The beverage industry's response to changing needs

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The beverage industry's response to changing needs

Once upon a time life was simpler, and the Beverage Industry had to produce drinks for two basic purposes, namely to hydrate people and quench their thirst. These traits serve no longer the consumers’ needs. They demand more and more fortifying beverages.

What exactly is a fortifying beverage?
Food and beverage fortification dates back to the early 1930s when dairy producers began to add vitamin D to milk in order to combat disease (specifically rickets, a bone disorder due to a deficiency in vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate).
Ever since, the beverage industry has been fortifying foods and beverages with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 and fiber, to name a few, in order to prevent nutrient deficiency.

What do the current trends involve?
As the trends towards health and wellness and proactively healthy lifestyle continue to develop, consumers are actively looking for products that are more than just healthy; they are looking for beverages that will support their personal nutrition goals, and for products offering specific nutritional benefits. This trend has grown enormously, as can be seen in a survey which found that 96 percent of respondents seek health benefits from their food and beverages.

Who are the consumers?
The beverage industry needs to consider three main consumer segments:
- mainstream beverage seekers - self evident;
- fortified beverage seekers - persons looking for some added vitamins to ‘enhance’ their health, either for general nutrition or for performance in work or in sport;
- Natural Energy Drinks seekers - people who are looking for simple, natural and clean food and beverages.

The beverage industry has identified, among natural energy drinks seekers, two important distinct segments of health-conscious consumers: millennials and baby boomers.
-- Millennials - they are more socially and health-conscious. They are looking for healthy products, organic, natural energy drinks with innovative flavors, drinkable soups, etc.
-- Baby boomers also want a healthy lifestyle, but they are interested in drinks fortified with minerals and vitamins for better health, like stronger bones, better digestion or cardiovascular problems prevention. They are more traditional and are looking for premium and high-quality Beverage Ingredients.