6 Interesting Product Launches from Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and PepsiCo

These new product launches demonstrate the fact that large companies such as Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and PepsiCo understand that complacency can put them out of business.

Mar 1, 2014 at 8:00AM

Large companies such as beverage giant Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) , its European bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE:CCE) , and snacks/beverage conglomerate PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP)  typically understand that resting on their laurels can spell death. From time to time companies such as these introduce new products to renew the interest of consumers and cater to new trends.  Let's take a look at six of them and see what Foolish insights can be had into the future of the beverage industry. 

Diet Frost
The healthy lifestyles movement has certainly taken its toll on carbonated soda demand. Coca-Cola saw its global carbonated soda volume expand a mere 1% in 2013.  The company recognizes the urgency of innovating new products perceived as healthier in the soda segment. As a result Coca-Cola recently introduced the Diet Coke Frost. The company press release highlights its low 30 calorie count and low carbs amounting to only 12 grams. Initially the product will be distributed at 7-Elevens in the country with a wider distribution coming at the "end of May". While this may hardly move the needle on Coca-Cola's global carbonated soda business it certainly represents a move in the right direction to rejuvenate consumer interest in its increasingly stigmatized soda segment. 

French soda

Coca-Cola's European bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises fared slightly worse in its carbonated soda business with a 0.5% growth in sparkling beverages in 2013 . According to Beverage Daily, Coca-Cola Enterprises wants to help counteract this by introducing a new line of fruit based carbonated sodas known as Finley to the French market. Research in France told Coca-Cola Enterprises that only 10% of the nation's adults consume carbonated sodas. The French show preference for warm drinks such as coffee and tea. The article said this represents an effort for Coca-Cola Enterprises to diversify its product line and serve a need for lower calories. 

PepsiCo gets healthier
Unlike Coca-Cola, PepsiCo sells both beverages and snacks which gives it greater product diversity and represents a strength. When factoring out extraordinary items such as currency translations, acquisitions, and divestitures, PepsiCo's snack volume increased 3% versus just 1% for beverages in 2013.  Playing on its strength in snacks and recognizing the consumer's appetite for all things perceived as healthy it launched two new flavors within the "Lay's Kettle Cooked 40 Percent Less Fat" line: sea salt & vinegar and jalapeno cheddar.  Moreover, PepsiCo introduced a new low calorie Smartfood Delight popcorn that also comes in sea salt and white cheddar flavorings. 

Now what 
New products are extremely important to long term investors as they will likely make or break these companies in the years to come. With that said, geographic expansion and product innovation is a must for these large and mature companies facing shifting consumer tastes.  Feel free to add these companies to your Motley Fool Watch List to track their progress. As always Foolish investors should do their own research before making any investment decisions. 

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William Bias owns shares of Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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