ATLANTA—Coca-Cola is partnering with its Minute Maid subsidiary to pilot a new beverage called Cidewinder now available in Texas and California grocery and convenience stores, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The soda giant describes this new drink as having "similar digestive health benefits as kombucha but with less sugar."
“Cidewinder is an example of how we’re moving quickly, but deliberately, by running small market tests before investing significant time or resources,” said Susan Zaripheh, lead of the company’s North America’s Transformational Innovation Team, on its website. “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.”
As soda sales flatten within the industry, Coca-Cola is branching out in new developments and acquisitions. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that the company has leaned on its Venturing & Emerging Brands unit to consider growing, as trendy companies are offering coffee, sparkling water and healthier sports drinks.
This most recent Cidewinder test taps into the trends of zero sugar, keto dieting and gut-friendly options. Coca-Cola’s Transformational Innovation Team also recently partnered with the Honest Tea brand to launch a 20-store test for both a kombucha and cold brew coffee drink.
“Part of the Honest [Tea] 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 of Coca-Cola North America's tea portfolio. “Given the rising popularity of kombucha, it made sense for a brand known for making tea to enter this space.”