Sprite Discontinues Green Plastic Bottles For Environmental Reasons

Yahoo Finance Live checks out Coca-Cola’s decision to discontinue Sprite’s signature green plastic bottle on cut down on its environmental footprint.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, before we go, a little food news roundup. Some headlines out there. Soft drink Sprite is retiring its classic green plastic bottles in favor of a clear plastic bottle starting August 1. Coca-Cola announcing the change Wednesday and pinned it on an effort to become more environmentally responsible. The clear plastic is more easily recycled and made into new bottles. So going green by ditching green, Seana. Does it bother you?

SEANA SMITH: It bothers me a little, but I think it’s something that I’ll be able to get over. I’m so used to seeing those green bottles. I don’t think I’m as opinionated about this as maybe our EP, Val, was this morning. She used the word– she was like, that’s disgusting. I’m never drinking Sprite again. So I don’t think I’m necessarily that far, but Rachelle, what about you?

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, I do get it that yes, it does make it easy to just have the clear bottles and recycle them. But it’s like, these are the things that you cherished and grew up with. So it’s sad to see them go. But I mean, I guess at least, it’s for good reason, you know.

DAVE BRIGGS: Listen.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I can’t really complain.

DAVE BRIGGS: Recycling plastic bottles is one of the greatest crises our world faces, so anything that helps curb that a little bit, I am on board with. We don’t hear enough about it.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Coca-Cola Takes Its Soda On A Spin With DJ Marshmello

Coca-Cola has another new flavor. This time, it got some help.

The latest product out of Coca-Cola Creations — Coke’s innovation platform, which brought us starlight and pixel-flavored sodas — is a collaboration with Marshmello, a masked DJ and electronic music producer.

If you think the artist worked with Coke to develop a marshmallow-flavored beverage, you’re wrong. Instead, the new flavor has notes of strawberry and watermelon, Marshmello’s favorites.

“For our third Coca-Cola Creations drop, we sought to add an unexpected remix of flavors to a great Coca-Cola taste,” said Oana Vlad, senior director of global strategy at the company, in a statement announcing the collaboration Wednesday.

“We created a vibey blend of my favorite flavors in this all-new mix,” Marshmello said in a statement. “I think it tastes amazing and I hope fans love it too.”

The new flavor, which also comes in a zero-sugar variety, will be available for purchase starting on July 11 in the United States for a limited time. It will be offered in other countries later this summer.

It’s vital for Coca-Cola (KO), which has discontinued beloved but outdated drinks like TabOdwalla and Honest Tea, to get young consumers excited about its core product, Coke. Coca-Cola Creations, which launches digital experiences along with the limited-edition flavors, is designed to help do that.

So far, the flavors have been … abstract.

Starlight was “inspired by space,” the company said in February, describing it as having “notes reminiscent of stargazing around a campfire, as well as a cooling sensation that evokes the feeling of a cold journey to space.”

Byte, the second flavor, “makes the intangible taste of the pixel tangible,” said Vlad when it launched in April.

Compared to space and pixels, strawberry and watermelon are perfectly mundane. And the idea of partnering with artists on products featuring their favorite flavors is not new, at least in the fast food world.

McDonald’s (MCD) has had success with its celebrity meals, versions of artists’ preferred orders that are available for a limited time. The burger chain has teamed up with Travis ScottBTS and Saweetie, among others. Burger King has followed with its own celebrity deals.

For Coca-Cola, this is the first time a beverage has been created with an artist, the company said.

Source: CNN

What Really Made Coca-Cola Discontinue Honest Tea—And What It Means For Mission-Driven Brands

Honest Tea founder Seth Goldman described it as a “gut punch.” This week, the Coca-Cola Co. announced it is killing the brand he created back in 1998. 

That’s quite a twist in a story that had long seemed like a case study in how a mission-driven brand built around ethical principles—organic ingredients, Fair Trade Certified partners—could capture a changing consumer zeitgeist, connect with an audience, and go big.

Instead, the brand will be “phased out” of the Coca-Cola Co.’s beverage portfolio at the end of 2022. (It’s keeping a spin-off line of organic juice products called Honest Kids.)

Since selling Honest Tea in a multimillion-dollar deal, Goldman has moved on to help found ethical-food startups Eat the Change and PLNT Burger, and serve as the chair of Beyond Meat’s board. He took to LinkedIn to pay tribute to “the sweat, tears, and incredible passion that went into building our beloved brand.”

Perhaps Honest Tea will still live on as a case study: How an apparently successful mission-driven brand can beat the odds, transcend its niche, find a backer who believes in it, make the transition to the mainstream—and still end up dying. 

Coca-Cola assumed full ownership eventually. Goldman stayed involved, and Honest Tea remained in its Bethesda, Maryland, home base. The product itself was never watered down, and as late as 2018 Goldman still saw it as poised for “global growth.” Sales had reportedly risen from $71 million in 2010 to around $600 million. 

But the brand’s momentum had slowed. Sales in the first half of 2019 declined 16%, according to Beverage Digest, in the midst of a wider decline in ready-to-drink tea sales.

The market had gotten far more competitive, and shelves were crowded with functional beverages, cold brew coffees, and antioxidant waters. The consumer zeitgeist that helped propel Honest Tea’s success had shifted. At the end of that year, Goldman left the company to pursue new ventures; Honest Tea’s offices were moved to Atlanta. 

Coke, meanwhile, appeared to lose enthusiasm for niche-ier brands in general, according to a 2021 Business Insider report. And in its announcement this week, the company explained the move as a straightforward consolidation of its tea strategy, sacrificing Honest Tea to focus on two more successful lines.

Those two would be Gold Peak, a virtuous-looking bottled tea brand that Coke has backed with nationwide marketing, and Peace Tea, a growing regional offering that has “a loyal, Gen Z following.” Neither hits the various mission-y notes that defined the Honest brand. 

Honest Tea’s identity, in contrast, seemed less flexible or expansive. And that was fine when the consumer mood was moving in its direction—but feels more limiting now. A sincere mission can help a brand break through to a solid, loyal audience of consumers. But put that mission-centric brand in the middle of a mass-oriented owner’s sprawling portfolio, and that same identity can become a constraint.

Honest Tea really did carve out an authentic, specific space in the consumer landscape: It truly stood for something. And that, in the end, was its downfall.

Source: Fast Company

Coca-Cola Opens UK Pop-Up Store With High-End Fashion Collabs And Beverage Bar

Coca-Cola has been in the beverage game since 1886. In that long, storied history, Coca-Cola has not only sold a lot of soda worldwide but spawned a thriving ecosystem full of sought-after, licensed memorabilia. The cola king’s signature red, Spencerian script wordmark, ribbon, and contour bottles add value and desirability to everything from vintage appliances, vending machines, and promotional displays to clothing, toys, and personalized cans and bottles.

Now, the brand is bringing a retail IRL experience to the UK with a pop-up store in London’s Covent Garden. Running now through September, Coca-Cola’s retail shop features a beverage bar serving classic Coke products, including mocktails, exclusive merchandise, and clothing collaborations with Alma de Ace, BAPE, BE@RBRICK, Herschel, Soho Grit, and Staple. Additionally, the Coca-Cola store will offer limited-edition merchandise for Pride this upcoming June.

While brands are racing to launch NFTs and meta everything, Coca-Cola seems to be opting for IRL experiences with pop-up stores. Not only that, but they released high-concept sodas like Starlight and Pixel, which flips the script on Web3, bringing digital to the real world instead of the other way around.

Guess it’s nice to be able to physically hold your creations, huh?

Source: The Dieline

Pepsi And IHOP Are Teaming Up For A Breakfast-Inspired Soda

Pepsi has teamed up with breakfast giant IHOP to create an all-new soda designed for the early mornings. On Thursday, the cola maker announced plans for a maple syrup-inspired beverage that boasts the same classic refreshment of a Pepsi but with a definitively IHOP twist.

So if you’ve ever sucked down a Pepsi right alongside your brunch pancakes and thought, “Now this is a combo,” you’re in luck! On March 24, Pepsi kicked off the sweepstakes on social media, giving fans the chance to win their own six-pack. While Pepsi Maple Syrup will not be joining retailers (yet, at least—you can never say never), you can post a photo or video of your stacks online alongside the hashtag #ShowUsYourStack, #PepsiSweepstakes, and @IHOP. Then, 2,000 winners will have a chance to try the first-of-its-kind flavor.

“There is truly nothing quite like the indulgent taste of Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola—sweet maple syrup blended with the refreshing taste of Pepsi cola. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with IHOP on this special initiative, as it isn’t often we get to bring together two iconic brands to satisfy the cravings of pancake and Pepsi lovers alike,” Chief Marketing Officer for Pepsi Todd Kaplan said in a press release. “We can’t wait to celebrate those who have an unapologetic love of pancakes by giving the limited-edition cans to 2,000 fans who #ShowUsYourStack online.” 

Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola—which we can only assume tastes exactly how it sounds—follows similar innovations from the drink manufacturer, including a Peeps-inspired PepsiPepsi Apple Pie, and Pepsi x Cracker Jack.

“At IHOP we celebrate our history of bringing folks together and providing a sense of togetherness, belonging and joy when they dine with us,” chief marketing officer for IHOP Kieran Donahue added in the release. “We are thrilled to partner with Pepsi to have some fun and create a moment for our guests to bring home an additional source of happiness with this limited-edition Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola.” 

Source: Thrillist

The Hidden Message You Didn’t Realize Was In The Twix Logo

Do you remember when you learned that the FedEx logo had a hidden arrow in it? If this is news to you, check the negative space between the “E” and the “x.” Neat, eh? Logo design is a crucial part of the branding process, for sure, especially with household items and food products, considering just how often customers will be looking at the packaging. Iconic logos like Coca-Cola’s swoopy cursive letterforms and the McDonald’s golden arches have stood the test of time, but those are pretty straightforward examples. More intriguing is when designers decide to slip in secret design elements for consumers to find. This is the hidden message you didn’t realize was in the Twix logo.

Pepsi Mango To Become First Permanent Fixture In Five Years

Pepsi is bringing back its Pepsi Mango. The drink was previously a limited-time offering during spring, but it will now be available as a permanent fixture — the first time Pepsi made a permanent fixture in five years.

As its name suggests, the drink is a sweet concoction of mango fruit and Pepsi, mixing tropical flavors with crisp cola fizz. Customers will have the option of getting the beverage in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans or 20-ounce bottles. To kick off the drink, Pepsi will be launching a matchmaking social media series for singles. The campaign will host singles with bio descriptions and contact information to encourage introductions. Vice President of Marketing at Pepsi, Todd Kaplan, expressed excitement for the new flavor: “Mango is one of the most popular fruits in the world, and it serves as the perfect complement to Pepsi, creating an irresistible combination that our fans can enjoy everywhere throughout the year.”

Source: Hypebeast

LeBron James Leaving Coca-Cola, Set To Sign Deal With PepsiCo

LeBron James is preparing to join PepsiCo after a long-standing sponsorship with Coca-Cola, sources told Front Office Sports.

James would join a growing team of NBA and WNBA stars pitching the rebranded “MTN DEW”: Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans; Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers; Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets; and A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces.

According to sources, James will become the face of Mountain Dew’s upcoming “Rise Energy” line after nearly 18 years as an endorser for Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Powerade brands.

The 36-year old James could also pitch Pepsi’s flagship cola brand, said sources.

The pending deal may also include integration with Blaze Pizza, which currently offers Coca-Cola products at its more than 300 locations. James owns an approximate 10% stake of the chain.

Representatives for PepsiCo declined to comment. A spokesperson for James also declined to comment. 

An 18-year-old James first signed with Coca-Cola in 2003 as a No. 1 draft pick. The four-time MVP has since appeared regularly in Sprite and Powerade commercials. In 2014 the beverage giant gave him his own signature drink, “Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James.”

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola told Front Office Sports that his deal with the Atlanta-based soda giant expired in September.

“LeBron’s contract came up at a time when both he and The Coca-Cola Company were actively reviewing all of its resources to make sure it was investing in places that ensured long-term growth,” Coca-Cola said. “After many discussions with Lebron and his team, we mutually agreed to part ways.”

PepsiCo’s beverage brands and the NBA have become increasingly entwined. 

In 2015, PepsiCo replaced Coca-Cola as the official food and beverage partner of the NBA and WNBA. The blockbuster deal ended Coke’s 28-year partnership with the NBA.

Rather than playing up its eponymous cola, PepsiCo has focused its NBA advertising and activations on citrus-flavored Mountain Dew. 

The 2020 All-Star Game’s 3-Point Contest introduced the “DEW Zone” — two attempts from six feet behind the arc, worth three points each. For the third straight year, Mountain Dew also offered fans a branded “Courtside Studio,” with player appearances, music and fashion.

Parent PepsiCo, meanwhile, expanded into caffeinated beverages, buying Rockstar energy drinks for $3.85 billion last March. 

James is one of the world’s most popular and successful endorsers, following the path blazed by the likes of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. 

He signed a lifetime deal with Nike in 2015 that could be worth as much as $1 billion over its duration. He’s been one of the brand’s key ambassadors since he entered the league with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

It’s estimated that James will eclipse $1 billion in career earnings before he retires from the NBA; his endorsements, production companies and other sources account for more than half of that figure.

In December, James signed a two-year extension with the Lakers that will push his career NBA earnings past $420 million by the conclusion of  the 2022-23 season. 

Source: Front Office Sports