US – Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has expanded its investment in the nonalcoholic beer and cocktail category with a US$50 million minority stake in nonalcoholic craft beer maker, Athletic Brewing.

With this new stake acquisition, Keurig Dr Pepper is betting big on the future of the fast-growing nonalcoholic category, forecasted by GlobalNewsWire to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% from 2022 to 2030, as more consumers look to curtail their alcohol consumption and caloric intake.

In recent years, it has invested in A Shoc, an energy drink it distributes, and an entity affiliated with Keurig Dr Pepper purchased an equity stake in Vita Coco stock as part of its IPO. It also acquired Bai Brands for US$1.7 billion in 2016 and the premium water brand Core Nutrition for US$525 million in 2018.

In June 2022, KDP signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of the non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink cocktail brand, Atypique, from Station Agro-Biotech.

Keurig Dr Pepper stated that the acquisition will complement KDP’s existing ready-to-drink alcohol portfolio and non-alcoholic business in Canada.

In Canada, non-alcoholic cocktails grew more than 30 percent in retail dollar sales during the last year, and Atypique now has a 42 percent market share of that segment, where it is distributed, the company added.

Meanwhile, the craft segment of the US, where Athletic Brewing holds a 55% market share, far outpaced total category growth of almost 20% in retail dollars during the past year, according to NielsenIQ data cited by the company.

“Athletic Brewing is a winning brand in a rapidly growing beverage segment. Our investment reflects our interest and ability to move into exciting white spaces, including in blurring the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories,” said Bob Gamgort, Keurig Dr Pepper’s executive chairman, in a statement.

Keurig Dr Pepper CEO resigns over ‘violations’ to the company’s code of conduct

At the same time, the CEO of the multinational producer, and distributor of hot and cold beverages, has resigned.

The company in a statement said Ozan Dokmecioglu, who took over the CEO role in late July, is resigning “due to violations of the company’s code of conduct.”

The beverage giant did not specify the violation, and added that his departure was “unrelated to strategy, operations or financial reporting.”

Bob Gamgort, the company’s current executive chairman and former CEO, was reappointed to his former job. He also will continue as chairman.

“Keurig Dr Pepper’s Code of Conduct is built on a foundation of ethics, integrity, and personal responsibility. Every employee, without exception, is accountable for knowing and following the Code,” said Paul S. Michaels, lead director of Keurig Dr Pepper’s board.

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