International trend signal for beverage brand ‘healthy’ diversification

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th July 2012

Two recent major acquisitions in the U.S. by well-known beverage brands may indicate new trends in diversification.

Australian Food News has observed that the recent acquisitions of major companies such as PepsiCo and the Campbell Soup Company appear to be driven by a marketing re-orientation towards “healthy options”, and niches for new products that are either more “natural”, “fresh” and/or “local”.

The latest acquisitions by PepsiCo and Campbell’s present interesting case studies.

PepsiCo enters U.S. dairy market with European-style yoghurt

PepsiCo has just announced its joint venture with the largest privately held dairy business in Germany, the Theo Muller Group. The joint venture, Muller Quaker Dairy, will enter the U.S. dairy market in mid-July 2012 with products such as the Muller Fruit Corner.

That PepsiCo has chosen to names its joint venture after its Quaker Oats Company division, which is marketed as having “healthful benefits” suggests that the diversification into yoghurt is designed to broaden Pepsi’s brand identity beyond being a soft drink distributor.

PepsiCo stated that it expects the dairy category to grow more than any other, worldwide, through 2016. “This growth is driven by the progressively increasing consumer demand for packaged milk, yogurt and other value-added dairy products, and for other products containing dairy protein, probiotics, and calcium,” PepsiCo said.

In a similar move, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, which produces snack products, has announced two new potato chip flavours with “40 per cent less fat than regular potato chips”.

Frito-Lay’s vice president of marketing, Tony Malta, noted that consumers Lay’s consumers are “increasingly looking for more unique flavor experiences, while at the same time maintaining balance in their diets.”

Campbell Soup Company’s $1.55 Billion acquisition of Bolthouse Farms to expand juice brand

The world’s largest soupmaker, Campbell’s recently announced that it will buy juice producer Bolthouse Farms for about $1.55 billion in cash. The development of its juice portfolio will continue to present the company’s brand identity as being natural, fresh and local.

Campbell’s has already had success with its juice brand V8.