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Check Out Line: Coke’s secret lab looking for newest drinks

July 26, 2010

cokeCheck out Coke’s scientists concocting the beverage maker’s next blockbuster.

With carbonated drinks sales fizzling, companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have for years been exerting great efforts to find the next home run drink.  Bottled waters, energy drinks and sports drinks are now commonplace, with new variations popping up that claim to boost relaxation, health, beauty, anti-aging, muscle repair, mood and immunity.

At its Atlanta headquarters, Coke has a team of scientists feverishly working away like the Muppet Show’s  Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, toying with new beverage formulations. And they have to be creative. Look how weird the world of drinks has gotten: some of the unusual products out on the market now include chunky aloe vera drinks and spicy drinks like those made by Prometheus Springs, with flavors like Lychee Wasabi and Pomegranate Black Pepper.

Coke is not taking any chances. It’s Venturing and Emerging Brands unit functions as a sort of in-house VC firm and invests in independent brands like Honest Tea and Zico coconut water, and developing its own drinks, like a new carbonated dairy drink called Vio.

Also in the basket:
- Alberto Culver posts stronger-than-expected profit
- Lorillard beats expectations
- Jones Apparel signs license deal with Inter Parfums

(Reuters photo)

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