Functional & Fortified
In 2018, fortified/functional foods and beverages will continue to escalate in the marketplace, and experts predict a continued rise in foods and value-added beverages that promote health benefits and functionality.
Beverages promoting natural & organic attributes delivered net sales of more than $11 billion in 2016, a 5.9 percent increase, while organic beverages generated $3.1 billion in sales, a 5.4 percent increase, during the same time period, SPINS scan data indicates.
To break down the organic beverage category even further, organic shelf-stable functional beverages and organic refrigerated teas & coffees saw double-digit growth of 44.6 percent and 43.2 percent, respectively, according to SPINS scan data.
According to Kimberly Kawa, a senior nutrition researcher at Chicago-based SPINS LLC, the categories most appealing to health-conscious consumers are coconut water and other plant-based products. Indulgent beverage categories also are breaking mainstream formulation norms in the name of health and wellness. “Your typical ready-to-drink (RTD) mocha latte can now be found dairy-free and lightly sweetened,” Kawa says. “Your cloyingly sweet cocktail mixer is now a naturally positioned, functional, herb-infused, low-calorie cocktail or mocktail mixer. There is innovation happening in every beverage segment to meet the consumer where they are on the preference spectrum.”
According to Healthy Beverage Expo, consumers may begin to see alcoholic beverages touted as enhanced and healthy, as more manufacturers add vitamins and a variety of all-natural ingredients. For example, wine infused with botanicals has been manufactured in China for at least the last century. This type of alcoholic drink, sometimes instilled with fresh items like goji berries and ginseng, is believed to be beneficial to the body. More of these healthy-promoted alcoholic beverages are on the horizon for 2013. Jage says, "We will see healthier alcohol in all forms with less calories and more organic options, with many announcing their non GMO [genetically modified organisms] status. For example, Gizmo Beverages is launching a line of premium cocktail beverages with fresh ingredients."
"Consumers are looking to always improve their lives, whether it is through technology, exercise, food and/or beverages. By adding these new layers to the beverage sector with these ‘super-categories,’ consumers are able to become even healthier without any major life changes. Consumers believe that they can become healthier by engraining ‘healthy fluids’ into their lives. From what we’ve seen and expect, health and wellness will become one of the single largest drivers in the beverage space for the future. Beverages are no longer opportunities for constant indulgence — they are an integral dietary piece, which will only grow in importance.”
— Kevin Weissheier, consumer insights executive at Kantar Worldpanel