Packaged Beverages: Evolving the Cold Vault

Retailers face a coffee-addicted nation and differing definitions of ‘healthy’

By 
Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

Carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks and bottled water still rule the cold vault, but innovation is positioning the beverage category for the future.

1. Better-for-you variety.

Leading a healthy lifestyle means different things to different people. That’s extending to how we hydrate (coconut water and aloe vera), how we consume protein (smoothies and protein waters) and even how we manage our immune system (kombucha and pressed juices).

2. Coffee, more ready than ever.

Once the bastion of dairy-heavy drinks such as Starbucks Frappuccino, ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee is being re-created with iced coffee and cold brew. New products from brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts, High Brew and Califia make this an active area of innovation.

3. Soda taxes.

Since November, several cities have placed taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. Chicago’s Cook County added a tax of its own without turning to voters. The taxes will affect everything from soft drinks to iced tea. Is your community next? Is the nation?

$8.8 billion

C-store sales of carbonated beverages in 2016

Source: IRI

Click here to see the complete packaged-beverage data from the 2017 Category Management Handbook.