japan and Latin America.Continue reading...

cola wars

Low-Calorie Coke Coming in 2014, But Will America Drink It?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 10, 2013 12:11 PM

Coca-Cola rolled out a new soda this past summer in Argentina called Coca-Cola Life and the word on the street is that it is coming to America in 2014.

With about half the calories of regular Coke and sweetened with sugar and stevia in partnership with Cargill, Life “would be the first time the natural sweetener would be used in (Coke’s) flagship brand in the US,” according to As of now, Coke uses stevia in America “in some non-carbonated drinks and in its Fanta brand.”

As Ad Age points out, both Coke and Pepsi have significant investment in the sugar-substitute market. Coke has been experimenting with stevia while Pepsi’s scientists “in collaboration with San Diego-based biotech firm Senomyx, is in the late stages of developing a ‘taste modifier’ that would essentially fool taste buds into thinking they are getting more sugar than delivered.” That modifier goes by the very catchy name of S617. Continue reading...

sip on this

Coke, Pepsi Diverge Toward Same Goal: Tasty Mid-Calorie Sodas

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2013 01:47 PM

If Coca-Cola and Cargill aren't on the horn already, they should be. Coke is staking the future of calorie-reduced soft drinks on stevia, and ingredient giant Cargill is staking its future in that segment on stevia-based ingredient systems.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo is approaching the future of calorie reduction in soda from a different direction. CEO Indra Nooyi recently pooh-poohed the long-term usefulness of stevia, so her company reportedly has steered toward an intriguing alternative: a new chemical called S617 that cuts the amount of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup required in beverages to obtain the same sweet taste.

One thing is for sure: Both soft-drink giants have to do something. US soda consumption last year declined by 1.2 percent, which brought the category back down to 1996 levels, according to Beverage Digest. And even diet-soda consumption has begun to hit the skids as American consumers appear increasingly concerned about artifical sweeteners and are turning away from soft drinks to alternative beverages as a whole.Continue reading...

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