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

Kombucha has started to appear on the radars of companies like Molson CoorsWhy is kombucha gaining traction with big drinks companies? - NPD trends 20 June 2018

These are changing times for kombucha. Molson Coors' acquisition of California-based Clearly Kombucha earlier this month, following PepsiCo's 2016 purchase of kombucha and vinegar tonics producer KeVita and Suja's (partly owned by Coca-Cola) recent kombucha extension show that the segment is in the process of graduating from niche status to a broader market sufficient in size and scope to interest the beverage giants. This being the case, the odds on 2018 marking a breakout year for kombucha are shortening.


Suntory launched Pepsi J-Cola Midnight in Japan in AprilHow targeting night-time consumption will breathe life into CSDs - NPD trends 18 May 2018

Soft drink innovation in Japan is often on a different level to that in other world markets, with new offerings coming and going at a furious pace. This makes it difficult to judge whether or not a specific launch is evidence of something big or just a fling with the latest flavour fad. Time will tell, but Suntory's launch of Pepsi J-Cola Midnight in Japan last month could be evidence that the global soft drinks group has bigger plans in store for night-time beverages.


As the legalisation of cannabis sweeps across the US, enhanced water producers are getting very excitedHow cannabis has blown the doors off the enhanced water segment - NPD trends 19 April 2018

Few ingredients in the natural and organic industry have generated as much buzz as CBD (cannabidiol). Naturally occurring in cannabis plants and renowned for its exhaustive list of health properties, this controversial chemical compound is starting to inspire a wave of innovation in enhanced waters.


Michelob Ultra Pure Gold is the latest attempt by Anheuser-Busch InBev to capitalise on the healthful consumption trendHow ultra-light beer is re-defining the light beer concept - NPD trends 21 March 2018

It is not your imagination: Light beer is getting lighter. Although the top light brands, such as Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite, have seen their sales erode for nearly a decade in the US, the success of Anheuser-Busch InBev's Michelob Ultra variant has given the industry hope. Subsequently, a new wave of innovators seeking to establish a new ultra-light premium beer niche has been born.


Soft drinks is one of the top items purchased by SNAP households in the USHow helping poorer US consumers is set to hammer the soft drinks industry - Consumer Trends 19 February 2018

Carbonated soft drinks companies are used to navigating choppy waters, especially in the US where sales have been declining since 2003, according to GlobalData. However, a proposed revamp of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides foods and beverages to poor Americans, could end up delivering a new blow to soft drinks that the industry did not anticipate.


Has the war on plastic finally taken hold with consumers?Why drinks companies must attack plastics before consumers attack them - NPD trends 30 January 2018

It was fun while it lasted. The drinks industry's love affair with plastic has been a boon to the industry for decades, but solid waste and pollution issues are catching up with plastic.


Coco Fuzion 100 is an example of how healthier drinks are injecting bubbles into their brand extensionsWill blending bubbles with functionality kill CSDs? - NPD trends 29 November 2017

There's a popular saying that goes "when it rains, it pours". Carbonated soft drink marketers know the feeling, as the segment's consumption declines seem to be never-ending. In the US market alone, per-capita consumption of CSDs is down by roughly one-third since 1999, according to GlobalData. A new burst of innovation in healthy carbonated drinks could accelerate those declines.


Kick-starting FABs with higher abv's - NPD trends 6 November 2017

Tired of losing sales to higher alcohol categories like spirits and wine, brewers of beer and flavoured alcoholic beverages (FABs) seem to have decided that if you cannot beat them, join them. A new generation of high-abv products offers consumers twice the alcohol content or more of 'regular' beer or FABs and looks likely to be the alcohol trend to watch in 2018.


Honey is no longer limited to just hot drinks - say hello to honey waterIs honey water the silver bullet for full-sugared soft drinks? - NPD trends 29 September 2017

The success of coconut water has spawned a cottage industry in healthy hydrators vying to be the next big thing in soft drinks. Honey water seems an unlikely challenger given concern over sugar, but product launch activity says otherwise. Known as one of the world's oldest beverages, honey water is suddenly trending as a healthy hydrator, immune booster, sustainable energy source and 'touch of sweetness' drink with the natural goodness of honey.


PepsiCo unveiled its BBLz soft drinks concept in JulyHow playing the indulgence card could return CSDs to success - NPD trends 1 September 2017

Carbonated soft drink producers seem to be fighting a losing battle when it comes to sugar. Reformulating drinks with no- or low-calorie sweeteners has not worked out as planned. Smaller-size packages are boosting margins, but at the expense of volume. Apologising for sugar is not working; maybe, going in the opposite direction by celebrating sugar (and indulgence) could produce a different result.




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