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The 4 Market Trends and Relevant Beverage Product Launches of the Year

To ensure companies stay at the top of their games, trade marketing strategies need to adjust to an ever-shifting market.

A market, the beverage one, where technology is changing consumers’ preferences like never before. Here are some of the main trends for the beverage industry and how companies are responding to those, releasing new products that will – hopefully – make their customers happy and find demand in the on-trade channels.

Ready-to-Drink Products

First, we have the ready-to-drink packaged beverage – RTD market. It is a crucial one for trade marketeers and it is expected to pass $ 30 billion by 2024. During this year, its coffee section has been on fire – especially in the US.

It makes sense to enter this market for companies that want to exploit the coffee hype without actually selling coffee. Take The Coca Cola Company, for example: after having acquired Costa Coffee, they launched their first chilled canned coffee, just before last summer.

Another interesting launch in the RTD world, dated November the 1st, is Nestle’s Garden of Life protein mixes. Nestlé acquired Garden of Life in 2017 and with this product – which is also following the health trend – marks the entrance of Nestlé in the US RTD market.

Health and Wellness, the Functional Beverage Market

Drinking healthy is more and more important for consumers. We are talking about a market that is experiencing a YoY CAGR of 7.8%, amounting to a total of $ 208.13 billion worth foreseen for 2024.

Naturally, big market players are jumping on the bandwagon. One relevant example is Odwalla – now owned by The Coca Cola Company – zero sugar smoothies, launched this year.

Odwalla’s smoothies are relevant because they are one of the first sugar-free products of their kind. According to Odwalla’s Senior Brand Manager Lisa Lee, they were created to respond to an unmet consumers’ need in the smoothie category.

It’s interesting to see a drive for innovation was at the core of this product launch. Within a highly competitive market like the beverage one, social listening and the use of other technologies that can help companies spot the next big trends and act before the competitors is becoming more and more important.

Alcohol-Free Drinks

Low or no-alcohol drinks are on the rise, as more and more people decide they don’t want to give up on their favorite cocktail or beer even if they have to drive.

Therefore, a number of beverage companies are launching new products within this segment. For example, The Original Free Drinks Company has launched a line of alcohol-free RTD cocktails, called Highball, that covers the most known mixes such as Mojito, Spritz and the like.

Highball cocktails are claimed to have come first in the UK. Interestingly, they are listed on the online retailer Dry Drinker and The Original Free Drinks Company is already planning to distribute them within on and off-trade channels in the UK and beyond.

On the beer side, things are even bigger. Last year, Molson Coors launched its non-alcoholic Coors Edge in Canada with great results, and it is now going to market in the whole US with it.

The alcohol-free beer market has great potential. It is estimated to pass to $ 25 billion by 2024, accounting for more than 50% of the total market share for the sector. This is due to a number of factors, from the development in the dealcoholization techniques to the consumers’ shifting behaviors.

Environment-friendly drinks

Plastic being not really popular, companies are trying to send a positive message to consumers getting rid of it and switching, instead, to more recyclable materials. One above all, aluminum.

The rise of the anti-plastic movement is literally boosting the demand for aluminum in many sectors,  including the on-trade channel. Consumers prefer it over plastic and this preference applies to segments before untouched, for example the bottled water one.

Radnor, for example, is launching a new line of canned water – which is also strongly leaning toward the health segment – bottled into aluminum cans. Illycaffè is putting its coffee into aluminium capsules, available from 2020.