8 Trends in the Soda and Juice Market, and How the Sector is Evolving!
How has the soda and juice sector evolved in recent years? What does the future have in store? We’ll answer both questions in this post by looking at the different trends for 2023. We examine how consumer behaviour was changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll also look at the variety of consumer profiles, the power of “greatest value, lowest price”, and the products that are revolutionising the soda and juice market.
Health, never more vital
Many people became more conscious of the importance of caring for themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally during the pandemic. Food and ingredients that are considered beneficial for a strong immune system continue to rank highly, and this remains a leading trend in the beverage market in 2023. In fact, according to FMCG Gurus, the immune system ranks first in health goals at 66%. Digestion comes in second at 56%, heart health at 53%, mental health at 48%, and cognitive health at 38%.
Experience as an engine
Another consequence of the COVID-19 lockdowns was that people yearned more than ever for the chance to enjoy new experiences and satisfy their thirst for emotions without needing to travel long distances. In this context, small experiences at home began to take on a particularly important role. Bringing joy and variety to daily life, and seeking moments of tranquillity and full attention, became vital endeavours for people during lockdown. If brands want their products to succeed in the market, they must learn to transcend from selling products to selling experiences.
54% of Gen Z consumers in the US say that taking the time to relax, as self-care, is more important to them today than before the pandemic. As a result, many beverage brands have launched drinks with functional ingredients (like ginseng or L-theanine) targeting consumer needs.
The value of a smile
More people are putting their happiness before anything else. It’s not just about creating new experiences, as mentioned above. It’s also important to connect with things that literally improve people’s lives. We all want to be happy, so putting a smile on the consumer’s face is the greatest success that any brand could hope for. And although consumers in the developed world tend to “want it all and want it now”, they understand that the benefits that drinks products can provide are not instantaneous. Nonetheless, introducing ingredients that benefit consumers’ lives into sodas or juices is highly important. It is about improving people’s health – mentally, physically, and energetically. This explains the boom in superfoods, natural and organic products.
Value and price
The massive increase in inflation and the fear of a possible economic crisis are just two of the reasons why consumers are paying more attention to the cost of their shopping list. Now, while many are rethinking their spending habits when it comes to food and beverages, cutting back on non-essentials, and showing less loyalty to brands, this does not mean consumers will opt for cheaper products if they perceive them to be poor quality. Rather, the principle of “greatest value, lowest price” now applies.
We experience ourselves through our senses. That’s why the beverage industry is strongly influenced by the current trend of “Taste Experience”, where the enjoyment of flavours has become a key factor in a product’s success. Products seek to create a sensory, visual, and tactile journey, where every sip is an adventure.
It’s important to note that consumers aren’t merely looking for pleasure; they also wish to maintain a balance between their health objectives. Although 59% of global consumers admit to regularly enjoying sweets, they don’t want these moments of pleasure to work against their well-being goals. Therefore, the idea of a conscious and balanced enjoyment is promoted, ensuring that exceptional quality and taste expectations are met.
Conscious, responsible eating is positioned to be a key trend going forward. Consumers are looking for food and drink products that are healthy for them and the planet. They pay increasing attention to sustainability, locally sourced ingredients, and freshness. There has also been an increase in the number of people identifying as flexitarians, with consumers increasingly choosing to reduce or eliminate animal products from their diets for health, ethical, and sustainability reasons. There can be no doubt that today’s consumers care about a brand’s values and integrity.
Covering specific needs
Many consumers are looking for functional beverages that support active nutrition and provide specific benefits, such as improved concentration, stress management and relaxation. Ingredients like B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, nootropics, caffeine, and botanicals are increasingly popular in beverages. Plant-based products, like protein drinks, are also in demand, especially among athletes and those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Tea is another prominent trend in the beverage market, with demand for fortified tea beverages growing. This trend focuses on the high nutritional value and versatility of the product, seeking to meet the personal needs and objectives of conscious consumers.
As meat consumption declines around the world, vegetarians and vegans are seeking more plant-derived quality protein to help them achieve a balanced diet. The use of pure plant proteins in a range of beverage categories is on the rise, driving this trend segment.
In the future we can also expect to see more plant-based ingredients such as oats, mixed herbs, coconut water, birch water, and milk alternatives in the lists of drinks ingredients. Superfoods old and new, including turmeric, beets, rose hips, haskap berries, and moringa will continue to gain in popularity.
Demand for products that reduce or exclude calories has decreased, and consumers are now placing more focus on the nutritional value and medium-to-long-term benefits of the products. Nonetheless, the anti-sugar movement is an indication of consumers’ increased awareness and access to health information.
Consumers are increasingly looking for products that move away from conventional “artificially” flavoured options. Fermented beverages, ready-to-drink teas, and naturally sweetened products are gaining in popularity as alternatives to traditional carbonated beverages. This trend reflects the growing preference of consumers for options that are perceived as being more authentic and healthier.
The global market for soft drinks and sodas has experienced remarkable growth, driven by the popularity of such products among Gen X and Gen Y consumers. This has resulted in a significant increase in market size, reaching a value of $406.89 billion in 2019. This market is projected to continue to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1% between 2020 and 2027.
According to Euromonitor International, figures reveal a downward trend in the sales volume of juices and nectars from 2017 to 2022, although a slight rebound was observed in 2021. Despite this decrease in volume, the increase in market value suggests that consumers are showing a preference for higher quality products with greater added value. Sales underwent a drop of 14.73% in 2020, followed by a recovery of 8.11% in 2021 and a modest increase of 0.92% in 2022. Meanwhile, product prices decreased between 2017 and 2020, although there was an increase of 1.59% in 2021 and a more notable increase of 8.83% in 2022. This increase in market value suggests that consumers are willing to pay more for higher quality products with a superior added value.
Technological advancement has played a fundamental role in the continuous growth of the soft drinks and soda market. The introduction of new varieties of packaging, including glass bottles, cans, and plastic bottles, along with the development of high-speed packaging lines, has made these beverages easier to access and consume, making them more widely available and convenient for consumers.
In short, the beverage market is undergoing significant changes in response to consumer preferences. There is a growing demand for healthier, more functional and sustainable options. Consumers value quality and innovation, and they are willing to pay more for products that align with their health and lifestyle goals. The industry is evolving to offer drinks with natural ingredients, low sugar content, and eco-friendly packaging. Health, sustainability, and quality are all key factors driving the beverage market today.
If you’re seeking a supplier that can provide you with products that take all these trends into account, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll send you our personalised catalogues. Whether you’re a supermarket, a pharmacy, or a hospitality business, we’d be delighted to help you, with no obligation on your part. Don’t miss out on learning all about the finest healthy and organic products!
If you’re thinking of developing your own private label, we have a wide variety of reliable producers, an extensive catalogue of ingredients, a skilled team of designers, advisors, translators, and all kinds of services related to brand development to help you succeed in the market.