Today’s consumers are more conscious of the ingredients that make up their beverages, paying close attention to those that are considered unhealthy, ranging from ingredients high in sugar and artificial ingredients to certain energy-boosting ingredients.
A trend that emerged before the pandemic and fueled in its wake, consumers are re-evaluating their diets in the quest to improve their health. This is something the beverage industry must respond to by revamping products so that brands can position themselves as indulgent and appropriately nutritious. In some cases, this can also help beverage categories feel more premium, helping to revitalize categories that are sometimes associated with routine and inertia.
Beverage brands should take a two-pronged formulation approach from an ingredient perspective. First, the focus should be on “green” and clean formulation, with consumers wanting ingredients that feel real and authentic; this means natural flavors, sweeteners and energy sources rather than artificial counterparts. Second, consumers want functional ingredients, which they associate with offering a health boost; think added minerals and nutrients, pre- and probiotics, energy boosters and botanicals designed to improve mood or aid relaxation. As the focus remains on maximizing wellness in a post-pandemic society, brands must focus on redesign to help modernize product categories.
It is critical that brands provide information about their ingredients, both those in their products and those not in their products, to provide maximum transparency around health claims. “Best for you” soft drinks with functional ingredients, no added artificial colors or flavors and low in sugar will continue to be in demand, and as choices increase, so will consumer enjoyment.
Source Food Beverage Insider