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What can we expect from the new era of cannabis beverages? What does the war on plastic mean for packaging in the beverage industry? Do fermented beverages herald a shift in tastes? What functional claims carry the most weight with consumers?
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No and low alcohol drinks
As consumers seek to moderate their alcohol intake, the market is opening up for alcohol alternatives. With improved taste, visibility and social acceptance, low and no alcohol beers have already made their mark, but what about non-alcoholic spirits, mocktails and low alcohol wines? Alcohol beverage giants are responding to consumer demand with no and low ABV alternatives of flagship products, as well as launching entirely new products in the no and low ABV category. But innovation is also being driven from the other direction, by soft drinks manufacturers who spy an opportunity for premium soft drinks.
The war on plastic
Plastic is public enemy number one, and with its traditional dependence on plastic bottles the beverage industry is in the firing line. So what is the industry doing to address the consumer backlash against plastic, and how is it making packaging becoming more sustainable? This special edition looks at alternative packaging formats such as cans and cartons, the use of recycled PET, and development of new materials such as bio-based plastics – and how they really stack up when it comes to sustainability.
Cannabis: CBD and beyond
Eager to be at the forefront of the latest trend, cannabis beverages have been leaping onto the market. And yet there’s still many unknowns when it comes to long-term market potential, effective formulations and regulations. Multinational players have already invested billions in the category, while beverage entrepreneurs hope their small and speedy approach can help them get ahead in the game. Will cannabis beverages be the next big thing – or are they destined for disappointment? Can cannabis offer an alternative to alcoholic beverages – or will the novelty wear off? Will innovation take this category into areas we’d never dreamed of – or will manufacturers face a regulatory nightmare?
Health and wellness is at the forefront of consumers’ minds, and sugar gets plenty of bad press. The obesity endemic is as big a concern as ever, and soft drinks are in the firing line. What is the industry doing to reduce calories? How are market leaders reformulating and revamping their portfolios; and what healthier brands are appearing? From alternative sweeteners to packaging sizes, we look at what the industry is doing to cut calories – and how well these are working. Meanwhile, sugar taxes continue to hit the headlines as governments seek to tackle the obesity crisis.
RTD tea and coffee
RTD tea and coffee has been on-trend in the US for years. But what's the category's global reach, and how is innovation shaping up the category? As consumers continue their search for an energy boost, RTD coffee has an opportunity to grow; while RTD tea has a chance to steal market share from carbonated soft drinks, calling out their healthy, natural, functional or antioxidant properties.
Beverage processing and packaging innovation
Industry 4.0 is here: with increased automation and the growing importance of data and connectivity. Operational efficiency continues to be a key concern for manufacturers, as is agility in production. Packaging is evolving: with advances in technology brands are turning to QR codes, NFC tags and RFID. Meanwhile, sustainability is a growing concern: with a focus on light-weighting, new eco-friendly materials and recyclability.
Functional and fortified beverages
Once, beverages were simply about hydration. Now, people are clued up to the concept of healthy hydration while also asking what additional benefits their drinks can provide. Rich with innovation, the functional beverage category is full of exciting developments and new ideas. But how much weight do functional claims carry – and which ones are consumers most interested in? This special edition will put the spotlight on ingredients, claims and regulations, market size and the opportunities and challenges for functional beverages.
Brau Beviale pre-show
In November Brau Beviale will once again shine the spotlight across the whole process chain of beverage production: high-quality raw materials, technologies, logistics, marketing and much more. Held in Nuremberg, Germany, the beverage trade show attracts some 40,000 visitors and 1,100 exhibitors: covering beer, water, non-alcoholic drinks, spirits, wine, sparkling wine and liquid dairy products.
Flavor and color trends
Beverage entrepreneurs have a world of exotic ingredients and flavors at their disposal, offering consumers the taste of something completely new. Beverages have traditionally focused on sweetness – but do fermented beverages herald a shift in tastes? What new flavors resonate with consumers – or do they secretly crave simplicity and familiarity? How are key trends such as natural, clean label, organic and non-GMO going to influence flavors and colors?