If I could tell you exactly what’s next, then 2010 could be the greatest business year you have ever had. While I can’t predict the future, my goal as well as Beverage Industry’s is to help you stay ahead of the trends, technology and products shaping the beverage marketplace to move your business forward.

For more than four years, I have served as the managing editor of this magazine. This month, I am stepping up to the role of editor-in-chief. I welcome the opportunity, and jump at the chance to cover this industry. I promise we will not get bored. As Glazer’s Distributors’ President Jerry Cargill said about distributorships in this month’s cover story: “Change is the only constant.”

After 13 years with Beverage Industry, Sarah Theodore left the magazine to follow a new opportunity at Mintel International. Sarah’s new position finds her analyzing beverage trends for the research firm.

To give you a taste of what changes 2010 holds, Mintel released predictions for next year’s global consumer packaged goods.

“Post-recession, we don’t expect manufacturers to reinvent the wheel,” said Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel’s leading new products researcher, in a statement. “Instead, we predict 2010’s new products will give shoppers something familiar paired with something new to better satisfy their needs. On retail store shelves, we expect today’s familiar megatrends — health and wellness, convenience, sustainability — to get a fresh, new makeover for 2010.”

Here are Mintel’s 2010 global new product development trends that will impact the beverage marketplace:

- Symbol overload — Consumers want to know what’s in their products. In the United States, nearly half of adults say having caloric information on the front of packages would help them reduce their intake, Mintel reports. What they do not want are confusing nutritional symbols, as reported on in this month’s Special Report, “Consumers question functionality,” on page 24. Manufacturers are expected to opt for clear facts on front-of-pack statements in 2010, Mintel says.

- Sodium reduction — Set to be the next health trend, sodium reduction is being pushed by food companies and health organizations, and not by consumers, Dornblaser said. This could mean slow adoption of reduced-sodium products by shoppers.

- Local gets stretched — While consumers still want products with recognizable origins that have not shipped too far, next year the definition of “local” will expand, becoming more practical for major companies to use, Mintel says.

- Simple made special — The recent trend toward boutique-inspired packaging highlights how manufacturers plan to make the mundane a little more special next year, Mintel says.

- Color coding for convenience — To help shoppers make faster choices, more manufacturers will color-code packaging in 2010.

- Iconic budget brands — Private label products are starting to look a lot more like national brands. In 2010, low cost, high-quality private labels will thrive, Mintel says.

Whatever changes 2010 brings, Beverage Industry is ready to help you be set to go forward.


Elizabeth Fuhrman