Coke has just bought a minority stake in Innocent Smoothies. Before that it was Glaceau Mineral water in 2007. Further, the $2bn proposed acquisition of China’s biggest juice maker Huiyuan will also most likely come through. While Pepsi was off the blocks earlier with Tropicana and Gatorade, Coke’s non carbonated beverage portfolio is clearly looking more sparkling now.
The beverage giants are nicely rounding off their portfolios with the “healthier” offers. I wonder why we haven’t seen similar activity in the cleaning products category. We have 2 “green” brands in the category which have been growing their business, profile and footprint over the last 3-4 years : ECOVER and METHOD. ECOVER is almost 30 years old, is Belgium based, available in 26 countries, growing at 20%+ and will do $100mn+ revenue in 2008. METHOD is only available in US, UK, Canada and Australia. It has private equity backing.
Both brands offer a full range of cleaning products- laundry, household, dish, personal wash- plus air care products. Both are premium priced and my guess is margins are also higher vs the leading brands. Either of these will be a great buy for P&G, Unilever or Reckitt. The capital infusion and distribution muscle will help immensely. Volume and margins will almost definitely be net incremental plus retailers will love the premium price ( they have already seen the magic with Organic food ranges) and extra margins.
This is a Win-Win for everyone : company, retailers, consumers and the environment. I am sure the investment bankers have been exploring. Don’t be surprised if you hear of it sometime in the near future.