Consumer awareness for both the environment and their own health and wellness are two important factors dictating the future of the beverage industry in 2019.
Millennials are also set to be a key driver of these trends. According to a survey by UCL, 36% of 16-24-year-olds in full-time education are now abstaining from alcohol.
Beverage companies must now keep up with this cultural shift by innovating new products, not only in the form of non-alcoholic options, but that also align with health, wellness and sustainability trends.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at what the top 5 non-alcoholic beverage trends might be this year.
The beverage industry has recently seen a rise in the number of new products with functional benefits. From stress-relievers to immune system health to beauty, consumers are now seeking more from their drinks than simply hydration.
Collagen, which is important for skin, hair and nail health, has been a popular ingredient for many new ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, such as Protein Water Co and Vital Proteins.
Major beverage brands, such as the Coca-Cola Company, have also jumped on this trend, releasing additions to its VitaminWater range and a new energy drink combining caffeine, guarana extracts and B vitamins.
This year has also seen an abundance of CBD-infused beverages being introduced and their functionality as pain reducers and stress relievers have made them one of the most popular forms of functional beverages. In August, we will be taking a more in-depth look at the trends, acceptance and legislation around the world regarding CBD drinks.
Fermented drinks are probiotic-rich and have been found to contain a profusion of benefits, particularly when it comes to gut health. The sheer growth in popularity of this category over the past year shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
According to BCC Research, the international fermented ingredients market could grow to be worth $28.4 billion in 2020 (an annual growth of 3.4 percent).
Kombucha, a fermented tea filled with live bacteria to aid in healthy digestion, stands out as having a big part in this growth. Research by Adroit Market Research predicts that the kombucha market will grow at 13% CAGR in North America and hit $3.5bn by 2025. Kombucha tends to come in RTD form, such as Revive Kombucha’s new sparkling canned kombucha, which allows kombucha to be more accessible to consumers.
Fermented kefir drinks are rich in probiotics and can be used to treat digestive problems and help boost immunity. From Bio-tiful Dairy releasing new flavours of their kefir smoothies to Captain Kombucha launching a line of sparkling water kefir drinks, new kefir product releases are rife in the market.
There is a growing demand for brands to cater to the increasingly-complex desires of consumers by creating personal experiences for their audiences with ‘drinks on demand’.
Millennials are one of the major drivers of this trend as they lead the path with health, wellness and convenience needs. They want unique experiences that go beyond the product itself, so beverage brands have needed to step up their game with their innovations.
Many companies have responded by offering plant-based beverage options, for instance. Stok Cold Brew’s new plant-based cold brew coffees are an example of a brand reacting to both the vegan and cold brew trends this year.
In April, PepsiCo responded to consumer demand for choice and personalisation by releasing a hydration platform that is completely customisable for users to create their own drink and set hydration goals via a smartphone app.
In 2018, alcohol consumption fell by 1.5% around the world, according to IWSR. Consumers are making an active choice to reduce alcohol consumption, which opens the market for drinks that appeal to both teetotal and consumers reducing their intake of alcohol.
This category has hence evolved beyond soft drinks or orange juice as an alternative for these consumers during social occasions with friends. Earlier this year, Sparklingly Sober launched an alcohol-free fizzy wine alternative and Coca-Cola launched a range of alcohol-free sparkling drinks aimed at adults.
From Peroni to Heineken, 0.0% beers are appearing everywhere, some even infused with cannabis instead, going hand-in-hand with wellness-centric non-alcoholic beverage trends.
Health conscious consumers are one of the main targets within this category and many brands are looking to capitalise on this prominent trend of healthy living.
Sustainability is currently one of the key issues of importance impacting the wider food and beverage industry and beyond, and it is set to stay that way. Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact they have on the environment and are seeking ways to actively make a difference.
In September 2018, various leading bottled water and soft drinks manufacturers announced goals to ensure water and soft drinks packaging is made from 100% recyclable or reusable material by 2030, and an aim to achieve at least 70% recycled material by 2025.
Other leading beverage brands have since set out similar sustainability visions. For instance, PepsiCo announced its plans to use 25% recycled content in its plastic packaging by 2025.
Reducing plastic waste has been a major part of beverage company’s sustainability goals, with Coca-Cola Amatil recently producing carbonated soft drink bottles made from 100% recycled plastic.
With consumers growing cautious about the number of plastic bottles they are buying, the market for canned beverages has increased and it has been estimated that the beverage cans market will grow at a CAGR of 3.19% from 2018-2022.
Many non-alcoholic beverages hitting the shelves in the past year have been tailored for consumers aligning with the wider key trends of health, wellness and sustainability.
If you think you have an award-worthy beverage innovation, be sure to enter the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2019.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019