In this issue, three articles from market research firms capture the varying nuances of the crowded and competitive beverage marketplace. Overall, according to Innova Market Insights, health and nutrition continue to drive innovation. “Companies are continuing to position all types of soft drinks products on various health platforms, from the passive (e.g., sugar-free, low-calorie, natural, etc.), to the active (e.g., vitamin- and mineral-fortified, added-calcium and functional). Companies are also featuring specific health benefits like immune, heart, oral, etc.”
In the energy and sports drinks market, Packaged Pacts indicated that beverages, given their “tweakable” formulations, are adaptive to nutritional and consumer trends. Ultimately, “Underlying the opportunities for functional foods and beverages are time-strapped and stressed Americans, more health-engaged consumers, the demise of three square meals and regular meal times, and obesity. Moreover, stress often brings out unhealthy eating behaviors as a coping mechanism, and also results in fatigue. At the same time, RTD tea and coffee beverages have become popular alternatives to carbonated soft drinks and other RTD options, and represent formidable competition for energy drinks in particular.”
According to Euromonitor, manufacturers are looking for new blends and new technology, such as HPP juice, to attract and retain consumers. “Increasingly, vegetables are blended with fruit juice to reduce the overall sugar content in a brand as the concept of ‘drinkable salad’ is spreading in the U.S. and the U.K. The emergence of protein and organic beverages coupled with marketing tactics such as clean labels have also helped generate a competitive landscape.”
That magic formula of great taste, quality/functional nutrition, convenience for active consumers, and affordability can really put a brand over the top. We hope the insight in this issue can help.