Healthy Innovation

Carb-conscious smoothie fans, you’re welcome.

Odwalla –a pioneering brand in the premium bottled smoothie category since 1980 –continues to push the innovation envelope in 2019 with the launch of Odwalla Zero Sugar. One of the first zero-sugar smoothies to hit the market, the new offering is packed with both flavor and function –perfect for fans looking for a solid source of on-the-go protein and keto-friendly nutrition.

Available nationwide in three indulgent flavors –Dark Choco-Berry, Strawberries & Cream and Vanilla Matcha –Odwalla Zero Sugar is vegan, kosher and gluten free, with 5 grams of plant protein, 3 grams of net carbs and 110 calories or less per bottle.

“Health-conscious Americans, especially those following low-carb diets like keto and paleo, are increasingly looking for foods and beverages with less sugar and with functional benefits –but without sacrificing flavor,” said Lisa Lee, senior brand manager, Odwalla. “Odwalla Zero Sugar was created to tap into this emerging and unmet need in the smoothie category.”

Wide Appeal to Multiple Markets

Odwalla challenged the Minute Maid R&D team to create a zero-sugar smoothie using on-trend ingredients like MCT oil and coconut cream –two low-carb sources of energy and protein. And while Odwalla Zero Sugar is sure to appeal to keto followers, its taste and benefits give it mainstream appeal.

“It’s an approachable, great-tasting innovation that’s different than anything on the market,” said Laura Gorham, brand manager, Odwalla. “We worked hard to artfully craft a balanced formula that offers benefits people want, like plant protein, along with great taste. And we’re not only launching a new beverage... by incorporating new ingredients, we’re creating new capability and expertise so we can continue to innovate and deliver on our Total Beverage Company vision.”

The brand worked with Coca-Cola North America’s new Transformative Innovation Team to bring the Odwalla Zero Sugar concept to life. Based on results from a three-month pilot with two regional retailers, the formula was tweaked slightly for the national rollout. The iterative process took the project from concept to launch in only six months.

“Being able to move quickly is especially important in the smoothie category. Beverage trends come up quickly in this space, and so brands like Odwalla have to keep up. This project is a great example of how we continue to pursue creative, value-added offerings to meet unmet needs,” Gorham said, calling the Transformational Innovation Group “a true asset we were able to take advantage of.”

A History of Purposeful Innovation

Odwalla’s heritage of purposeful innovation gives the brand the license and liberty to continue breaking new ground, Lee added.

“We’re in a really unique position,” she said. “We can leverage the world-class R&D capabilities of a global company like Coca-Cola to deliver best-in-class innovation, but we’re also a small, nimble, entrepreneurial brand committed to listening to our consumers and retail partners and delivering products quickly and efficiently.”

A full marketing campaign will support the launch of Odwalla Zero Sugar, with outdoor ads, digital creative, streaming radio and in-store sampling activations spreading the word in key markets. The #ZeroSugarShack pop-up experience will premiere today in Los Angeles, inviting consumers to try the new flavors and experience Odwalla in an exciting, immersive way with activities and games, Instagram-worthy photo ops and more.

Odwalla offers a full line of beverages for “anyone who wants to squeeze more out of life” –including 100% juice smoothies, 100% Orange Juice, flavorful juice blends, protein shakes and plant-based juice shots. Signature Odwalla flavors include Original Superfood, Strawberry C Monster®, Mango Tango®, Strawberry Banana, Blueberry Monster, Citrus C Monster®, Chocolate Protein, Vanilla Protein, Blueberry Protein and Strawberry Protein.

Earlier this year, the brand introduced Odwalla Smoobucha, a first-of-its-kind drink blending the delicious taste of smoothies with pasteurized kombucha, and plant-based juice shots. Odwalla will follow up its most breakthrough year yet in 2020 with by reducing the sugar content of its protein-based drinks by 25% and continuing to explore new product innovations. The brand also will unveil a new visual identity system (VIS) to bring the brand’s fun, funky heritage to life on packaging, in store and across all communications.

“We believe our new VIS will help us stand out on the shelf, where most purchase decisions are made in the bottled smoothie category,” Gorham said.