Hybrid drinks add sparkle to a struggling beverage market21 Oct 2019
Consumers love to try new beverages, and a recent trend aims to straddle categories with drinks like tea lattes, carbonated juices, and fruit smoothies with plant milk.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Coca-Cola is a leader in the hybrid beverage area. In March 2019, it released a smoothie-kombucha drink in the United States (Smoobucha), and its portfolio also includes more established hybrids, like Vitaminwater and Core Power, a dairy-based range of sports recovery drinks. PepsiCo has released its own hybrid beverages, including an oat-based breakfast drink under its Quaker brand in Latin America, and Tropolis, a squeezable liquid fruit drink/snack for kids in the United States.
According to market research organisation Mintel, about two-thirds of consumers have tried a hybrid beverage, the most popular being nutrient-enriched water and carbonated juice. But beverage companies have been exploring many different options in an effort to add some fizz to a struggling market. Sales of carbonated soft drinks, juice and milk are all stagnating or in decline, so manufacturers are looking to boost these categories with trendy ingredients, including chia seeds, cold brewed coffee, pre- and probiotics and matcha green tea.
Ingredients companies are already poised with portfolios of such ingredients, many of which are used in natural energy drinks that cross categories with various botanicals, electrolytes or other functional ingredients. Naturex, for instance, provides caffeine-free ingredients like maca root, ginger and ginseng for use in energy drinks, and Dutch supplier Berrico is among those providing goji berries in juice form or extracts, another popular ingredient for manufacturers seeking natural options.
Energy drinks represent just 1% of soft drink sales, according to trade association Energy Drinks Europe, but could be an interesting niche for hybrid drinks, especially as consumers increasingly are seeking out natural, ‘clean’ energy-boosting beverages free from synthetic caffeine and sugar. Natural ingredients, juices, coffee and tea could be promising starting points for new hybrid drinks. In a 2015 survey, 41% of German consumers said they would pay more for drinks made with only natural energy boosters, and market research from Mintel suggests that a majority of consumers across Europe would like to see energy drinks made with natural colours and flavours.
Meanwhile, beverage companies have taken note of the trend toward plant-based dairy alternatives, and are looking for ways to capitalise on that trend beyond plain and flavoured milks. Starbucks is among the big names to have created a plant milk hybrid drink, with a coffee-smoothie mash-up launched in the United States in 2018, based on either coconut or almond milk with added plant proteins and cold brew coffee.
With declining juice sales in Europe and elsewhere, hybrid juice drinks could breathe new life into the category. They are the biggest segment of the hybrid beverage sales, accounting for 47% of the market, according to Mintel. Antioxidants, electrolytes, protein and energy-boosting ingredients are among the most popular additions, especially among younger consumers who are seeking healthier options with less sugar and fewer artificial ingredients than traditional soft drinks.
Spike in counterfeit goods could damage ‘Make in India’ initiative, warns report
14 Sep 2020
Counterfeit products are rising in India and fast-moving consumer goods, including food, is in the top three worst-hit sectors. Greater traceability is needed to safeguard the national ‘Make in India’ initiative, says an industry report.Read more
Finding opportunities in Vietnam’s changing retail landscape
7 Sep 2020
Minimarkets, specialist stores and e-commerce platforms are leading retail growth in Vietnam, providing new opportunities for brands to boost sales, according to Kantar Worldpanel.Read more
Beware of ‘woke washing’: Ethical branding must reflect an ethical business
31 Aug 2020
Spanish chocolate manufacturer Lacasa is under pressure to change the name and logo of its Conguitos brand with a consumer-led petition - but experts warn against empty ‘cause marketing’.Read more
Federal lawsuit challenges US rules on ‘misleading’ GM labelling
24 Aug 2020
The Center for Food Safety has filed a federal lawsuit challenging USDA rules that mean genetic modification (GM) foods are labelled as ‘bioengineered’ – a move it says reduces transparency and causes consumer confusion.Read more
Brazil’s food waste law will put consumers at risk, warn experts
17 Aug 2020
Recent Brazilian regulation aims to fight food waste by encouraging food donations – but it puts public health at risk, warn consumer groups and legal experts.Read more
UK pledges to protect food standards during trade talks but public concern remains high
6 Aug 2020
British public concerns over lowering food safety standards continue to court US trade remain steadfast as the UK and US governments gear up for the next round of scheduled negotiations later this month.Read more
Pressure on baby milk manufacturers intensifies over mineral oil traces
3 Aug 2020
Consumer watchdog Foodwatch is calling for EU member states and the European Commission to publish the results of official tests on the presence of potentially harmful aromatic mineral oil in baby milk and infant formula.Read more
Flexitarians in China are revitalising the mock meat tradition
27 Jul 2020
Many Asian countries, China in particular, have traditions of mock meat but the region is developing a new, innovation-fuelled plant-based sector to meet the demands of urban flexitarians, say experts.Read more
PepsiCo Egypt CEO feels bullish about regional growth: ‘The opportunities are huge’
20 Jul 2020
PepsiCo recently announced a US$100m capital investments in Egypt, and its confidence in the country’s growth potential is unshaken even by coronavirus, says the CEO of PepsiCo Egypt.Read more
Sugar Association files citizen petition calling for clearer labelling of sweeteners
13 Jul 2020
The Sugar Association has filed a US citizen petition to require manufacturers to add front-of-pack disclosures regarding the use of non-nutritive sweeteners – but sweetener suppliers say ingredient lists already give consumers clear information.Read more
Are you a supplier
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation