Beverage Launch Roundup

Hispanic tradition, TV nostalgia, racing, more, play roles in new drink rollouts

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Several companies, including Nestle USA, Hydrive Energy, Mike's Hard Lemonade,Prairie Farms Dairy and FMF Racing have recently rolled out new beverages.

Agua FrescasTo satisfy demand for products with Hispanic roots, Glendale, Calif.-based Nestle USA has introduced three authentic flavored aguas frescas drinks in select markets across the United States arriving in stores in time for summer. Nestle Aguas Frescas are 100% natural and formulated with an authentic taste. Nestle Aguas Frescas Jamaica is made from hibiscus flowers; Tamarindo, [image-nocss] is made from tamarind puree; and Aguas Frescas Horchata is made from rice and cinnamon.

To introduce Nestle Aguas Frescas, grassroots teams called "Los Vitroleros," referring to the glass urns that aguas frescas is traditionally served in, will visit select cities to provide free samples and coupons of the three beverages to an estimated two million consumers. The tour will run from mid-May thru September.

Nestle Aguas Frescas have been rolled out to grocery, mass merchandisers, drug and convenience stores in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, San Francisco/San Jose, San Antonio, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego and McAllen, Texas. The three delicious flavors are available in 14 and 20oz bottles, for a suggested retail price of $1.79 to $1.99.

Hydrive Decaf & Hydrive Extra Strength

Hydrive Energy is rolling out Hydrive Decaf, a caffeine-free energy drink entry. Loaded with B-Vitamins (B3, 5, 6, 12), D-Ribose and Choline, Hydrive Decaf is 100% caffeine and taurine free and contains 30 calories per 15.5-ounce bottle. Available in a Wild Peach flavor, Hydrive Decaf offers an alternative for those consumers who want energy but avoid caffeine.

The company will simultaneously launch Hydrive Extra Strength, which contains 20% more caffeine than the leading energy drinks. Extra Strength comes in a delicious Black Cherry flavor and contains 195mg caffeine, 50mg Yerbe Mate and only 30 calories per bottle.

Hydrive ENERGY LLC was founded in 2006 by beverage executives Mike Weinstein (former CEO Snapple Beverages) and Brian O'Byrne (former CEO Yoo-hoo/Orangina) and is headquartered in Rye, N.Y. Hydrive products are primarily distributed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Polar Beverages, both of whom have a minority interest in the brand.

mike's lite hard lemonade

Seattle-based Mike's Hard Lemonade Co. has launched naturally sweetened mike's lite hard lemonade. The new offering is made with 100% natural sweeteners and contains fewer calories than the leading light beer, the company said.

The company created mike's lite hard lemonade using all-natural sweeteners--the first light flavored malt beverage (FMB) of its kind, it said. mike's lite is available in two flavors, lemonade and cranberry lemonade, and both beverages are permanent additions to the Mike's roster of products.

In addition to the breakthrough taste, mike's lite hard lemonade and mike's lite hard cranberry lemonade are gluten-free. Both products have tested below the limit of quantification for gluten using a variety of highly sensitive tests--a result of Mike's Hard Lemonade.'s proprietary filtration process that renders the malt base gluten-free.

mike's lite hard lemonade and mike's lite hard cranberry lemonade are available in 6-packs, while mike's lite hard lemonade is also available in 12-packs. The products are sold alongside beer in grocery, liquor, club and convenience stores nationwide.


Entrepreneurs Dan Iaria and Joe Wolfla are relaunching a chocolate-flavored drink called Choc-Ola, hoping baby boomers' taste for nostalgia and consumers' love of anything with chocolate helps make the revived beverage a success, said The Indianapolis Business Journal. Choc-Ola--a concoction of water, sugar, low-fat milk, cocoa and a handful of other ingredients--debuted in the 1940s and was pitched to a generation of fans in the 1970s by "Cowboy Bob" on Indianapolis TV station WTTV-4's children's program.

It had been absent from grocery shelves for a decade, but this month Carlinville, Ill.-based Prairie Farms Dairy plans to begin distributing Choc-Ola in 18 states in individual-sized bottles, and half-gallon jugs that retail for $2.49, at grocery stores and c-stores.

Iaria, who owns the Rock-Cola Cafe on Brookville Road, discovered in 2009 that the trademark for Choc-Ola had expired. He snapped up the trademark last year for little more than a $275 application fee, acquired the recipe separately and began bottling the beverage in small batches for restaurant customers. The response suggested there was a demand for large-scale production. So Iaria partnered with longtime customer and serial entrepreneur Joe Wolfla to pitch the drink to Martin's Super Markets, a 21-store chain in northern Indiana and southern Michigan. That led to a deal to produce Choc-Ola at an Anderson facility owned by Prairie Farms Dairy.

FMF Power Beverage

FMF Racing, Los Angeles, a major name in the world of motorcycle sports, has launched FMF Power Beverage. Developed with the rigors of the extreme athlete in mind, FMF Power is an all-natural beverage loaded with a proprietary blend of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Formulated in conjunction with Lance Collins, founder of Fuze Beverages and NOS High Performance Energy Drink, FMF Power was formulated with a proprietary PowerBlend which consists of natural caffeine, panax ginseng, green tea and yerba mate extracts.

FMF Power is available at select stores in the Los Angeles area and will be rapidly rolling out in key markets, nationwide, in the coming weeks. Packaged in proprietary, resealable 16-oz. Alumi-Tek bottles, FMF Power Beverages will come in two flavors, Citrus Lemonade and Fruit Punch. It will be available at convenience, drug and grocery retailers for a suggested retail price of $2.49.

Owner and founder Don Emler started FMF Racing in 1973.