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Pat Cummins, captain of the Australian Test Cricket team and international sporting icon, has announced an exclusive partnership with the expanded Nexba business. As part of the collaboration, Pat will embrace his love for Kombucha and become a Nexba shareholder and brand ambassador in Goodness Group Global, the better-for-you company.

The multi-year partnership will see the 30 year old right arm fast bowler become a shareholder in Goodness Group Global, as well as a public face of the Nexba brand, and at the forefront of NEW brands to be built under the Goodness Group Global umbrella.

Nexba is a leading brand in ‘Naturally Sugar Free’ functional soft drinks that has removed more than 6 billion grams of sugar from global diets. This year, Nexba expanded to become Goodness Group Global with the goal of building a house of brands that ‘taste good & do good’ while creating positive change by removing sugar and artificial ingredients from consumption.

Pat’s relationship with Nexba and Goodness Group Global adds to his growing portfolio of off-field business interests which he’s looking to grow for his eventual life after cricket.

Nexba is a leading brand in ‘Naturally Sugar Free’ functional soft drinks and kombucha both in Australia & the UK. All of the Nexba drinks are powered by their Goodsweet® natural sweetener which emulates the taste of sugar without the nasties. Consumers, retailers & governments, locally and internationally, are increasingly focused on health & wellness with rejection of both sugar and artificial sweeteners.

The opportunity to own shares alongside Pat Cummins in Nexba and Goodness Group Global is available via a crowdfunded capital raise campaign on VentureCrowd. Budding investors better be quick, as it closes in less than a month!

Kombucha brand Aqua ViTea introduces Aqua Seltzers, a better-for-you bubbly beverage packed with probiotics for immune and gut health in the U.S. Like all of Aqua ViTea’s beverages, the new Aqua Seltzers are USDA Organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, vegan, and always low in calories and sugar.

As the leading East Coast manufacturer of Kombucha, Aqua ViTea has made it their mission for more than 15 years to educate and introduce consumers to the many health benefits of Kombucha through supremely unique product innovations. Aqua Seltzer is disrupting the bubbly beverage category with a light body, approachable and inventive taste, and vibrant packaging. Aqua Seltzer comes in four dynamic and refreshing flavours: Grapefruit + Thyme, Raspberry + Lime, Cucumber + Mint, and Pomegranate + Cherry. Each shelf-stable can is packed with five billion live probiotics and powerful antioxidants and enzymes. With only 15 calories and 1 gram of sugar, it’s the perfect healthy and functional seltzer to sip on all summer long.

“As one of the first commercial Kombucha brands, we keep our finger on the pulse of what consumers need from functional beverages while remaining true to our core value that food can be used as medicine,” said Jeff Weaber, Founder of Aqua ViTea. “A crowded market no doubt, Aqua Seltzer shines as a replacement to sugary beverages with beneficial living food properties that can help consumers achieve overall wellness from the inside out.”

Aqua ViTea is authentically crafted with naturally occurring probiotics, blending ancient Kombucha fermentation traditions with modern brewing techniques to produce refreshing beverages that are verified non-alcohol compliant and rich with clean ingredients. To date, Aqua ViTea has composted 26K pounds of tea for local agriculture and 75K pounds of wastewater for renewable energy. Additionally, up to 35 % of the fills at Aqua ViTea’s Kombucha fountains utilize reusable glass.

Also new in April, Aqua ViTea announced distribution expansion with the launch of an e-commerce vertical on its website making it easy for customers in the U.S. to purchase and receive their favourite beverages from the brand.

About Aqua ViTea
Founder Jeff Weaber started homebrewing Aqua ViTea from his farmhouse basement in Vermont in 2005. Today, the company employs a team of thirty full-time employees at its Middlebury-based facility and has become the East Coast’s largest Kombucha manufacturer. Aqua ViTea is a sustainably driven Kombucha brand, focused on providing delicious and authentic better-for-you beverages. Aqua ViTea artfully blends ancient brewing traditions with modern techniques to create a healthier drink option, packed with natural probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants. Each beverage flaunts a label exploding in colours and storytelling that invite you to sip on the refreshing flavours, like Blueberry Social, Elderberry, and Pineapple Lemonade among others, or enjoy one of the special CBD concoctions, like Chaga Chai. Its offerings extend to Aqua Seltzer and the hard kombucha category, dubbed AfterGlow, featuring noteworthy flavours like Ginger & Blueberry, Citrus Rush, Cherry Sour, and Apricot Dream. Aqua ViTea is offered at retailers like Whole Foods and Bristol Farms in the U.S.

A team of technical experts is helping Coca-Cola North America launch breakthrough beverages in emerging categories – from kombuchas, to cultured ciders, to keto-friendly smoothies, to cold-brew coffees – in record time.

The Transformational Innovation Team partners with brands and business units to take new drinks in unfamiliar spaces to commercialization in a handful of months. A rotating group of specialists from Research and Development (R&D), Quality, Safety & Environmental Sustainability, Technical Commercialization and Scientific and Regulatory Affairs (SRA) is helping the company navigate uncharted territory by challenging existing approaches to innovation – from sourcing and seeking approval on new ingredients, to producing beverages in emerging categories, to bringing new brands to market – through an agile, test- and-learn launch model.

“We combine the best of what entrepreneurs do and the best of what Coca-Cola does,” explains team lead Susan Zaripheh. “Entrepreneurs dream of having the power of our brands and scale of our distribution network, and large global companies like Coke want to be able to innovate quickly, iteratively and stay
competitive in emerging spaces.”

Inspiring a mindset shift

This means challenging organizational processes and breaking down boundaries. “Capability isn’t an issue at Coca-Cola,” Zaripheh says. “Our talent and people are top notch. What we’re trying to do is inspire a mindset shift and push the company into new or emerging segments consumers want us to explore.”

The Transformational Innovation Team has partnered with Minute Maid to develop several breakthrough products in 2019, including Cidewinder, which boasts similar digestive health benefits as kombucha but with less sugar. The cultured juice brand, which leveraged a novel ingredient and process from a third-party company, is being tested in grocery and convenience store outlets in Texas and California.

“Cidewinder is an example of how we’re moving quickly, but deliberately, by running small market tests before investing significant time or resources,” Zaripheh said. “Some of the brands we’re helping to launch will not reach scale, but that’s the point of what we’re doing. We’re pushing the company to move faster than ever and to use real-time market data to make informed decisions and gain important learnings for the future.”

Following the consumer

Odwalla, meanwhile, tapped Zaripheh’s team to help develop a zero-sugar, keto-friendly smoothie using trending ingredients like MCT oil and coconut cream – bringing the first-of-its-kind offering in the Coca-Cola portfolio to life in less than six months.

“Our partnership with the Transformational Innovation Team has added tremendous value to our decision making,” said John Hackett, president, Minute Maid Business Unit. “With their support, we’ve been able to test emerging spaces quickly and gain real-world learnings. Direct guidance from the market enables us to focus our investments on ideas and innovations that strongly resonate with consumers.”

The team also partnered with Honest to launch two category-crossing innovations – Honest Kombucha and Honest Cold Brew Co”ee. Honest is building a master brand beyond its core tea business and, as part of that strategy, decided in 2019 to enter the fast-growing – and complex – kombucha segment. “Part of the Honest brand’s strategy is to ‘own the fridge’ of the
Millennial family by offering lower- sugar, organic beverages for all occasions,” said Rafael Acevedo, vice president, Tea Portfolio, Coca-Cola North America. “Given the rising popularity of kombucha, it made sense for a brand known for making tea to enter this space.”

The Transformational Innovation Team helped Honest enter this space by end of the year in a limited, 20-store test, then quickly aligned on a brand proposition and execution strategy. Results are expected in early 2020.

‘Being nimble doesn’t mean cutting corners’

The teams also partnered to secure all required approvals in time to produce and ship samples of Honest Cold Brew Coffee to the Natural Products Expo East tradeshow in only 10 weeks. The brand received great feedback from attendees.

“That project was not a product development challenge – it was a regulatory and food safety challenge,” explained Zaripheh, a food scientist with a PhD in nutrition. “Low-acid beverages like coffee have significant food safety and regulatory hurdles which can take a ton of time, but we were able to do even more due diligence by taking a different approach.”

Acevedo called the collaboration “a great example of how the company is approaching innovation differently and prioritizing agility to achieve effcient results.”

However, Zaripheh insists, the team takes steps to move quickly without compromising safety or quality, or taking due-diligence shortcuts. “Being nimble doesn’t mean cutting corners… it means approaching challenges from different angles and finding ways to parallel-path and operate with flexibility,” she added. “We hear a lot about speed to market these days. But speed by itself isn’t a competitive advantage – anyone can go fast. The key is identifying potential big bets, starting small and learning before making significant investments and launching at scale. That’s what we do.”

Creating a ripple effect

This group of “intrapraneurs” is on a mission to create a ripple effect by sharing learnings with Coca-Cola North America teams leading innovation projects across the system.

“Power is not having one team dedicated to transformational innovation, but seamlessly implementing learnings and frameworks across the organization and fueling new capability to drive growth,” said Simon Yeung, SVP, Innovation and Stewardship, Coca-Cola North America, noting that the team consulted and shared learnings with the sparkling water team spearheading the AHA brand launch. “Our goal is to get the system to move faster and deliver more disruptive innovation… to take on meatier projects and platform-able ideas and bring them to life.”

Flying Embers, an Organic Hard Kombucha brewed with botanicals and live probiotics, is expanding beyond its Reyes Southern California footprint into the San Francisco Bay Area, Oregon and Washington; southwestern states Arizona and Texas; and jumping to the east coast via New York, Philadelphia and into the New England area. Flying Embers is in partnership with distributors including Crescent Crown Distributing, Columbia Distributing, Sheehan Family, Ben E Keith, Mancini Beverage, Matagrano, Penn Beer and more to be announced soon.

Flying Embers Organic Hard Kombucha currently comes in three flavors: Ginger & Oak, Lemon Orchard, and Ancient Berry. Each refreshing, smooth flavor is fermented with black tea, botanical adaptogens, and a kombucha culture with live probiotics. All Flying Embers Hard Kombuchas have a unique botanical adaptogenic base of roots including ginger, turmeric, ashwagandha, and astragalus. Flying Embers is USDA-certified organic, gluten-free, vegan and has zero grams of sugar at a sessionable 4.5 percent abv.

About Flying Embers
Flying Embers is Organic Hard Kombucha, with live probiotics, adaptogenic ingredients at 4.5 percent alcohol by volume. The Organic Hard Kombucha is made from a sparkling fermented tea kombucha culture with adaptogenic botanicals. Flying Embers was founded in 2017 by Bill Moses, proven beverage entrepreneur, co-founder and former CEO of Kevita sparkling probiotics, which sold to PepsiCo in December of 2016. The Organic Hard Kombucha line features innovative live brews: Ancient Berry, Lemon Orchard, and Ginger & Oak. Flying Embers is a presentation of Fermented Sciences Brewing.

Odwalla is bringing a smooth, tasty twist to the kombucha craze.

Odwalla Smoobucha, which hits stores in the U.S. after a buzzed-about unveiling at Natural Products Expo West tradeshow in Anaheim, Calif., blends the great taste and texture of fruit smoothies with the boldness of pasteurized kombucha.

Three flavors – Citrus & Guava, Berry & Ginger and Apple & Greens – offer a unique mashup of flavor and function, with 40 percent less sugar and fewer calories than leading smoothies. The cleverly named beverage also includes 500 million colony-forming units of “good” bacteria, an excellent source of fiber that helps support digestive health and delivers 100 % daily value of antioxidant Vitamin C. Odwalla Smoobucha, offered in 15.2-oz. bottles, can be enjoyed as a nutritious, on-the-go snack.

Odwalla also is introducing two limited-edition flavors inspired by the vibrant essence of spring. Hot Tropics and Mint to Be Berry offer a refreshing blend of 100 % juice, coconut water and trendy botanical ingredients such as jalapeño and mint.

Fermented drinks continue to gain traction in the beverages market driven by growing disposable incomes, rapidly evolving lifestyles and health conscience millennial consumers looking for less sugary and low alcoholic beverages, says leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s ‘Consumer Beverages Influencer Analytics Platform’, beer, wines, sugary drinks and fermented drinks emerged as the most popular trending topics over the last *90 days.

Vaibhav Mathur, Influencer Research Head at GlobalData, says “As calorific soft drinks lose their appeal with health-committed millennials, functional ingredients such as probiotics, vitamins and protein provide opportunities for fermented drinks new product development. Kombucha a fermented tea is rich in beneficial probiotics and is sold as a healthy alternative to carbonated sweetened soft drinks.’’

*last 90 days refers to a timeline from 1st Aug-31st Oct

Cold-pressed juice brand Evolution Fresh announced it will expand its functional beverage portfolio by entering the $1.2* billion refrigerated tea category with the launch of new bottled Evolution Fresh Organic Kombucha across seven major U.S. cities from coast to coast. Available in six delicious flavors – Ginger Lemon Honeycrisp, Mango Pineapple, Ginger Greens, Spicy Greens, Pink Grapefruit, and Turmeric Pineapple Coconut – the beverages have started to ship to grocery and natural retailers in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and New York City, with plans to roll-out to additional cities this fall and next spring. Evolution Fresh Organic Kombuchas feature the company’s cold-pressed juices and will be available in 15.2 fluid ounce glass bottles. Customer interest in kombucha and fermented beverages is on the rise with the category growing 36 percent in 2017 according to IRI data.**

To create its kombucha, Evolution Fresh starts with carefully selected artisanal teas—Congou black tea, Yerba Matè tea, pu’erh black tea, green tea and matcha. The teas are fermented and paired with cold-pressed Evolution Fresh juice. Leading with flavor, these recipes leverage the brand’s culinary expertise rooted in authentic taste and quality since 1992 to delight the palate and create the perfect combination in every bottle.

Evolution Fresh Organic Kombucha is available in six flavors and is certified USDA Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and Kosher:

  • Ginger Lemon Honeycrisp: This invigorating elixir has complexity, leading with Congou black tea that lives in harmony with cold-pressed honeycrisp apple, tart lemon and a kick of ginger.
  • Mango Pineapple: Congou black tea strikes a down-to-earth balance with vibrant, cold-pressed oranges, mangos and pineapples to bring a juicy-sweet edge to every lively sip.
  • Ginger Greens: At the heart of this feel-good elixir is effervescent Yerba Matè tea, its notes deliciously pair with Evolution Fresh’s signature cold-pressed leafy greens, bright lemon and zingy ginger.
  • Spicy Greens: Light-bodied yet full of character, green tea and matcha lift Evolution Fresh’s signature cold-pressed greens, pineapple and jalapeño. A refreshing blend with just a hint of heat, accented by the jalapeno’s rich flavor.
  • Pink Grapefruit: This celebrated, complex pu’erh black tea is brightened with a sweet splash of cold-pressed pink grapefruit.
  • Turmeric Pineapple Coconut: This spirited blend features bright Yerba Matè tea – made extra-special with savory turmeric and bright cold-pressed pineapple.

*IRI US MULO 52 WE 12/31/17
**IRI US MULO L52 Wks ending 7/30/17 & SPINS – Natural Channel L52 Wks ending 7/16/17 and NSS / Nielson Whole Foods report 8/9/17.

Fermentation, a practice stretching back more than 10,000 years of human history, employs beneficial microorganisms for enriching and preserving food ingredients. It remains firmly rooted in Asian and African cultures as a tradition passed down from generations. Consequently, fermented foods like Kimchi remain a staple in Korean cuisine, and cultured drinks like Kombucha and Lassi have an unabated following among Chinese and Indian consumers, respectively, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

On the other hand, fermented foods have largely been sidelined in Western diets partly due to the hyper-hygienic lifestyles, and the high affinity for processed, canned and pasteurized convenience-foods. This scenario is changing as fermentation once again comes under the spotlight in the West through the rising popularity of exotic Eastern foods and beverages like Kimchi, Kombucha and Kefir.

Health benefits: Bobby Verghese, Consumer Markets Analyst at GlobalData says, “Growing consumer awareness about the link between ‘gut health’ and overall health and wellness is a major factor driving the renewed focus on fermented foods.” Natural preservation techniques like fermentation are gaining ground in the backdrop of the ongoing shift of consumers from processed foods to ‘cleaner-label’ foods with less chemical preservatives. This is underscored by GlobalData Global Consumer Survey 2017 findings which reveal that 75 % of global consumers somewhat or completely agree with the statement that ‘artificial additives and preservatives are harmful to their health’.

Novel sensory experience: Fermented food and drinks offer novel taste and texture sensations which particularly appeal to youthful consumers who are on the lookout for emerging exotic and international cuisines. This reflects in the GlobalData Global Consumer Survey findings which states that 49 % of Millennial and Gen Z consumers like to experiment with new and unusual flavors while choosing food products.

Economic and sustainability aspects: Fermentation processes offer a cost-effective, energy-efficient, and zero-maintenance technology for food preservation. This technique enables efficient utilization of available resources by prolonging the shelf-life of perishable seasonal produce, upcycling food waste, and detoxifying raw materials. Consequently, fermentation holds the potential to make a substantial positive impact on global food wastage and food security.

Manufacturers can leverage fermentation to tap into the growing demand for healthier foods and drinks. For instance, in late 2016, Pepsi acquired branded Kombucha manufacturer, KeVita, to provide an additional option to consumers seeking a healthier alternative to sugary sodas. Fermentation also offers fish and meat producers a potent method for attaining clean label certification for their products without using harmful synthetic preservatives. The growing popularity of fermented foods implies the need for innovative and creative packaging formats that preserve the integrity of the live probiotic culture in the foodstuff, without sacrificing the convenience and aesthetics aspects. In addition, fermentation is making a mark on the cosmetics industry, where manufacturers are vying to develop natural and ‘clean’ beauty and personal care products that are as effective as synthetic formulations.