Non-Alcoholic Beverages Grow Even More Popular

Millennials are driving the trend toward alcohol-free alternative drinks.

July 09, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The health of the environment and personal health and wellness are two important factors for consumers buying beverages this year, reports Foodbev.com.

Millennials will be a key driver of these trends, with 36% of 16-24 year-olds in full-time education now abstaining from alcohol, according to a UCL survey of students. Beverage companies must keep up with this cultural shift by innovating new non-alcoholic products that also align with health, wellness and sustainability trends. Here are five non-alcoholic beverage trends for 2019.

Functionality

From stress-relievers to immune system health to beauty, consumers are now seeking new products with functional benefits. Collagen, which is important for healthy skin, hair and nails, has been a popular ingredient for many new ready-to-drink beverages, such as Protein Water Co and Vital Proteins. Even Coca-Cola has jumped on this trend, releasing new VitaminWater offerings and a new energy drink combining caffeine, guarana extracts and B vitamins. Plus, many CBD-infused beverages have been introduced with claims of reducing pain and relieving stress.

Fermented drinks

Fermented drinks are probiotic-rich and have been found to contain a profusion of benefits, particularly when it comes to gut health. According to BCC Research, the international fermented ingredients market could grow to $28.4 billion in 2020 (an annual growth of 3.4%). Kombucha, a fermented tea filled with live bacteria to aid in digestion, is playing a big part in this growth. Research by Adroit Market Research predicts that the kombucha market will grow at 13% CAGR in North America and hit $3.5 billion by 2025.

Personalization

There is a growing demand for brands to cater to consumers’ desires for a personal experience. Millennials are driving this trend as they lead the path with health, wellness and convenience needs. They want unique experiences that go beyond the product itself, so beverage brands must step up their game with innovations. Many companies have responded by offering plant-based beverage options. In April, Pepsi responded to consumer demand for choice and personalization by releasing a hydration platform that users can customize to create their own drink and set hydration goals via a smartphone app. 

Alcohol-free alternatives

In 2018, alcohol consumption fell by 1.5% around the world, according to IWSR. Consumers are making an active choice to drink less alcohol, which opens the market for beverages that appeal to both non-drinkers and consumers reducing their alcohol intake. This category has evolved beyond soft drinks or orange juice as an alternative for these consumers during social occasions. Earlier this year, Sparklingly Sober launched an alcohol-free fizzy wine alternative, and Coca-Cola rolled out a range of alcohol-free sparkling drinks aimed at adults. From Peroni to Heineken, 0.0% beers are appearing everywhere, including some infused with cannabis.

Sustainability

Sustainability is an issue impacting the food and beverage industry and beyond. Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact they have on their environment and want to actively make a difference. In September 2018, various leading bottled water and soft drink manufacturers announced goals to ensure water and soft drinks packaging is made from 100% recyclable or reusable material by 2030. Other beverage brands have since established similar sustainability targets. For instance, PepsiCo announced its plans to use 25% recycled content in its plastic packaging by 2025. Amid consumers’ growing concern about the number of plastic bottles they buy, the market for canned beverages has increased. It is estimated that the canned beverage market will grow at a CAGR of 3.19% from 2018-2022.

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