Answering consumer demand, creating new formulations and leveraging growth opportunities are among the reasons why beverage-makers plan to launch more new products in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the results of Beverage Industry’s annual New Product Development survey. A planned increase in launches was cited by 59 percent of respondents, which is a 14 percent rise from last year’s survey results.
Irene Firmat, founder and chief executive officer of Full Sail Brewing Co., Hood River, Ore., was inspired by the beer varieties she encountered during European travels and wanted to introduce more American consumers to the concept of high-quality beer.
The economic downturn caused many consumers to cut back across categories, but coffee consumers have found new ways to enjoy their cup of joe. Approximately 79 percent of adults in the United States drank coffee in the last two years, according to Chicago-based Mintel Group Ltd.’s October Coffee report. However, 48 percent of coffee drinkers surveyed said they are drinking more coffee at home and less away from home in 2011 than they were a year ago — a trend that Mintel predicts will continue to drive retail coffee sales through 2012.
As the industry continues to watch the rise of better-for-you products, it seems certain consumers also are searching for just-for-me products. Whether it’s a coffee beverage made with personally preferred ingredients or choosing a brand that embodies one’s personality, the customization trend has begun to permeate the industry.
In recent years, consumers have embraced superfruits, such as pomegranate, acai, blueberry and cranberry, for their antioxidant content. However, certain cherry varietals also rank alongside the more renowned superfruits in terms of antioxidant content. Although the fruit has long been favored as a pie filling and ice cream sundae topper, cherry is still establishing itself as a beverage ingredient, but suppliers say that’s ripe for a change.
Crown Imports’ portfolio of eight brands captures approximately 42 percent of the volume of the import beer market in the United States, a figure that the Chicago-based company is intent on increasing. In fact, the joint venture between Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, S.A. de C.V. and Constellation Brands Inc., Victor, N.Y., has a goal of becoming the third major U.S. beer company occupying 20 percent per dollar market share.
Operating in a business model where customer service is key, contract manufacturers have adapted their business models to best serve their customers. For some, that means helping customers deliver their products; for others it means helping beverage-makers refine their formulations. But for all contract manufacturers one value is paramount: to provide their clients with best-in-class service.
As consumers continue to look for functional food and beverages to supplement what’s missing from their diets, manufacturers continue to offer fortified options. When it comes to fiber, consumers can now find fiber-fortified snack bars, brownies and juice drinks.