just-drinks authors and correspondents

Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director at GlobalData

Columns by Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director at GlobalData

New Product Development in the Global Drinks IndustryNew Product Development in the Global Drinks Industry

Every month, Tom Vierhile from consumer intelligence provider GlobalData considers the latest NPD activity in the drinks industry.

Articles by Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director at GlobalData

Gose beer is popular during the summer monthsGose beer is back - NPD trends 31 July 2017

Thanks to the wild popularity of craft beer, the beer market has been inundated with new products in recent years. But calling a product "new" may be a matter of perspective, as one of today's hotter flavour trends in beer is also one of the oldest beer styles in existence.

The juice industry needs to be aware of the risk of leadWhy the juice category must get to grips with its lead problem - Focus 23 June 2017

Lead is an insidious poison; there is no such thing as a 'safe' level of lead in the blood, and even small amounts can lower IQ and cause behavioural problems. These realities are why lead was removed from gasoline and paint decades ago. But, what about fruit juice? Disturbing new research from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in the US reveals that lead is much more common in foods like fruit juice than consumers may realise. The research gives fruit juice producers something to think about.

Cascara - a coffee by-product turning soft drinks heads - NPD Focus 30 May 2017

Ask the average consumer what 'cascara' is and you may not get much of a response. Although it is well-known in coffee-growing countries in Central and South America, the rest of the world is less aware of cascara. That could end this summer as cascara – a drink made from the pulp of the coffee cherry – is beginning to pop up in packaged beverages, thanks to a wave of new product innovations from around the globe.

Ashwagandha - The next functional drinks trend? - NPD Focus 25 April 2017

It is ironic that one of the newest beverage ingredient trends is linked to one of the oldest ingredients in traditional south Asian medicine. Ashwagandha has been a prized ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years, but it is only now making inroads into packaged beverages. And, if current innovation trends are any indication, ashwagandha could be a rising star in the functional drinks sector.

PepsiCo's Pepsi Max Ginger launched in the UK last monthDrinks companies warm up to ginger, again - NPD round-up 3 April 2017

One of the older flavours in the soft drinks market has become one of the category's hottest new trends. Ginger is spicing things up with a wave of new product innovation sweeping through non-alcoholic beverages, from carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks to plant waters, healthful shots, and beyond.

Coca-Cola Japan believes its Coca-Cola Plus product will appeal to older consumersWill fat-blocking products save the day for carbonated soft drinks? - NPD insight 27 February 2017

The future of carbonated soft drink innovation may be closer than we think. The Japanese debut next month of Coca-Cola Plus – a fibre-enriched, fat-blocking, calorie-free soft drink – could be a sign of a shifting mindset among CSD companies away from removing the 'bad stuff' to adding more of the 'good stuff'.

Drinking vinegar's role in the war against sugar - NPD round-up 31 January 2017

Humans have been drinking vinegar for centuries as the practice dates as far back as 400 B.C. when apple cider vinegar began to be used as a home health remedy.  The recent resurgence of the use of apple cider vinegar as a health elixir has breathed new life into the practice and has helped position drinking vinegar as a niche to keep an eye on.  While it is still early, drinking vinegar is blossoming with new product launches from many influential functional drink companies.

Ignore marijuana at your peril, Tom Vierhile warns the alcohol industry Cannabis – A clear and present danger to alcohol - Focus 29 November 2016

Election day 2016 in the US provided some surprises, but the country's growing embrace of cannabis was not one of them. Voters in four states – California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada – approved legislation sanctioning the recreational use of marijuana, effectively doubling the number of states that allow the practice. This legislative action suggests that the alcohol beverage industry will likely face increased competition from legalised marijuana somewhat sooner than it had expected.

Consumers turning on to turmeric - NPD round-up 1 November 2016

If turmeric was a stock, Wall Street would be issuing a "buy" recommendation to investors. These are exciting days for a 'super root' that has been associated with Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, yet is emerging today as a hot new functional drink ingredient.

Hard seltzer drives a new wave of innovation in flavoured alcoholic beverages - NPD round-up 30 September 2016

In the US, carbonated water has become a non-alcoholic beverage star, as consumers choose sparkling waters and seltzers instead of carbonated soft drinks to cut calorie and sugar consumption. The same trend is now crossing over into flavoured alcoholic beverages (FABs), as so-called 'hard seltzers' have emerged as a promising new niche.

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