It has been forecasted that the global soft drinks market will grow at a rate of 4.2% from 2019-2023. As per a report by Statista, this year the market has already generated revenue upwards of $7.0 million. Amongst the major trends the industry has witnessed off late, increasing demand for craft soft drinks has been a dominant one.
Craft soft drinks are manufactured in small batches, using high-end, natural products and are characterized by their unique flavours and packaging. Craft beverages are gaining popularity globally amongst all consumers, but especially amongst millennials, because of their high affinity towards trying new products. Major soft drinks manufacturers are launching their line of craft drinks to tap into this growing segment, thus contributing to the growth of this industry.
In the USA, brands like Dry Sparkling, Cool Mountain Beverages and Jones Soda are already offering craft soft drinks through various online and offline channels. Austrian energy drink brand, Red Bull has launched its new line of craft soft drinks, made using fresh ingredients from organic farms.
More and more soft drink brands, particularly, soda makers are finding themselves facing the ‘what next?’ hurdle Having witnessed a decade of plunging sales, these companies understand that evolving consumer taste means they need to revamp their products to maintain the category freshness and their market share. Over the past few years, carbonated soft drink leaders, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have realised the need to bring to the table, products that are preferred by and truly resonate with today’s consumers.
Which explains why, the two giants are introducing a number of unique flavoured drinks in smaller packaging. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, a revamped version of the previous Coke Zero, is now available in fresh new orange-vanilla, Blueberry Açai and Strawberry Guava flavours. Pepsi isn’t behind either – it too has announced a couple of new flavours with splashes of fruit juice: Pepsi Berry, Pepsi Lime and Pepsi Mango. What’s noteworthy is that these variants use alternate sweetener options replacing sugar, as they are aimed at wooing today’s health conscious consumers. A further testimony to Pepsi’s quest to move away from sugary drinks is its acquisition of sparkling water maker, SodaStream for $3.2 billion.
The two rivals have not just been on an equal footing in terms of product innovation and introducing new flavours but also in packaging improvements towards sustainability. Championing the cause of packaging innovation, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have developed bottle packaging made with renewable, plant-based materials.Coca-Cola’s 100% recyclable PlantBottle, the world’s first recyclable PET plastic bottle made from 30% plant-based material, was launched back in 2009 and has ever since been introduced in 20 countries around the world. However, it was Pepsi that invented the 100% eco-friendly bottle in 2011, showcasing its superior approach to providing a renewable packaging solution.
At the moment, the global soft drinks industry seems to be on the brink of a makeover, with consumer demand pushing manufacturers to rethink the soft drinks formulae of the past. Looks like the days of conventional flavours and drinks laced with sugar are gone for good.