Beverage giants – think Coca-Cola and PepsiCo – are no longer simply about soda. Whether it’s juice or sparkling water or RTD tea, they’re now about creating portfolios with products that promise to bring health and wellness into the mainstream.
The motivation is clear. Consumers no longer want empty calories: they want guilt-free beverages that refresh and hydrate, or products that keep them powering through the day. The beverage industry, too, sees its responsibility to cut sugar and calories and create better options for consumers. No one, however, wants to sacrifice flavour for functionality.
PepsiCo’s accelerator is on the look-out for plant-based solutions and mood management. Coca-Cola wants to reimagine bog-standard milk with value-added fairlife. Companies are jumping in on the kombucha craze; investing in enhanced waters; and edging in – cautiously – around CBD.
Some innovations have the chance to conquer the market. Others won’t be able to deliver and will crumble. Which better for you beverages will make the beverage world better?