As consumers continue to be more health-conscious about the foods and beverages they purchase, sodas are being replaced by non-carbonated better-for-you (BFY) beverages. There have been several highly publicized reports linking soda consumption to the growing U.S. obesity epidemic, and consumers are heeding the warning. In 2013, overall sales volume fell 3% to 8.9 billion cases – the 9th straight year of declining sales. And while there haven’t been any official reports for 2014, forecasts suggest yet another decline.
It’s no secret that fruit juices aren’t the healthiest drinks on the market. Though it’s common for consumers to assume that fruit juice would be a healthy beverage option, most of them are in for a surprise when they look at the nutrition label and find that juices are loaded with sugar and made with corn syrup. Even juices that claim to be “100% Juice” are often made from juice concentrate, adding more confusion to consumers’ perceived healthfulness.
What’s the first thing consumers think of when they hear someone talking about protein shakes? Most people probably think of a body builder eagerly trying to bulk up his or her muscles.
With childhood obesity rates continuing to climb in the United States, it’s time for beverage manufacturers to start offering healthier options for kids. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 17% of children aged 2-19 years old in the U.S. are now considered obese – an increase from 14.5% in 2000. Given all the reforms for childhood nutrition over the past few years, it’s become increasingly important to start offering healthier food items, but there hasn’t been enough emphasis placed on providing more nutritional beverages.
Since 2008, the energy drink sector has grown by more than 60% in the United States. As a matter of fact, energy drinks had the second-highest retail sales in the non-carbonated soft drinks category in 2013 – finishing only behind water. Americans areliving busier, on-the-go lives, and high caffeine, high sugar energy drinks appeal to consumers with promises for a quick energy boost, enhanced mental focus, and added herbal supplements. However, given the recent concerns by the FDA regarding the safety of caffeine in food products and its effects on children and young adults, energy drink manufacturers have seen overall sales start to slow.
If you haven’t noticed, food manufacturers everywhere have been hopping on the protein bandwagon. With more and more consumers actively searching for foods with higher protein content, food manufacturers are finding new ways to re-formulate their products and redesign their packaging to put a bigger emphasis on protein. And while there has been an increasing amount of products starting to advertise protein more recently, one food category has been a target for protein-enriched products for years. We’re talking, of course, about the beverage industry.
With consumers becoming more and more health-conscious over the past few years, it should come as no surprise that the sports drink industry has seen considerable growth during that timespan as well. From 2007-2012, total sports drinks sales grew by 20% in the U.S., and reports are estimating 2013’s retail sales at a whopping $7.4 billion.