Soda is part of the national fabric. Some would argue it is almost a subconscious marketing victory, given the billions spent every year by manufacturers to get the message out to the world by sponsoring events and obtaining celebrity endorsements. The truth is that soda has widespread appeal, is readily available, and is quite cheap. Our cave dweller brains are wired to love the surge of sugar, as do our wallets when it becomes a no brainer to include soda as a crowd pleaser at gatherings. However, beverage companies are now being pushed to offer alternatives with those same benefits as more health conscious consumers seek other options to quench their thirst as well as improve their health. Some of these trends you may be aware of, others are a little less obvious.
Cold pressed juice
It’s hard not to go into a store that isn’t selling some variety cold pressed juice. Cold pressed juice is usually high-pressure processed, meaning no heat is used and the health nutrients are preserved. Enthusiasts believe that the beverage retains vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Over the last couple years many startups have jumped on the emerging trend. It’s gained so much traction that the big soda companies are buying up these startups to gain a foothold in this thriving market. The Coca-Cola Co. jumped into the HPP juice category with a $90 million investment in Suja. Coke’s infusion gave it a 30 percent stake in Suja with an option to buy the company three years after completion of the deal. Six months later PepsiCo-owned Naked Juice has launched a sub-line of cold-pressed, high pressure processed (HPP) juices called Naked Pressed. Even Starbucks has partnered with Evolution’s cold pressed juice.
As the concerns rise for lactose intolerance and healthier options is a concern for more and more Americans, almond, soy, coconut and hemp milk have become new staples. Cashew is a the newest milk alternative to hit the shelves with brands like Silk and So Delicious. The are even probiotic cashew smoothies made by juice company, Forager Project. New options for cereal and coffee are in high demand and alternatives such as cashew milk boost low calorie, 50% of your daily Vitamin E with no naturally occurring sugars. On the downside, when the pulp is strained from the milk, you lose almost all of the fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals from the whole nut. The milk alternatives are giving the dairy milk business a run for their money. Especially those with this digestive concern who are willing to pay a bit more to do away with health concerns. As nut allergies are also a concerns for many, we help but wonder if seed milk will be next wave of milk alternatives.
With studies on probiotics healing the gut in turn making people healthier, probiotic drinks have gained popularity over the last few years. Consumers are eager to add these helpful drinks to their repertoire of healthy drink choices from Kombucha bars and breweries that have popped up around the country to probiotic waters, to kefirs like Kevita. With it’s promising health benefits, this drink category will certainly continue to grow.
Another trend that is gaining momentum is in elixirs. While soda is only a few generations old, ancient Ayurveda elixirs are just as pleasing and offer a multitude of benefits. Ayurvedic medicine is the sister science to yoga according to Sattva’s website. Ancient herbs infuse their beverages with prana, Sanskrit for desirable energy. Sattva offers two formulas that are 5,000 years old in the form of Tulsi, Queen of Herbs, and Ashwagandha, the Ginseng of Ayurveda. The herbal elixirs provide nourishment to the body and mind. They also offer beneficial life force energy.
No matter how you feel about the Cannabis movement, the momentum of the industry can not be ignored. As more and more states are legalizing marijuana, more and more drinks will continue to sprung up. The active ingredient in cannabis is THC, which can cause paranoia and anxiety in sizable doses. Canna Relief is a drink that counterbalances the effects of too much THC. The proprietary blend of herbs is anxiolytic, meaning it reduces anxiety. This patent-pending liquid allows for the safe consumption of marijuana, sans adverse side effects.
The beverage industry is changing rapidly as the masses continue to find healthier options to counteract skyrocketing obesity rates and poor health. Trends include non-dairy milk, juices, elixirs, and remedies. Nut milk can sidestep lactose intolerance whereas the emerging juice segment has the potential to overtake soda given its convenience as well as its fresh taste. Herbal tinctures can provide healthful blends that can calm the mind more than the influx of sugar and caffeine that soda provides. Likewise, a tonic to flush out excessive THC could gain quite a following. Food giants are being challenged and scooping startups like Tio Gazpacho. Keeping on top of the shifts trending for your own businesses, especially on the startups you see popping up as they are likely to be the trendsetters and are the ones the soda giants are watching carefully.