Coca-Cola Powers Up With Protein Drink Stake

by Christopher Freeburn | December 5, 2012 8:57 am

Coke Coca Cola[1]Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO[2]) said on Tuesday that it will partner with Select Milk Producers, a dairy farm cooperative, to acquire a stake[3] in Fair Oaks Farms Brands, which makes Core Power protein milkshakes.

The move strengthens Coca-Cola’s presence in the milk-based drink market. The company began distributing Core Power drinks two months ago in 12 markets, the Associated Press noted.

Dairy-based drinks have become an area of intense competition between Coca-Cola and traditional soft-drink rival PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP[4]) as the companies look to alternative, healthier beverage products in the face of declining soda consumption in the U.S.

Coca-Cola did not reveal the size of its stake in Fair Oaks Farms Brands.

In the past several years, Coca-Cola has moved to expand its line of drink products, adding Minute Maid juice, Dasani water and Powerade sports recovery beverages. In the third quarter, Coca-Cola’s North American soft drink sales volume was flat compared to last year, while overall beverage sales in the region [5]rose 2%, driven by non-soda drinks.

Shares of Coca-Cola rose fractionally in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

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