CHICAGO — There is a saying to not judge a book by its cover. Quite the opposite is true with beverages. Increasingly, consumers believe what they drink is a reflection of who they are and their investment in maintaining health and wellness.
“Consumers are looking to boost their nutritional intake in ways that are more convenient, more fun, less caloric and tastier,” said Steve French, managing partner of the Natural Marketing Institute (N.M.I.), Harleysville, Pa. “In addition, they’re looking for quick solutions for conditions that are considered less medically treatable such as lack of energy and stress.
“Consumers also seek ways to supplement their current diet with highly desired nutrients such as fiber and protein. These needs highlight opportunities for nutrient expansion across a range of different formats provided the formats make sense to consumers for the benefits they provide.”
In many instances, beverages make sense. Single-serve, portable cans and bottles provide portion control, delivering dosages with purported benefits for either short- or long-term effects.
Mr. French described this as self-reliant revival, where consumers have independent attitudes relating to health care decisions. They are researching their own symptoms, diagnosing their own illnesses and administering their own cures.
“Driven in part by dissatisfaction with the health care system, the ever-changing Dietary Guidelines and conflicting messages in the media, consumers are finding new and non-traditional ways to manage their health,” he said.
With beverages, this may be something as simple as reducing or eliminating sugars to prevent diabetes. If there’s a quest to build immunity, probiotics may be sought out. The fact is, today’s consumers are actively seeking better-for-you beverage options throughout the day, even including happy hour.
With more American drinkers seemingly becoming focused on their wellness and active lifestyles, the face of happy hour is changing as more varieties of alcohol become available. A recent survey commissioned by Truly Spiked & Sparkling and conducted on-line by Harris Poll revealed that almost half (47%) of Americans ages 21 and over who drink alcohol say there are not enough low-calorie alcoholic beverage options on the market. Nearly 5 in 10 drinkers agreed that following a wellness routine makes it hard to be social because events often revolve around unhealthy food and drink.
Truly Spiked & Sparkling is an alcohol-containing sparkling water recently introduced by the Hard Seltzer Beverage Company, L.L.C., an affiliate of the Boston Beer Co., Boston. With 100 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving, Truly Spiked & Sparkling (5% alcohol by volume) is formulated with simple ingredients and contains alcohol produced from cane sugar.