Consumers are buying private label beverages at a growing rate.
Private label beverage categories such as canned and bottled tea,
shelf-stable fruit juices and nectars, iced coffee, sports and energy
drink mixes and carbonated soft drinks have all experienced
double-digit sales growth in the past year.
Bill Meissner, president of TalkingRain, says the Preston, Wash.-based water company that makes the Twist and Activwater brands has been around for more than two decades, but acts a lot like a startup. As a veteran of companies such as SoBe and Fuze, that’s exactly where Meissner is most comfortable. He took over the reins at TalkingRain in January, and has made it a priority to expand those products in the same way he helped build his previous brands.
2009 has challenged beverage companies, and business in general, like few previous years have. Beverage Industry took a mid-year poll of some of the beverage industry’s top leaders in diverse product categories to find out how the industry is faring.
Most beverage companies have learned in 2009 that consumers are looking for value on top of the innovative flavors and stand-out packaging they came to expect in better economic times. Arizona Beverages, Lake Success, N.Y., is one company that is reaping the rewards of a value proposition, but the company didn’t adopt the strategy to deal with the current downturn â€” it took the unusual step of pre-pricing some of its products in the mostly upscale ready-to-drink tea category several years ago. What was a surprise success then has turned into an even bigger boon in today’s market.
With consumers spending less on beverages, energy drink companies are doing whatever it takes to keep them coming back for more. Whether it’s packaging changes, acquiring different distribution or producing new products, the category is staying afloat through the rough waters.