Seeing value in the dairy-free market, Coca Cola Company filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in late 2008 for a desert-on-the-go beverage that would utilize rice extracts or derivatives for thickening power and to achieve a texture similar to cream or custard. While they have not publically announced firm plans for the product, their application detailed “a dairy-free, low –caloric, low-fat beverage” that would offer similarities to other meal replacement drinks as reported by BevNet.
The beverage may also include starch, fat (we are guessing the “healthy” kind), fiber, and flavors associated with desserts such as fruit, ice cream, pie, etc.
Top competitor, Pepsi Bottling Group has tapped into the distribution of the fast growing Muscle Milk line of meal replacements, while Coca Cola has not yet entered distribution of a similar product. Perhaps they will blaze new territory by taking the dairy-free route for those who have lactose intolerance, milk allergies, or who choose a milk-free or reduced diet. We hope to hear more on this development from Coca Cola later in 2009.