The mission at Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, has always been to inspire and nurture the human spirit one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time, and that extends beyond its retail stores and into consumer packaged goods (CPG) channels, enabling customers to enjoy Starbucks anywhere and in any format.
As beverage-makers continue to develop products that do more than satisfy consumers’ thirst, the number of beverages that carry a functional claim continues to increase. According to “Functional and Natural Ready-to-Drink Beverages in the U.S.,” a report by Rockville, Md.-based market research publisher Packaged Facts, sales of energy drinks, ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and sports drinks have helped the functional and natural RTD beverage market grow to $23 billion.
Efforts to lower the calorie counts in beverages have helped spark a number of innovations from many facets of the industry, including equipment manufacturers. As more beverage-makers look to take down the calories in their products through sweetener blend formulations, suppliers of processing automation equipment also are working to develop equipment to handle these new formats.
Packaging can be an important, yet difficult decision for beverage-makers. In this month’s category focus article about kids drinks, Sarah Theodore, global drinks analyst for Mintel Food & Drink, Chicago, notes that the kids market has been a little bit slow to embrace packaging innovation, but is starting to pick up steam. However, resealable pouch packages, the benefits of which include on-the-go convenience, have begun to catch on in the category, she says.
With a company history as vibrant as its flagship brand, Big Red Inc., Austin, Texas, is ramping up its efforts in 2012 to expand its Big Red brand throughout the United States as well as to honor the loyalty of those who have enjoyed the flavored carbonated soft drink (CSD) throughout the brand’s 75-year history.
When it comes to children’s nutrition, parents are faced with the challenge of finding products that meet their nutritional preferences, but also appeal to their children. But the challenge extends beyond parents and begins with the manufacturers. Beverage-makers are tasked with developing products to help bridge the gap between nutritional demands and pleasing taste profiles.
With the onset of so many emerging categories in the industry — kombucha, coconut water, relaxation drinks — coupled with line extensions, the number of SKUs warehouses need to accommodate continues to grow.
Staying on top of what is new in the beverage industry can sometimes make you forget about its history. When watching the Ken Burns three-part PBS special “Prohibition,” I was surprised to learn that some of the founding fathers of the United States enjoyed fermented cider.
The May 2015 issue of Beverage Industry includes a cover story about custom messaging for baby boomers, as well as articles about NVE Pharmaceuticals, sports and protein drinks and more. Check it out today!