receive, which in many ways is the driver behind why these items are
getting more shelf space.”
Younger consumers are looking at more than a product’s health callouts. They are also turning these products around to inspect their
ingredient lists and even looking into how the ingredients are sourced
and how the items are produced. As detailed in Nielsen’s global ingredients survey, consumers have been keeping a close eye on product labels.
Survey data showed 73 percent of respondents said they feel positively
about companies that are transparent about their product sourcing; 68
percent are willing to pay more for food and beverages that don’t contain undesirable ingredients; and 64 percent of consumers’ diets prohibit certain ingredients.
;“In terms of consumer preferences with better-for-you-beverages
is increased consumer demand for transparency regarding ingredi-
ent lists, nutrition content and sourcing practices,” says Ken Voelker,
senior vice president of marketing and brand development for Elma,
N.Y.-based Elmhurst Milked. “We saw this in the food product indus-
try, and the trend has clearly carried over to the beverage industry as
consumers look to beverage brands to provide products they can trust
to be safe, healthy, and ethical.”
;CJ Rapp, CEO of Pittsford, N. Y.-based Karma Culture, agrees, saying
that he has noticed a growing demand for label transparency.
;“We see the number of people demanding truly nutritious products
growing at unprecedented rates. It is no longer good enough for a bever-
age to look healthy,” says Rapp. “Consumers are reading the labels from
top to bottom. We also see huge growth in probiotic beverages. This is
an ideal trend for Karma because our patented cap protects the probi-
otic nutrients until just moments before consumption, which optimizes
the effectiveness of digestive nutrition.”
;Rost adds that research from Nielsen has tagged clean label coffees,
teas and nutmilks as some of the strongest drivers of the better-for-you
;“You have the combined effect of the clean and the craft experience of
a cold brew coffee that is incredibly well aligned with where consumers
are going and retailers are responding,” Rost says. “You see liquid coffee taking up more and more of the shelf space, you see the liquid coffee
experience becoming a bigger and bigger part of the offerings at retail.”
COFFEE AND TEA TAKE OVER
Coffee is not the only star of the better-for-you beverage aisles; tea is
also dominating sales on retail shelves.
“In kind of the same way liquid coffee is growing, liquid tea is growing as well and you see this complete reinvention of what tea looks like
and you have a very different shopper that is shopping the tea bags versus some of these more new-age versions of tea,” Rost continues.
;Industry observers have also called out probiotics, antioxidants and
even protein as some of the qualities that are most in-demand from
;“Our retail partners are keenly aware of the rapidly growing consumer demand for protein as a functional ingredient and it is our top
priority to continue to innovate with compelling new product offerings
and on-trend flavors that appeal to this new generation of consumers.
This is how we can best serve our retail partners,” says Robert Kral, vice
president of marketing and procurement for Chicago-based Protein2o.
; The evolution of better-for-you beverages is far from over, and the
landscape will continue to change, pushing retailers to change their
shelf space and their marketing strategies along with it.
“The increased focus on health and wellness has caused consumers
to make new choices about the beverages they consume and retailers
have the opportunity to expand these options with new, innovative beverages that excite consumers,” Kral says. “Retailers should continue to
acknowledge and embrace this transition to better-for-you refreshments
and evolve their product offerings to meet this growing demand.”