Meeting the nutritional needs of time-crunched consumers seems
to be something many companies are working toward these days, and I recently
heard some interesting perspectives, specifically regarding kids. The first
was a radio report that profiled a school district trying to come up with ways
to guide its students to better eating. The report touched on the now-familiar
issues of vending machines and the types of food available in schools. But it
also included comments from a school principal who said each morning she watches
kids get out of cars littered with donut and snack cake wrappers. In the effort
to get kids to school on busy mornings, many parents are handing kids pre-packaged
snack foods to eat in the car on the way to school, and according to this educator,
these kids are nutritionally deficient before they even walk through the door.
Last month, at Beverage
Industry’s annual New Products
Conference, Kim Feil, chief executive officer at Mosaic InfoForce, also
touched on childhood nutrition, but her research showed families with
children have a stronger interest in nutrition than any other group. It
seems obvious that at least part of the disconnect between interest and
practice is convenience, and Feil says
there’s potential for beverages in the solution.
According to Mosaic’s research, the demonstrated
growth potential for nutritional snack foods and beverages among families
with kids is 7.2 percent for families with children under five; 7.1 percent
with children under 11; and 6.7 percent with children under 17. Growth
potential for indulgent products for the same families is negative for all
age groups, and "healthier" products only have growth potential
for families with kids in the 12 to 17 age group. Seven percent might not
seem like hitting the jackpot, but keep in mind that soft drink growth was
flat and juice has had negative sales during the past year.
Attendees at the New Products Conference found the
idea compelling and in our first new products contest picked a nutritious
dairy/juice-based kids drink concept as the best new product (see page 11
for details). Sure, our impromptu product developers had their eyes on the
prize we offered to the team that came up with the best idea, but they also
were tapping into a product category that could have great potential for
the beverage company that gets it right.
All of the teams that participated in the contest had
great ideas — one team created a sugar-free, protein-enhanced soft
drink for teens, with a target only slightly older than the winning drink;
some focused on aging (or more appropriately, how to avoid it); and one
Viagra-inspired drink had a very specific target in mind and very clever
branding to back it up. A special thank you goes to all of the participants
who enthusiastically shared their ideas. We enjoyed it, and we hope they
On another note, Beverage Industry is pleased to add David Kolman
to the roster of industry experts who have been willing to share their knowledge
and writing skills with our readers. David is a transportation expert, with
trucking operations experience of his own, and a tenure with A&F Foods as well
as American Trucker Magazine, Truck Sales & Leasing Magazine, Heavy Duty Trucking
and RoadStar. Beginning this month, David will write a monthly column, and we’re
happy to have him onboard.
Beverage Industry’s October issue features a cover story on our 2019 Executive of the Year, Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Co. This issue also features a category focus on bottled water and the innovations that abound in flavored, functional and sparkling waters. The issue also includes an ingredient spotlight on the beloved chocolate ingredient as well as voice-picking solutions aimed at streamlining beverage warehouses. As usual, we rounded up the latest trends in products, packaging and ingredients.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.