The beverage industry has realised that responding to demands of a wider range of consumer needs was important, and that this was an opportunity to develop new product fortified with vitamins, minerals, etc.
With the rising number of consumers interested in functional beverages, the need for new and different formulations has also risen, and there are more and more specialized formulations on the market targeted towards all kinds of different lifestyles and consumer demographics.
How did beverage manufacturers react?
First of all; Beverage Manufacturers have started to design beverages for a variety of specific uses like pre-workout, post-workout, low-carb, high protein, etc. Each individual product adds that special ingredient that will make the difference for the consumer’s well-being.
The market for nutritional beverages continues to expand and change as more consumers shift toward better-for-you choices.
To satisfy health-conscious consumers, beverage manufacturers, both “regular” brands as well as natural juice brands, anticipate a rise of drinks specially designated for health conditions like digestion, bones strength, cognitive improvement, etc. Therefore they are providing more and more plant-based products, Natural Energy Drinks, etc.
A second trend is a shift towards private labels. This is not just a low-priced alternative to national brands. Today’s consumers, particularly younger ones, are increasingly selecting beverages so as to address specific needs and wants, and only secondarily based on the brand. Research has shown, for example, that American consumers are guided by attributes like minimal calorie counts, high protein or gluten free.
Another important point, related to the growth of the private label sector is that consumers rely on private-label products to provide more affordable products, particularly with so many households struggling to make ends meet.
This shift of buying behaviors has come quickly. In just the last decade, consumers’ choices have moved away from a focus on form (water or coffee) and brand to an emphasis on the benefits for the buyer. The beverage industry has been changing at a faster pace than many other food industry segments.
A third trend is the rise and general availability of e-Commerce and online shopping; this has aided the growth of the private label sector and more online companies are launching private-label brands.