Trends in Hybrid Beverages
As many brands begin to introduce new health-conscious drinks, a new type of beverage is taking the industry by storm. Hybrid beverages, or drinks that take two or more different beverage categories and combine them into one product, are on the rise in the United States. What about this unique category of beverages appeals to today’s consumers?
While traditional non-alcohol beverages such as soda and juices are declining year after year in sales, energy drinks and coffee products continue to see strong sales growth. The latter two types of beverages are attractive to consumers because they offer caffeine, energy and mental alertness. Despite the rise in these functional beverages, studies from Mintel have shown that 72% of consumers still believe that taste and flavor is the most important factor when determining what beverage to buy. This study also found that 67% of consumers frequently purchase new or different beverages, meaning this market is open to change and actively looking for new products.
This presents a unique opportunity for beverage brands to create new drinks that are full of both flavor and function. Wholesale distributors and retailers should take a look at Mountain Dew Kickstart, a beverage with juice content, caffeine and coconut water marketed as a cross between a soda, juice and energy drink. Despite the soda industry’s declining sales, this soda mash-up drink has been one of Pepsi’s most successful product launches of the past decade, with retail sales of $250 million after two years on the market. This beverage was able to fulfill consumers’ need for energy and flavor, while still remaining slightly health conscious with a low calorie count and high juice content.
Even though consumers are becoming more health-conscious, the Mintel study previously mentioned shows that they’re still concerned with taste above all. No matter how healthy a drink is, if it doesn’t taste good, consumers won’t be repeat purchasers.
According to the beverage analysts at Mintel, new hybrid beverage brands should consider asking wholesale distributors to set up in-store tastings so consumers can try the product and learn about the functional and health benefits it offers. This will help eliminate any confusion that they may have as the market becomes more and more familiar with hybrid beverages as a whole.
Ready to launch your new hybrid beverage product? Contact Mr. Checkout Distributors to talk to a team of experienced distributors that service over 35,000 grocery and convenience stores across the country.