Innovation in Functional Beverages
In its 2015 beverage landscape study, Mintel found consumers are pushing away carbonated soda, sugary juices and dairy milk in favor of healthier-for-you options. As such, functional beverages continue to win retail shelf space, particularly brands that emphasize convenience, creativity, taste and image while maintaining their "healthy" status. Popular categories include sports and performance beverages, energy drinks, enhanced water or fruit drinks, soy options and ready-to-drink (RTD) teas.Besides exploring packaging, distribution, product development considerations and trends, this issue contains insight from long-time beverage industry veterans Jim Tonkin and Debbie Wildrick. Takeaways include: • Brands are leveraging "drinkable breakfast" and "liquid snack" concepts for active consumers. • Functional brands must account for product packaging and merchandising considerations at retail. • 2016 regulatory changes in serving size could affect a beverages range of permissible label claims.