Articles by Jessica Jacobsen

Organic and natural holding strong

Natural claims show higher growth potential
Consumer awareness about healthy food and beverage choices continues to grow and benefit the natural and organic beverage market.
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Herbs and botanicals offer fortification, flavor

As beverage-makers continue to develop products that do more than satisfy consumers’ thirst, the number of beverages that carry a functional claim continues to increase. According to “Functional and Natural Ready-to-Drink Beverages in the U.S.,” a report by Rockville, Md.-based market research publisher Packaged Facts, sales of energy drinks, ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and sports drinks have helped the functional and natural RTD beverage market grow to $23 billion.
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Blend trends spark processing innovations

Sweeteners, flexibility influence processing automation
Efforts to lower the calorie counts in beverages have helped spark a number of innovations from many facets of the industry, including equipment manufacturers. As more beverage-makers look to take down the calories in their products through sweetener blend formulations, suppliers of processing automation equipment also are working to develop equipment to handle these new formats.
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‘Smart’ marketing

My phone isn’t smart — if it were a student, it would be a C-average one.
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Packaging opportunities

Packaging can be an important, yet difficult decision for beverage-makers. In this month’s category focus article about kids drinks, Sarah Theodore, global drinks analyst for Mintel Food & Drink, Chicago, notes that the kids market has been a little bit slow to embrace packaging innovation, but is starting to pick up steam. However, resealable pouch packages, the benefits of which include on-the-go convenience, have begun to catch on in the category, she says.
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Big future in store for Big Red

Beverage-maker ramps up expansion of flavored CSDs
With a company history as vibrant as its flagship brand, Big Red Inc., Austin, Texas, is ramping up its efforts in 2012 to expand its Big Red brand throughout the United States as well as to honor the loyalty of those who have enjoyed the flavored carbonated soft drink (CSD) throughout the brand’s 75-year history.
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Children's drinks address growing concerns

Children’s drinks leverage natural, reduced sugar claims
When it comes to children’s nutrition, parents are faced with the challenge of finding products that meet their nutritional preferences, but also appeal to their children. But the challenge extends beyond parents and begins with the manufacturers. Beverage-makers are tasked with developing products to help bridge the gap between nutritional demands and pleasing taste profiles.
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Warehouses cope with growing pains

SKU proliferation, increased efficiencies impact storage
With the onset of so many emerging categories in the industry — kombucha, coconut water, relaxation drinks — coupled with line extensions, the number of SKUs warehouses need to accommodate continues to grow.
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Last Drop: Positive outlook

Staying on top of what is new in the beverage industry can sometimes make you forget about its history. When watching the Ken Burns three-part PBS special “Prohibition,” I was surprised to learn that some of the founding fathers of the United States enjoyed fermented cider.
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Superfruits expand beyond exotic varieties

Nutrient levels highlight more fruits under superfruit umbrella
Better-for-you beverages continue to appeal to consumers, and beverage companies continue to find ways to address that trend. According to Chicago-based Mintel Group Ltd.’s “Juice and Juice Drinks” report, 5 percent of launches from January to June 2011 contained antioxidants, which represents a 1 percent increase from the previous period. The report adds that many launches sourced their antioxidant content from superfruits such as acai berries, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates.
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Dinner with Tequila Don Julio

Diageo is taking its Tequila Don Julio brand on the road this summer with a rolling Airstream Speakeasy mobile craft cocktail bar. The team stopped in Chicago on July 29 to share some specialty tequila cocktails paired with food from Chicago restaurants Honey Butter Fried Chicken and The Radler as well as dessert venues Black Dog Gelato and Baker Miller. (Photos by Jennifer Haderspeck)

9/17/14 2:00 pm EDT

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