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

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.

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'.

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