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Health claims will drive beverage category, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — Among those getting their health on track in time for New Year’s resolutions are consumers who are concerned about the long-term, negative effects of drinking unhealthy beverages.

According to a recent BeveragePulse.com study, "Health concerns: The impact on beverage markets," conducted by Concept Catalysts and iModerate Research Technologies — which surveyed more than 500 respondents — 60% of Americans are changing their beverage consumption habits, and what consumers buy and drink will remain the main driver of change in the category. Beverages also were ranked by perceived healthiness, BeveragePulse.com said.

"Our research shows that consumers’ health concerns are having an impact on what they drink," said Bob Falkenberg, founder of BeveragePulse.com and president of Concept Catalysts. "Some categories will decline, others will grow, and there will be opportunities for new beverages that better meet consumer preferences."

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Pepsi raises stake in coconut water company

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo has upped its investment in O.N.E., a coconut water company.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but PepsiCo noted that it now has the majority stake in the company.

"Coconut water is one of the fastest-growing categories in the U.S. beverage market, and one in which we see a great deal of potential. Our investment in O.N.E. is an investment in the future," said Massimo d’Amore, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages Americas.

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Sunny Delight updates supply chain, data systems with new investment

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Sunny Delight is refocusing its North American business with the acquisition of a manufacturing plant owned by the J.M. Smucker Co., and is updating all five of its North American manufacturing facilities and data systems.

The $70 million upgrade, which will diversify Sunny Delight’s business in North America, will improve its "corporate profitability, manufacturing efficiency and environmental footprint," said Ellen Iobst, the company’s SVP manufacturing and technology.

Terms of this transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.

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