Coca-Cola to launch 'beauty drinks' in France
NEW YORK (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. and Sanofi are partnering to launch a line of "beauty drinks" in France.
The drinks will be positioned under the Oenobiol Beautific brand, but Coca-Cola declined to provide further details. The Coca-Cola business unit in France said in a statement that the drinks will be sold in a "small scale pilot" limited to a number of pharmacies in the country.
Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage maker, declined to comment beyond the statement. But as concerns about sugary drinks grow at home and abroad, the Atlanta-based company has moved to diversify its options. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola in France introduced Sprite with stevia, a natural sweetener that has no calories. The launch followed its introduction of Fanta with stevia in 2010.
Sanofi, a drug maker based in Paris, bought Laboratoire Oenobiol in 2009; the company makes nutritional supplements for skin and hair care.
The partnership to make the drinks was reported earlier Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal.
Citing a presentation of the drinks made to the Sanofi works council, the Journal said the four Oenobiol drinks will be made of mineral water, fruit juice and nutrition additives. The drinks will come with claims that they "help strengthen hair and nails, embellish skin, lose weight and improve vitality," the paper said.
In 2009, more than two dozen states settled a case with Coca-Cola and Nestle over the green tea drink Enviga, and claims that drink would burn more calories than it contained.
Coca-Cola and Nestle agreed to add disclosures to Enviga and any similarly formulated product to disclaim any weight loss benefits and note that weight loss is only possible through diet and exercise.
The news of the beauty drinks in France comes as Coca-Cola struggles to grow its sales volume in Europe, with sales volume up just 1 percent in the third quarter.