Low-calorie bubbles up
Carbonated beverage sales may be flat, but new low- and no-calorie introductions, and a bigger marketing spend, could mean the category may have some sparkle left.
PepsiCo is poised to roll out Pepsi Next, a soft drink with 60% less sugar than original Pepsi, designed to appeal to consumers who want the taste of a full-calorie cola but with reduced sugar. The company also is putting hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising behind its carbonated beverage brands in an effort to grab share from archrival Coca-Cola.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group vigorously has been promoting Dr Pepper Ten, a low-calorie soft drink targeted to men who are dissatisfied with the taste and image of diet drinks. The company also is testing 7 Up Ten, Sunkist Ten, A&W Ten, Canada Dry Ten and RC Ten in some markets.
In the no-calorie segment, Coke Zero, which also has been targeted to men, has had double-digit growth, and sales of Pepsi Max also have been strong.
John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, said the no- and low-calorie beverages could represent a new generation of soft drinks that may fuel the category after years of sluggish growth. Sicher believed that apart from low-calorie soft drinks that will adapt to consumers’ needs, there still are pockets of strength in the current market, such as the Mountain Dew brand.
Truvia Baking Blend makes retail debut
WAYZATA, Minn. — Truvia is expanding its product line to include an item that bakes and browns like sugar.
Truvia Baking Blend, a blend of Truvia natural sweetener and sugar, touts 75% fewer calories per serving than regular sugar but has the equivalent sweetness of 3 lbs. of sugar, the company said. The product is packaged in a 1.5-lb. bag that features a closeable, easy-to-pour spout.
"The introduction of Truvia Baking Blend offers a natural ingredient option that allows families to continue to enjoy the same sweet taste of their favorite baked goods, with the satisfaction of knowing they are consuming 75% fewer calories from sugar," Truvia global consumer products director Mark Brooks said. "With this expansion of Truvia products at retail, the Truvia brand continues to lead innovation and growth of the stevia-based sweetener category."
Truvia Baking Blend carries a suggested retail price of $6.99 per bag.
NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft’s new MilkBite milk and granola bars address the “better-for-you” snack segment by combining real milk, whole grain granola and other tasty ingredients in one convenient treat. One bar provides 30% of the daily recommended value of calcium — the same delivered in an 8-oz. glass of milk. The bars also are a good source of vitamin D and fiber.
MilkBite bars do not contain artificial flavors, colors or preservatives; are available in five flavors — chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and mixed berry; and can be found in the refrigerated dairy aisle. Suggested retail price is $3.49.