A drink, like many other products today, has to tick a number of boxes to be considered “better”.
An important aspect is the health aspect. Recent Australian research published in Nutrients magazine showed a 30% decrease in per capita sugar consumption from soft drinks between 1997 and 2018, a reduction of 32 teaspoons or 127 g of sugar per person per year.
“The studies show that the beverage refrigerator today is very different compared to 1997. Australians are now buying a lot more sugar-free and low-sugar drinks in a number of categories and flavors, which is evidence of the industry's dynamic innovation agenda, ”said Geoff Parker, CEO of the Australian Beverages Council.
In 1997, Australians consumed 83 liters of sugary drinks per person, compared to 61 liters per person in 2018. In contrast, 88 liters of sugar-free and low-sugar products such as normal and sparkling water and sugar-free soft drink were consumed per person in 2018.
“There is also evidence of a significant change in our drinking in bottled and packaged water that is now selling sugary carbonated soft drinks, and 59% of water-based drinks purchased are low-sugar or sugar-free in 1997, at just 36 percent,” says Parker.
“The sale of still and sparkling, non-flavored water is particularly interesting because it rose 4.5 times from 12 lt per person per year in 1997 to 54 lt per person per year in 2018. This shows that the beverage industry is driving change in adjusted consumption with public health goals by offering more and more additional healthier options.
“64% of the drinks in the fridge in 1997 were sugary, the remaining 36% were non-sugary. Today 59% of the drinks are sugar-free drinks and 41% sugary.
"Anyone visiting the local gas station, supermarket or supermarket will find that the incredible selection of drinks available has never been greater, including most of their favorite brands that are available in a low or no sugar variant."
According to Megan Treston, Director Retailer Services at Nielsen, a beverage product must also be convenient for the consumer.
"Today's convenience culture feeds on the go lifestyle and provides consumers with neatly packaged offerings that they can literally use," she told Retail World.
“However, consumers are starting to adopt a zero waste mindset. Consumers undoubtedly want transparency, and they are increasingly interested in “good for us, good for me”.
“Label transparency, simple ingredients, natural and non-chemical are important factors that are important to consumers. In addition, proven sustainability of brands and products as well as health-related information lead to the highest growth in beverages. In fact, 73% of (surveyed) consumers state that they would change their consumption habits to reduce the impact on the environment.
"These values should be considered when developing, marketing and packaging products in order to achieve maximum sales and growth."
Read more in the July edition of Retail World.