Play Beverages LLC, a licensee of Playboy Enterprises International Inc., in partnership with Cirtran Beverage Corp., created Playboy Energy Drink. With notes of fruit and vanilla, the formula contains ginseng root, guarana extract and damiana leaf, which are ingredients that are believed to stimulate energy levels, the company says. Available in regular and sugar-free varieties, Playboy Energy is available in Boston, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. An 8.4-ounce can sells for $1.99.
Diageo expanded its line of Smirnoff flavored vodkas with Passion Fruit and White Grape varieties. The two additions join the other existing 11 Smirnoff flavored vodkas, and are prepared using the same triple distillation and filtration process. Available in 50-ml., 200-ml., 375-ml., 750-ml., 1-liter and 1.75 liter bottles, the 750-ml. size is priced at $14.99.
Nantze Springs Inc. entered the energy drink category with Fresh Start Energy Beverage. The non-carbonated, vitamin-enhanced drinks contain taurine for energy. Available in Grapefruit, Mountain Berry and Lemon Lime varieties, Fresh Start is sugar free and contains zero calories. The energy drink is packaged in 16.9-ounce bottles and retails for $1.59.
Naked Juice Co., a subsidiary of PepsiCo, expanded its line of products with Naked Juice Bare Breeze, a super-premium, 100 percent juice with no added sugar or preservatives. Containing no seeds or pulp, the smoother juices are lighter to consumers’ palates and refreshing for the summer months, the company says. Available in Watermelon Chill and Peach Mangosteen Bliss, the Bare Breeze products feature watermelon and mangosteen, which are a first for Naked Juice. The lighter flavored juices are packaged in 15.2-ounce bottles and contain three servings of fruit, vitamin C, B6 and B12. A bottle retails for $3.19.
PepsiCo unveiled its relaunched Sobe Life Water through a Super Bowl commercial in February. Available in Blackberry Grape, Pomegranate Cherry, Orange Tangerine, Strawberry Kiwi and Passionfruit Citrus, the low-calorie beverages have been reformulated to include sugar, and have reduced calories by 20 percent in the process. The waters also contain a blend of B vitamins and vitamins E and C as well as herbs such as taurine, ginseng, yerba mate, chamomile, guarana and rosehip.
Sonu Beverages introduced Sonu Water, a line of USDA Organic flavored waters. Enhanced with vitamins and electrolytes, the waters contain 45 calories per 8-ounce serving. The product is available in six flavors â€” Pomegranate Acai, Blueberry Pear, Lemon Tangerine, Strawberry Cranberry, Mango Peach and Tropical Passion Fruit â€” and is packaged in 16-ounce PETE bottles, and sells for $1.99.
NBI Juiceworks expanded its Sun Shower line with Stamina Superfood Smoothie. The all-natural, 100 percent juice smoothie is a blend of fruits, including pressed nectarine juice. Aiming to fight fatigue and enhance energy, Stamina Superfood Smoothie contains more than 20 vitamins, nutrients, amino acids, electrolytes and herbs, the company says. The superfood smoothie has three servings of fruit in every bottle and 120 calories per serving.
Leading Brands Inc. developed Die Hard Sports Energy Drink, which combines the benefits of sports and energy drinks such as hydration, replenishment of electrolytes and energy. Die Hard is non-carbonated, naturally flavored and sweetened with sugar. Available in 16-ounce cans, Die Hard initially has been released in four flavors: Lemon, Orange, Berry and Punch. The company will donate 10 cents from every can sold to American veterans injured in the service. The Die Hard line replaces Trek and Nitro in Leading Brands’ portfolio.
Miller Brewing Co. released MCG 64, a 64-calorie version of its Miller Genuine Draft Light. The beer was test marketed in Madison, Wis., last year, and this month will launch into Midwestern markets and be test marketed further in San Diego and Sacramento, Calif., and Arizona. MGD 64 will replace Miller Genuine Draft Light, which has 110 calories, in these markets.
Coca-Cola North America added Minute Maid Pomegranate flavored Tea and Minute Maid Pomegranate Lemonade to its line of Minute Maid Enhanced Juices. The products are 12 percent juice and fortified with vitamins C and E. The tea and lemonade are available in 59-ounce PET bottles that feature an easy-pour side grip.
Welcome to our first issue of 2019, in which we present the Bottler of the Year: the Coca-Cola Network and how it reshaped its bottling network by returning ownership to local partners. Also featured in this issue is an analysis of the latest trends in the juice market, as well as a feature on the growth of supermarkets. Per usual, we gathered the latest products, packaging designs and trends affecting the beverage world.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.