Safeway-operated stores nationwide have signed on to sell fruit punch, orange and grape flavors of AquaBall, the zero-calorie, stevia-sweetened, vitamin-enriched flavored water from Bazi International.
Convenience store sales of Rockstar Energy were down 5.1% for the four weeks ending July 6, according to Nielsen. Joey Cannata, Rockstar’s EVP of sales and distribution, said the company will combat the trend with innovations, including the recent introduction of "supersour" flavors and a zero-calorie Rockstar Pure Zero line.
Honest Tea is launching a carbonated line, Honest Fizz, in Root Beer, Lemon "Limey", Orange Pop and a cherry Professor Fizz flavor. The stevia-sweetened zero-calorie drinks is debuting at Whole Foods stores in select markets in 12-ounce cans and six-packs.
Safeway stores nationwide are now carrying zero-calorie Vitamin Squeeze Powder Water Enhancers from Ecosentials. The water enhancers are offered in Strawberry Watermelon, Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Acai Grape Pomegranate and ENERGY Black Cherry flavors, and are rich in electrolytes, zinc, vitamin C, chromium and vitamins B3, B5, B6 and B12.
PepsiCo plans changes to its SoBe, Gatorade and Lipton brands. The company has three zero-calorie variants on SoBe Life Water ready to launch "the moment the FDA approves" the all-natural sweetener stevia. The company also has new packaging for Gatorade, as well as new sparkling and functional Lipton teas.
Coca-Cola and Cargill have filed for 24 U.S. patents related to a South American herb called stevia that is used to sweeten food and beverages. "Stevia is the world's only zero-calorie, zero-glycemic, all-natural sweetener," said Steve May of SweetLeaf stevia products. "It's kind of the holy grail of the sweetener business." The FDA, however, sent a warning letter last month to Hain Celestial Group regarding concerns about the potential health effects of stevia.