Schweppes unveils new bottle design and updated flavours

Beverage maker Schweppes, has revealed its biggest change to bottle design in over a decade.

The new bottle shape pays homage to Schweppes’ famous ‘Hamilton’ bottle of 1809.

The PET bottle design will see a reduction in bottle size from 1.25 litres to 1.1 litres across Schweppes’ mixer and flavoured mineral water ranges.

The recommended retail price per bottle will also reduce.

Other changes include updating the flavoured mineral water range to be more in line with consumer expectations: less sugar, less sweet, and more natural flavour profiles.

“Schweppes’ new bottle design is elegant, thoughtful and contemporary,” said Lisa Saunders, Schweppes General Manager Marketing.

“Our bottle shape is a visible reflection of our brand. With a new, more premium bottle design we hope to create a stronger connection with the experience of drinking our quality products.”

The move to a more contemporary bottle design is part of Schweppes’ wider strategy to ensure it remains relevant to discerning consumers of adult beverages.

“By leveraging the heritage of the famous Schweppes ‘Hamilton’ design from 1809 – an innovation in sparkling beverages all those years ago – it places us in a more premium market,” Saunders said.

“The new bottle design applies to the Schweppes mixer and the mineral water ranges, while only the flavoured mineral water range has been updated with new flavours.”

Saunders said the flavoured mineral water range had been reinvigorated to address changing consumer tastes and trends, including reduced sugar content, while still producing a great tasting product.

The reinvigorated flavoured mineral water range will be rolled out in-store from 10th July 2017. It will include three new flavours:

  • Blood Orange and Passionfruit
  • Apple and Cranberry
  • Pineapple and Lemon

Schweppes infused and natural mineral water will also move to the new 1.1 litre bottle without any liquid changes.

Coca-Cola shakes up the water category with new releases

Coca-Cola South Pacific has announced the launch of two new dynamic products, which are aimed at providing consumers with new and enhanced choices in the water category. 

Powerade Sports Drops and Pump Drops have both launched into market, designed to evolve the burgeoning water segment and tap into significant growth opportunities.

Powerade Sports Drops is a customised offering providing 'on the go hydration' and is primarily targeted at unlocking the significant market opportunity around the 'on the go' exercise occasion. The target audience for the product is focused on active males across a broad age range.

Available in Mountain Blast and Berry Ice flavours, Powerade Sports Drops powers water by enhancing hydration with the addition of electrolytes to replace those lost through sweat. As part of the overall strategy for the master Powerade brand, marketing activity will reinforce the consumption occasions to consumers at point-of-purchase, backed up by a range of striking point-of-sale merchandising solutions.

Pump Drops is a flavoured drops offering designed to deliver added value to the bottled water category by driving flavour innovation. It is the first water enhancer to launch in Australia under an existing water brand, as opposed to standalone offerings or new brands. 

The product is targeted at 18-34 year olds who are conscious about their health, as well as those seeking more variety from their water consumption. Pump Drops adds a sugar free flavour blast to water and is available in three different flavours: Strawberry Kiwi, Mixed Berry and Pineapple Coconut.

The launch comes off the back of the success of the launch of liquid concentrate water enhancers in the US, which resulted in driving category volume growth and a 15 per cent increase in the flavoured water segment. In-store point-of-sale activity will be a key driver of the product marketing push as the Pump brand seeks to drive further growth.

Tracey Evans, Hydration Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola South Pacific, said: "The launch of our new Drops products further extends our commitment to present more choice when it comes to the beverages we offer, providing more innovative options to meet the consumer demand of our respective target audiences.  We see growth potential for both products similar to what we have already seen in the US, making this a very exciting time for water in the Australian market."

Junk food advertisers put profits before children’s health – and we let them

For the first time in history, Australian children could live shorter lives than their parents. The reason? High rates of excess weight and obesity.

Despite mounting evidence that junk food marketing is a big part of the problem, a new report to be released today reveals that Australian governments are failing to step in and protect our children.

In fact, Australia’s already weak system of self-regulation to protect children from unhealthy food marketing – including advertisements on TV, radio and digital platforms – has gone backwards.

Self-regulation: nothing but a charade

The new Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) report, End the Charade!, shows how the self-regulation of junk food marketing in Australia is simply not working.

Profit-hungry food advertisers exploit the loopholes that exist in already weak codes and use sneaky tactics so they can bombard children with junk food advertising.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council’s (AFGC) codes, known as the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative (RCMI) and the Quick Service Restaurant Initiative (QSRI), are “an industry framework to make sure only healthier products are promoted directly to children”.

Ironically, signing up to these codes allows big food companies to appear socially responsible – even when their sole motivation is maximising profit, at the expense of children’s health.

 

Coco Pops and Paddle Pops are categorised as ‘healthier dietary choices’.

 

The report found that since an initial investigation by the OPC in 2012 the system has been relaxed even further. Examples include:

  • A looser definition of healthy food that fails to stop Kellogg’s categorising of Coco Pops as a “healthier dietary choice” and therefore appropriate for marketing to children.

 

Image from Wonka Cookie Creamery chocolate TV ad.

 

  • A weakened interpretation of advertising “directly targeted to children” allowing Nestle to use fairytale imagery to advertise Wonka Cookie Creamery chocolate, arguing it was “designed to appeal to an adult’s sense of nostalgia for childhood”.

 

Image from Peter’s Zombie Guts and Zombie Snot icy-poles ad broadcast on Foxtel in October 2013.

 

  • A slow and complex system in which the Advertising Standards Board failed to consider a complaint about Peter’s “Zombie Guts” and “Zombie Snot” icy-poles because the ad campaign had ended by the time it received the complaint.

Food manufacturers' influence extends well beyond individual advertisements. It relies on huge volumes and placement within a range of platforms, such as websites, mobile phone apps, interactive games, billboards at bus stops and promotions in supermarkets. This ensures junk food advertising is wallpaper in our children’s lives.

Given that around 40% of what Australian school-aged children eat is unhealthy food, the millions of dollars companies spend to create demand for their products is a marketing success and public health failure.

Advertising influences food choices, now and in future

Extensive research has found that unhealthy food advertising influences what children want to eat and what they do eat. This also creates pester power and undermines efforts by parents, schools and communities to encourage healthy habits.

Children are vulnerable consumers and are likely to have reduced capacity to understand the commercial and persuasive intent behind advertising messages. In targeting children through fun advertisements and engaging characters, food companies are able to build positive brand associations that can stay with them throughout their adult life.

Restricting junk food marketing to children is acknowledged by peak health bodies including the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an important and necessary step to help improve children’s diets and slow obesity rates in Australia.

Government-led regulation urgently needed

Research from here and overseas has shown that self-regulation of unhealthy food marketing is ineffective to reduce the amount of food advertising and promotion that children see. To reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food marketing, we urgently need government-led action.

As a first step, the Australian Communications and Media Authority should monitor and measure children’s exposure to unhealthy food advertising on television.

The federal government should then introduce comprehensive regulations or, at the very least, instruct broadcasting, advertising and food industries on how to strengthen their existing approaches.

Amendments should also be made to the advertising codes or regulations to:

  • Clearly define key terms, including “unhealthy food”, “unhealthy food marketing”, “children” and “directed to children”

  • Consistently and transparently define “unhealthy food” in accordance with government and scientific guidelines

  • Expand their scope to apply to all forms, media and locations of marketing of unhealthy food (including brand marketing) that is directed to, or appeals to children

  • Restrict all unhealthy food marketing on television during times when large numbers of children are likely to be watching (weekdays 6–9am and 4–9pm, and weekends and school holidays 6am–12pm and 4–9pm)

  • Ensure compliance is regularly monitored.

The food and advertising industries seem primarily motivated to create an appearance of corporate social responsibility and ward off tighter government regulation. Only through significant improvements led by government will children be protected from predatory junk food marketers exploiting their vulnerabilities.

Industry has had a chance to show that they can act responsibly and our scrutiny has shown they have failed miserably. Now government leadership is necessary to support parents and put children’s health first.

The Conversation

Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition; Senior Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Nexba launches low sugar soft drinks

Telstra Micro Business of the year Nexba has launched a limited edition Christmas range exclusive to Woolworths. 

The new sparkling ice tea range, consisting of passionfruit, cranberry and apple natural flavours, will be sold in bespoke 1L glass bottles specially designed for Woolworths. 

Drew Bilbe, Co-Founder and Operations Director at Nexba, said the launch into Woolworths marked a massive milestone for the business, making Nexba beverages available in every major Australian retailer.  

“With Australians becoming increasingly aware of the harmful effects of sugary soft drinks, Nexba offers quality and taste, but with less sugar and fewer calories. We are stoked to have worked collaboratively with Woolworths to launch this new 1L glass format range, and we’re confident shoppers will love it,” he said. 

The new ice tea range has only 4.9g of sugar per 100ml. By comparison, Coca Cola has more than double the sugar at 10.6g per 100ml. 

“We want to give Australians as many better-for-you beverage options as possible. Our new sparkling Christmas flavours are the perfect drinks to help transition soft drink junkies off their dangerous daily addictions,” said Mr. Bilbe.

The newest additions to the Nexba range brings the total tally to 10 flavours, which include Brewnette, Australia’s first natural cola with green coffee extract, and Super Infusions, Australia’s first super fruit/ food infused, sugar-free ice tea. 

“From day one, Nexba has strived to be The Beverage Innovators by partnering with national retailers and developing drinks their shoppers will love. We are self-funded and don’t have the deep pockets of the bigger brands. What we do have is an unending passion for offering Australians healthier beverages that don’t sacrifice on taste and quality,” said Troy Douglas, Co-Founder and Brand Director at Nexba.

The new Nexba flavours will be available at select Woolworths stores nationwide this week. 

Coca-Cola celebrates 100 years of the iconic contour bottle

Coca-Cola is today celebrating the 100th birthday of the iconic Contour bottle, a design that has cemented itself as a global pop culture icon and loved by millions around the world.

First patented in 1915, the Coca-Cola bottle was created with unmistakable curves and a distinctive contour following a brief that called for “a design so distinctive that it could be recognised by touch alone and so unique that it could be identified when shattered on the ground.” Despite countless attempts from imitators, the Coca-Cola bottle has become an undisputed icon that has remained the same for 100 years, but has managed to remain relevant to generations around the world.

Throughout its 100 years, the Contour bottle has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Marilyn Munroe, Elvis Presley and Ray Charles, become a muse to artists and designers such as Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Dolce & Gabbana, made its way onto the silver screen in film classics such as Strictly Ballroom (1992) and The Coca-Cola Kid (1985), and sung with the legend that is John Farnham with his major hit Age of Reason featuring in the 1988 Coca-Cola TVC.

Coca-Cola South Pacific Group Marketing Manager, Dianne Everett, says: “Today is a true milestone birthday for Coca-Cola. One hundred years ago, a design was created that would go on to become a global icon. It’s a truly special thing to think that although Coca-Cola as a brand has changed and reinvented itself over the  years, this design  icon  has  remained  the  same.  Here in Australia, we’re delighted to finally mark the actual 100th birthday of the Contour bottle after a wonderful year of exciting celebrations.”

The 100th birthday also marks the end of a yearlong major Australian campaign titled ‘Pop Art’, which drew from globally developed creative of the Contour bottle to visually transform the brand giving it a new modern look. The Contour Pop Art campaign also marked the first time the full trademark appeared together to include the newest addition, Coke Life.

 

CCA launches new Sprite campaign

Coca-Cola South Pacific has launched the next phase of Sprite's 'Cut Through The Heat' brand campaign, dedicated to inspiring and empowering Aussies to deal with life's awkward moments. 

The campaign kicks will include the return of the brand's distinguished ambassador, Sprite Saver, who will amplify Sprite's 'cut through' message through a number of 'refreshing' environments.

There will be a heavy focus on social media, designed to build an active and engaged community of Sprite lovers and encourage younger consumers to build a connection and affinity with the brand. 

The company said that content will be geared towards sparking dialogue around cutting through heated moments, positioning Sprite as a tool to cut through them and demonstrating how it can give consumers the confidence to keep their cool.

Donna Mulholland, Group Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola South Pacific said: "We're looking to build brand equity and increase engagement amongst consumers by capturing their interest through a series of fun and engaging executions that will be rolled out in market in the coming months. Our refreshment message also remains at the heart of the campaign as we continue to educate consumers about the product benefits."

Euromonitor modelling shows Australian shift away from soft drinks

Amidst a global debate concerning the implementation of excise tax proposals on sugary beverages, Euromonitor International has employed an inductive demand model to aid in five-year forecasting. 

The model attempts to identify several measureable and statistically significant demand factors against available data for retail and on-trade beverage category sales weighted in building 2015-2019 country forecasts. 

Australia is currently in the top 10 markets for carbonates consumption in terms of per capita retail volume sold, leading Euromonitor to consider potential impact of a soft drinks tax by recording historical price increases and the effect they’ve had on Australian retail sales of carbonates. 

In a Euromonitor blog post, Howard Telford said “There is greater uncertainty over the impact of a substantial soda tax in Australia, because there is simply no precedent for a substantial price shock in the Australian retail market.”

Telford believed that the introduction of a soda tax would be accompanied by a public health debate in the media that could impact consumer attitudes towards carbonates for reasons other than price. 

Euromonitor’s data showed significant declines in full flavoured cola and wider carbonated beverages in Australia that has resulted in declining prices and a consumer migration to low calorie cola (and non-cola carbonate) alternatives. 

Consumers making well-publicised concerns about existing cola were found to be doing so independent of price considerations and motivated instead by health or taste considerations. 

Whether or not a sugar tax is implemented, the Euromonitor International data clearly showed that consumers had been rapidly changing their attitudes towards health, sugar and lifestyle choices –a move that Telford suggests means that Australian consumers may have already found an alternative to implementing a sugar tax. 

 

Coca-Cola says portion control is behind smaller bottles

Coca-Cola South Pacific has revealed the early success of its 390ml packages, which are now available fro the second time across the Coca-Cola trademark and flavours range. The packages ranging has been extensively broadened and now replaces the 450ml package in response to changing consumer trends.

The beverage maker said that the 390ml package- which was first introduced in 2009, provides “multiple benefits to both consumers and retailers including portion control and delivering greater options on-shelf.”

The smaller portion size is designed to meet with Coca-Cola's strategy to deliver the right pack for the right occasion, providing an appropriate mid-sized refreshment for consumers.

Early 390ml trials in Queensland demonstrated a strong transaction uplift with double digit increase in unit sales within 390ml stockists and an increase in net contribution. Retailers said they also saw growth of 600ml packages over the trial period. 

To promote the packaging, the 390ml variant will be supported by occasion-based messaging at point of purchase, promoting it as a 'grab and go' option. 

To differentiate the offerings, the 250ml variant will be positioned as a 'Quick Treat' while those who have an 'Extra Thirst' will be encouraged to consider the 600ml package, the company said in a statement.

Dianne Everett, Group Marketing Manager Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca-Cola South Pacific, said: "We have been delighted to see consumers embrace the new smaller packaging in our early trials. Consumer trends have continued to evolve in recent years and we have recognised this with our recent packaging changes. Our aim is to provide greater choice with our products to suit the lifestyles of today's consumers. "

Junk food shrinks your brain claims study

New research has shown for the first time that the part of the brain used for learning, memory and mental health is smaller in people with unhealthy diets.

 The results of the study by researchers at Deakin University and the Australian National University (ANU) suggest that older Australians with unhealthy diets have smaller hippocampi – the hippocampus is a part of the brain believed to be integral to learning, memory and mental health. It has also shown that older people with healthier diets have larger hippocampi.
 
Associate Professor Felice Jacka, lead author of the study and researcher with Deakin University’s IMPACT Strategic Research Centre in Geelong, said that as the negative impact of unhealthy foods on the waistline of the population grows, so does the evidence suggesting that our brain health is also affected.
 
“It is becoming even clearer that diet is critically important to mental as well as physical health throughout life,” Associate Professor Jacka said.
 

“We’ve known for some time that components of diet, both healthy and unhealthy, have a rapid impact on aspects of the brain that affect hippocampal size and function, but up until now these studies have only been done in rats and mice. This is the first study to show that this also appears to be the case for humans.”
 
The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the size of hippocampi (there are two in the brain – left and right) in Australian adults aged 60-64 years and participating in the PATH study – a large longitudinal study of ageing conducted at the ANU. They also measured the participants’ regular diets and took into account a range of other factors that could affect the hippocampus.
 

The results of the study, now published in the international journal BMC Medicine, suggest that older adults who eat more unhealthy foods, such as sweet drinks, salty snacks and processed meats, have smaller left hippocampi. It also shows that older adults who eat more nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits and fish, have larger left hippocampi. These relationships existed over and above other factors that may explain these associations, such as gender, levels of physical activity, smoking, education or depression itself.
 
These findings have relevance for both dementia and mental health, Associate Professor Jacka said.
 
“Mental disorders account for the leading cause of disability worldwide, while rates of dementia are increasing as the population ages,” she said.
 
“Recent research has established that diet and nutrition are related to the risk for depression, anxiety and dementia, however, until now it was not clear how diet might exert an influence on mental health and cognition.
 
“This latest study sheds light on at least one of the pathways by which eating an unhealthy diet may influence the risk for dementia, cognitive decline and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety in older people.
 
“However, it also points to the importance of diet for brain health in other age groups. As the hippocampus is critical to learning and memory throughout life, as well as being a key part of the brain involved in mental health, this study underscores the importance of good nutrition for children, adolescents and adults of all ages.”
 

Big Soda’s tactics to confuse science and protect their profits

The latest dubious tactic of global soft-drink giant Coca-Cola has now been revealed for what it is – a move by an industry with a threatened financial future to confuse science, policy and the public, in order to buy time, and protect profits.

On paper it seemed harmless enough; the recent founding of the Global Energy Balance Network may have even sounded like a good thing. A group of scientists wanting to bring more attention to the global and serious challenge of obesity, and encourage policy makers to recognise the importance of exercise in its mitigation. On further reading though, it becomes increasingly apparent that their focus is more about shifting our attention away from what we eat – probably the most important point for intervention in tackling overweightedness globally. Talking little about the ‘calories in’ and focusing only on ‘calories out’, a leading Canadian obesity physician was drawn to ask the question: “what is this network really about?”

As it turns out, the network is funded indirectly by Coca-Cola. Their website is registered and administrated by Coca-Cola. Many of their scientists are linked to Coca-Cola funding, or have been funded directly by them.

This is just the latest round of sad but dangerous moves by the sugar drink giant to confuse consumers, stall policy and halt public health. The food and beverage industry have a long history of funding puppet NGOs, paying leading thinkers to sit on their ‘advisory boards’ and even commissioning research to confuse the scientific landscape. In fact, a paper published in PLOS Medicine in 2013 found that studies funded by the sweetened beverage industry were 5x more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain, than studies whose authors reported no such conflicts. From the company that has brought us summer, printed our names on their bottles, even launched a ‘life’ labelled package in an ironic green wrapping – this latest “network” is unlikely to be a surprise to many of us, but presents a challenge for us all.

With this in mind, what are the facts that they’re working so hard to distract us from?

1. ‘Calories in and calories out’ is a convenient argument that doesn’t add up

First of all, we must be somewhat kind to industry. Companies and their directors are mandated to shareholders to return profits – not protect the long-term health of those that consume their products, protect children from obesity or be concerned with the environmental outfall of their food processing. It is the role of governments to regulate the way in which companies act, and their indirect consequences on health.

With this in mind, food and drink companies want us to consume more. And more. And more. Consumption is profit, and profit is business. They are not going to like or entertain any messages that relate to limiting how much we eat, despite the building evidence that it matters a lot. Reflecting this, they conveniently oversimplify the obesity epidemic down to ‘calories in, calories out’. They argue that the issue is just one of balance, and to solve too much, we ‘just’ need to get more exercise. The blame thus moves from our food, to ourselves – and discussions rapidly focus on laziness, instead of our obesogenic diets and food systems.

The calories in one can of Coke take almost 5kms of walking to burn off. This is not just about walking more.

2. Sugar… And sugar

The World Health Organization recommends we receive no more than 10% of our daily calories from free sugars – those that are in juice, soft drinks and processed foods. While one single calorie may take the same effort to work off, it isn’t the same on the way in. Sugars in whole fruit and vegetables are not dangerous. But when they are in juice they are more similar to soft drink. This is because the fibre in whole fruits and vegetables makes you feel full and slows the sugar’s absorption into the blood – the latter resulting in a lower jump in insulin as a result.

Arguably the worst though, is the free sugar in soft drinks and soda. Contributing nothing of value to our diets and often referred to as ‘empty calories’ – these drinks cause the most rapid spikes in insulin and are associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more.

3. The [global] science is clear

Whether we look at the Global Burden of Disease Studies by the IHME, The Lancet and The World Health Organization, or to the leading technical bodies on health, or government authorities, or even leading scientists – the evidence and the messages are clear. What, how and how much we eat, are making us sick. The globalisation, centralisation, homogenisation and industrialisation of our food systems has seen a major transition in our diets, and the outcome is a major driver of overweightedness, obesity and NCDs.

4. Let history not repeat itself

It is not the role of companies to protect the health of populations – their role is to sell us more of their products, driving consumption and profit. This is known to many of us, but we had better keep it in the forefronts of our minds.

Smoke and mirror tactics to deter public focus on regulation. Lies and distractions through funded, biased research. Denial of the health implications to protect profits, in direct contradiction to evidence and with known, massive public health outcomes. Does all this sound familiar? Is this Global Health déjà vu?

The 50 year journey from the first major calls for the control of tobacco to a global convention to protect the public, took too long and cost too many lives. We cannot let the same tactics delay progress again, and we should see this wolf for what it is. The product might be different but the tactics are alarmingly similar.

Not so sweet after all.

As billion dollar industries continue to feel threatened by the snowball in public opinion, as people and policy makers awaken to their dangerous and reckless behaviour, we are going to see desperate acts. Understanding the facts, and seeing their behaviour for what it truly is, is essential.

Confusion breeds complacency and apathy in policy and the public – they know this.

Let’s remind ourselves of the cold, hard facts.

 

 

 

Connect with Sandro on Twitter, via @sandrodemaio.

The Conversation

Alessandro R Demaio is Medical Doctor; Co-Founder of NCDFREE & festival21; Fellow in Global Health & NCDs at Harvard University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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