just-drinks authors and correspondents
Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director at Canadean
Columns by Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director at Canadean
Every month, Tom Vierhile from Canadean considers the latest NPD in drinks.
Articles by Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director at Canadean
It's good to be in the bottled water business. According to Canadean, packaged water sales are expected to drive almost all of the net growth in beverage consumption over the next five years in the US, as water continues to gain at the expense of carbonated soft drinks. Premium water could lead the next wave of growth thanks to a wave of recent new product innovation.
Prior to 2014, few would have thought that drinking bone broth – one of the oldest mainstays of the culinary world – would become a thing. Drinking something viewed as a soup or meal ingredient was originally dismissed as a faddish obsession of the Paleo crowd. But, instead of flaming out, bone broth seems to have caught fire, as it moves from food service oddity to a potential player in functional beverages.
Move over iced coffee; cold brew coffee has your number. The average coffee drinker may not know the difference between iced coffee and cold brew coffee, but odds are that they will soon, as cold brew coffee takes shape as the beverage industry's next potential superstar. Few beverage concepts have gone from hipster favourite to mainstream must-have in as little time.
Milk alternatives may lack the advertising heft of CSDs, the share-of-stomach of bottled water, the sophistication of coffee or the mind-numbing innovation of craft beer. But, what they do possess is the fastest per-capita consumption growth of any non-alcoholic beverage category in the US, an achievement many product categories would be envious about.
It is well known that carbonated soft drinks have a sugar - and obesity - problem that has led to steady sales erosion over the past decade. Less well known is that juice is suffering as much, if not more, from many of the same issues.
From a sales and growth perspective, there’s a lot to like about bottled water. With US per-capita consumption up just over 6% in 2014, according to Canadean, bottled water is helping beverage makers forget about steadily-shrinking sales of carbonated soft drinks. But, bottled water has issues of its own, primarily related to single-use plastic packaging, which is increasingly seen as wasteful and possibly even harmful to health.
Wheatgrass has been a staple of the juicing community for nearly as long as there have been juicing machines. But, juicing can be messy, time-consuming, expensive and inconvenient. Consumers averse to making their own wheatgrass juice, shots or smoothies now have a growing array of packaged wheatgrass drinks to choose from as innovation in ready-to-drink wheatgrass takes off.
Soft drink sales may be slipping, but it seems that consumers have never really lost their taste for soft drink flavours. The surprising success of hard root beer is opening up a new vein of soft drink-inspired hard alcoholic beverage innovation that could be the biggest new opportunity in alcoholic drinks for quite some time.
To the uninitiated, kombucha is a strange fermented tea beverage with a bracing vinegar taste that has always resided outside of the mainstream.
Don’t look now, but one of the most memorable and controversial trends in soft drinks from the 1980s and 1990s – clear soft drinks – is staging a comeback. And, some of the iconic clear soft drinks of the period, including Original New York Seltzer, Clearly Canadian and maybe even Crystal Pepsi are leading the charge.
- Brown-Forman's march on premium whisk(e)y -Comment
- SABMiller in Cent'l & E Europe - What is for sale?
- Where does AB InBev see the future of beer?
- A-B InBev and its SABMiller divestments - Focus
- Premiumisation comes to bottled water - NPD
- Brown-Forman appoints new GTR marketing head
- Brown-Forman to buy BenRiach Distillery Co
- Private equity poised for SABMiller Europe buy?
- AB InBev to sell SABMiller Cent'l, E Europe assets
- Bacardi rolls out new global Martini ad - video
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Consumer and Market Insights: Wine Market in China
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- What Next for Beer and Brewers Following the MegaBrew Deal?
- Carbonates in India