Make It Personal
The University of Michigan
last month released the results of its American Customer Satisfaction Index
(ACSI), and one of the most interesting results was that the soft drink
industry ranked at the top of the list in consumer satisfaction, along with personal care and cleaning products.
According to the survey’s authors, this is because “These
industries offer as many differentiated products as there are different
consumer tastes.” Consumer segmentation has been in full swing this
year, and the companies that have embraced the concept of just-for-me
products scored the highest among survey respondents.
The trend has turned the tables on the marketing world
as well, with marketers no longer just creating messages for consumers, but
allowing them to create their own content. The Coca-Cola Co. joined with
YouTube this holiday season for the Coca-Cola Holiday WishCast, which
includes Coca-Cola commercials attached to holiday greetings created by
video bloggers. YouTube users can e-mail the video cards as holiday
Other companies such as Frito-Lay and Cadbury
Schweppes also have tapped consumers for their video creative, with plans
to broadcast the commercials on TV. According to the companies involved,
producing user-generated content is a pastime of many consumers in their
teens and 20s.
As we move into the new year, I have to believe one of
the strongest trends we will see in 2007 is the continued segmentation of
the industry in terms of both product development and marketing. It seems
it won’t be long before consumers are able to order the exact product
they want, then sit down and create their own
commercial to sell it to themselves.
Since I was thinking futuristically, I asked the rest
of the Beverage Industry staff to share their predictions for the new year as well.
The predictions include:
will be paid to sanitation and safety in primary packaging.
organic drinks will come under greater scrutiny by the FDA.
Craft and imported
beers will achieve 25 percent share of the domestic beer market.
Continued growth in the energy drink
category — but energy drinks, enhanced waters and juices will
continue their search for niches.
continue to grow.
hear more about excess packaging… mainly because of
Wal-Mart’s new requirements.
and specialty products in all categories will continue to increase.
More people will learn to read… the label, that is.
will be trying to figure out China and its market potential.
better-for-you energy drink sub-category will begin to grow nearly as fast
as its regular counterparts.
We’d love to know your predictions for the new
year. Visit our Web site at bevindustry.com and
take part in our Web poll to tell us what you think will drive the beverage
industry in 2007. Until then, best wishes for a
safe and happy new year.
Bottler of the year — Buffalo Rock
Category Focus — Juice & juice drinks
Beverage R&D — Product development / Flavor usage survey
Packaging — Closures
Cover Profile — Fiji Water
Category Focus — Tea and ready-to-drink tea
Beverage R&D — Safety check-up Packaging
— Labeling materials