As we dive into the top beverage trends for 2023, it’s clear that the drink industry has experienced unprecedented shifts since the global pandemic. Even though the crisis of lockdown and health scares has settled, consumers are still prioritizing functional drinks with health-boosting benefits. Consumer habits have changed in nearly every aspect of this beverage industry, leading to some new drink trends.
As a beverage development and production company with over 40 years of experience, this article will aim to provide insights into the latest trends in the beverage industry.
Beverage Industry Trends in the Market
New consumer habits develop and directly influence shifts in the beverage industry, thereby creating new drink trends. As beverage consultants, we can assist you in staying on top of the latest beverage industry trends.
Digital Foward Ordering
Contact-less ordering practices have become a new normal for common consumer habits leading brands to invest in apps and capable digital platforms. Many drink companies adapted to this change in the beverage market to meet consumers’ needs.
Brands that practice sustainability in small and large actions have gained significant attention from consumers. Beverage consumers are not only interested in a great-tasting drink, but they also expect the brands they purchase drinks from to care about the same issues that matter to them.
Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and expect their brands to do the same. In effect, beverage companies, large and small, are making environmentally friendly changes, such as switching to paper packaging and using recycled shipping material.
Pure and Natural Ingredients
The global beverage market is shifting away from sugar-filled drinks. Beverages with high amounts of sugar and artificial ingredients have decreased as the rise for beverages with natural ingredients has taken the reign.
However, a majority of consumers are still unwilling to sacrifice taste for health benefits. So companies like Nature’s Flavors specialize in creating plant-derived natural flavorings to satisfy the palate while spreading the organic and natural bounty of nature.
Bill The Flavor Guy, our lead flavor chemist at Newport Bottling & Canning, shares the biggest concern of most consumers, “So in today’s environment, people are really concerned about what they’re putting inside their bodies. So they really look at what’s [the nutritional value] of this product.” Consumers want to know what’s inside the products they’re consuming but also expect a pleasant flavor experience.
What New Drink Trends Matter to Consumers?
In 2023, these beverage trends reflect the core values of the vast majority. Beverage brands that can adjust to the latest drink industry trends and implement small changes have the chance to outrank the competition.
The global pandemic showed consumers how important it is to prioritize their health. So, they’re looking for the latest healthy drink elixir to support their immune system and digestive health.
Over the past few years, researchers have been discovering the role the digestive system plays in our overall health and well-being. This has led beverage brands like Olipop to create gut microbiome-supportive healthy sodas.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural, non-psychoactive compound from the hemp plant. Although the FDA has yet to approve the use of CBD in food and beverages, it’s still an ingredient to keep an eye on in the drink market.
CBD-infused beverages have been gaining popularity for their stress and pain-relieving properties. You can shop CBD drinks in flavored sparkling waters, flavored teas, and even canned mocktails.
RTD Low-Alcohol to No Alcohol
The pandemic lockdown brought out the at-home mixologist in so many of us. Three years later, consumers are still enjoying flavorful cocktails at home with canned martinis or bottled margaritas. Making a crowd-pleasing canned cocktail requires the right kind of ingredients and natural flavors. At Newport Bottling & Canning, we have created dozens of flavorful beverage formulas for canned and bottled cocktails.
However, with health still at the core for so many consumers, the demand for non-alcoholic beverages has increased. Consumers are not entirely eliminating alcohol from their regimens. Instead, they’re looking for mood-boosting alternatives, like non-alcoholic cocktails and zero-proof liquors.
Low Sugar or Sugar-Free
Consumers expect their favorite drinks to be low in sugar and offer sugar-free options. Major soda brands like Pepsi and Dr. Pepper have evolved with this beverage trend by providing sugar-free and low-calorie versions of their best-selling canned soft drinks.
The most commonly used sugar substitutes in the food and beverage industry include monk fruit, aspartame, stevia, erythritol, and xylitol. Most of these sugar-alcohols are derived from fruits and add the right amount of sweetness without any calories. Although consumers are looking to get their nutrients in a drink, they don’t want to sacrifice flavor.
The American population depends on coffee as their source of energy in the morning. The National Coffee Association reported, “The average American coffee drinker drinks just over 3 cups per day.”
No matter the rate of inflation, coffee drinkers are unwilling to give up their morning brew. Instead, they’ll look for cost-effective alternatives, like single-serving coffee makers or ready-to-drink (RTD) canned coffee beverages. In fact, the international coffee conglomerate Starbucks has created new lines of RTD caffeinated beverages to claim its spot in this sector of the beverage industry.
Consumers can find canned cold brews infused with nitrogen or espresso-based drinks with plant-based milk. Coffee companies such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters are collaborating with plant-based milk companies, like Oatly, to offer RTD cold brews with creamy oat milk
Beverage Business Insights
This beverage industry analysis shows that the wants and needs of consumers are ever-changing. In order for beverage brands to stay on top, they should reevaluate how they can fit these consumer needs.
In a post-pandemic world, beverage brands can expect to see an increase in demand for tasty and healthy tonics with pure and natural ingredients. While coffee remains a necessity for so many Americans, they’re looking for more cost-effective options with the most value.
The beverage industry forecast also predicts that drinks low in sugar and sugar-free remain in demand from consumers choosing to lower their sugar intake. RTD alcoholic beverages are becoming the new normal, and zero-proof canned cocktails have consumers completely captivated.
As we gain more insight into the latest drink industry trends in 2023 and beyond, beverage companies will most likely be adapting to consumers’ demand for eco-friendly, healthier beverages.