12 March 2018
by the Tetra Pak Editorial Team
We know consumers are driven now more than ever to food and beverage choices they perceive to have added health benefits and lower sugar. According to a Mintel survey, 50% of consumers said they were buying more healthy foods than they did a year ago, with even stronger prioritization from consumers age 18 to 34. Beverage brands now have key information in hand about these changing consumer preferences, so they can innovate and reformulate to position their products for future success. 
Consumers are eager to embrace the healthier beverage trend, but they don’t want to sacrifice quality or taste. Brands are starting to turn to to exotic flavors to transport beverages from the ordinary to extraordinary and deliver consumers an experience along with their hydration.
Brands are also beginning to reformulate their beverages to have less sugar and more functional benefits, thanks to added ingredients that give these drinks a boost of both nutrition and flavor. This ensures consumers still have plenty of options, so they don’t feel deprived while making better-for-you beverage choices.

Start thinking beyond your basic fruit juice to get an idea of where this trend is going – everything from aloe vera to watermelon can add flavorful variety (in addition to functional benefits and natural alternatives to added-sugar) to innovative new beverage formulas.
Once the domain of only fruits, the juice aisle is now making way for vegetables, too, giving beverages a kick of beneficial nutrients and fiber. According to Mintel, U.S. consumers are open to the idea of seeing functional benefits with their beverages. When asked about attributes they would find appealing in juice, 46% said added health benefits, while energy boosting (30%), probiotic (24%) and anti-inflammatory (21%) attributes were also popular.

Better-for-you beverages need not been seen as plain or boring options. There are many ways to make sure consumers’ taste buds are still enticed and excited to try new flavor varieties. Flavors from across the globe, including mango, coconut and watermelon provide that taste-bud-triggering experience consumers want while still delivering on the promise of added functional benefits and less sugar content.
Many beverages are blending these exotic flavors with more familiar ones, such as pairing kiwi with strawberry, for unique combinations.
Even water is making a splash into exotic flavor territory. Plant waters such as maple, aloe vera, birch and cactus waters are becoming more and more common. These ingredients claim to offer functional and nutritional benefits, in addition to hydration.
According to Mintel, one in 10 juice introductions in Europe in 2017 contained one of these new “waters” as ingredients, either pure or mixed with fruit juices.
Portion control is also playing a role in how consumers look at products. By packaging beverages in individual portion packages, consumers are able to easily drink a single serving. Such packaging also makes it easy to take a favorite healthy beverage on the go. 
With all these new nutritional benefits being added to beverages, it’s important to select a package to protect that nutritional value and flavor. In the next installment in this series, we’ll explore a variety of factors to consider when choosing the perfect package.
The product: Pura Frutta Jugo de Manzana Roja
Why it’s innovative: This 100% juice claims to support memory function with vitamins A and B, phosphorous and antioxidants. It’s also free from added chemicals, added sugar and preservatives.
United States
The product: Green-Go Cactus Water
Why it’s innovative: This hydrating, refreshing beverage is made from the nopal cactus paddle, with no sugar and an added hint of lemon to create a tasty, calorie-free beverage.
United Kingdom
The product: What A Melon
Why it’s innovative: The team behind What A Melon wanted to create a healthy beverage that didn’t compromise hydration, taste or other functional benefits. They discovered that watermelon juice is packed with potassium, lycopene and the amino acid citruline. What A Melon aids in muscle recovery and endurance, making it perfect to consume post-workout or as a summer refreshment.
The product: Headstart Focus Plus Citrus & Kiwi
Why it’s innovative: With 23% fruit content, this beverage offers functional benefits that contribute to normal psychological function and fatigue reduction without caffeine. It’s enriched with calcium and vitamins B6 and B3.
The product: Don Simon Premium Mixed Fruits and Vegetable Juice
Why it’s innovative: This juice takes everyday fruit flavors – apple, orange and grape – and blends them with carrot juice to create a product that’s 100% juice and rich in vitamin C.

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