16 November 2017
by Tetra Pak Editorial Team
The beverage market continues to be impacted by trends toward products that meet consumers’ demands for health and wellness. According to research by Mintel, consumers are gravitating toward functional formulations that tout a variety of benefits, including overall health, energy boosting, probiotics, and even anti-inflammatory and mood boosting qualities.

The demand for drinks with hydrating properties is arguably a consequence of the “sugar debate,” with consumers looking for low sugar, low calorie beverages that still help them live a healthy and active lifestyle.

While functional food and drinks have represented a trend for some time, we are now seeing an uptick in consumers’ desire for going back to the intrinsic good properties of fruits, even uniting them with the vitamins and minerals in vegetables and plants in beverages that blend them together.

Heavily prepared food and drink seem to have lost their appeal, with natural, premium products seeing considerable growth in all markets, particularly the U.S. This trend started a few years ago with the rise of coconut water and continues to expand as other plant-based waters, such as maple and birch, gain traction in the marketplace.

The clean label trend caters to widespread consumer demand for increased transparency on a range of interests, from sustainability of the product and packaging, to ethical sourcing, to the naturalness of ingredients.

Brands are responding to the demand for back-to-basics products with natural goodness, including 100 percent juice manufacturers such as Innocent in the U.K. With consumers and parents increasingly weary of juice products that might have added or artificial sugars, Innocent has responded by creating 100 percent pure fruit smoothies specifically for young adults and kids, using clean labeling to communicate clearly.

There is great potential in the 100 percent juice category. Research shows that consumers are willing to spend more on natural, less processed juice – particularly if it meets their health and wellness needs. In fact, the premium juice category shows the strongest growth in the 2016 Tetra Pak Juice Index that focused on trends and growth opportunities in the beverage category.

Smart beverage manufacturers can take advantage of consumer trends toward clean labels, minimal processing impact and wholesome ingredients by offering new products that are free from added sugar, preservatives and artificial ingredients. With this trend expected to continue, it is crucial for brands to tap into the growing desire for healthy, nutritious beverages that support the active lifestyle of today’s conscientious consumer.

To learn more about processing of clean label products please click here.

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