Raise your hand if your New Year’s resolution last month contained some improvement regarding your health. I admit that every year I set some goal around my health, whether it is changes in dieting habits or increased exercise frequency. Some years are better than others. This year, well, check back with me in a couple of months and I’ll let you know how successful I was.
It’s no secret that living a healthy, balanced lifestyle has received its fair share of attention in the media — traditional and social — as well as other forms of communication. And as consumers inform themselves about the best practices to achieve this lifestyle, consumer packaged goods companies are doing their part to make those choices easier.
In this month’s special report on health and wellness (page 18), Chicago-based market research firm Euromonitor International reports that better-for-you beverage sales accounted for approximately $15.5 billion. Highlighting recommendations about increases in fruit and vegetable intake, the article notes examples of beverage manufacturers addressing this trend through juice or smoothie releases. But added benefits aren’t the only ways brand owners are addressing health and wellness. The article also highlights the number of low- or zero-calorie products that meet consumer health needs.
Health and wellness also seems to be playing a role in the growth of emerging categories and products. For example, in this month’s category focus article about coconut water (page 10), research analysts highlight health and wellness trends as playing a role in the growth of this sub-category.
“Largely, [coconut water growth] has to do with what we always talk about, which would be health and wellness trends and the aspect of functionality,” says Jonas Feliciano, beverage analyst for Euromonitor. “The positioning of coconut water as being a lower-calorie, natural alternative to a lot of sports drinks and the perception of it being a better way to hydrate than even water has really carried it in the market.”
Health and wellness also has helped brand owners develop an identity that resonates with this trend. In this month’s Up Close With feature on Fair Oaks Farm Brands and its flagship product, Core Power (page 25), Steve Jones, chief executive officer of the Chicago-based company, details what it can add to The Coca-Cola Co. portfolio. Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands unit invested in the company in late 2012.
“Really what we are is a health and wellness company; we provide consumers the nutrition they need to have a healthy, active life and live life to the fullest,” Jones says. “That’s not a couple of people; that’s a growing trend among consumers wanting to take care of their health and wellness and get better nutrition, and [Coca-Cola] saw that as just another way of satisfying consumer needs, and that’s, I think, why they decided to make the investment.”
No matter what avenue consumers decide to choose for their health and wellness needs, the beverage industry is poised to fill those requests.