What are the key beverage trends - and companies - to watch in 2016?

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Top beverage trends for 2016 at the Beverage Innovation Summit
What distinguishes the winners from the losers in the ultra-competitive beverages market?

We’ve secured some of the best and brightest beverage CEOs from Suja Juice, REBBL, Chameleon ColdBrew, AquaHydrate, Protein2o, Dust Cutter Beverage Co, and Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water, to talk about what they’re doing differently, what trends they think have staying power, how to build distribution, and how to finance and grow a beverage business, at the 2016 Beverage Innovation Summit​ on February 18.

In this free-to-attend​ online event, FoodNavigator-USA and BeverageDaily have also invited market researchers at Euromonitor and Canadean, and an expert from Kroger to give you an insight into which categories are growing and why, and what retailers are really looking for.

EVENT BREAKDOWN (timings are all in Eastern Time):

11.30am-12.30pm EST: ENTREPRENEURS TO WATCH

Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee concentrated

Whether it’s a new ingredient, novel technology, or different way of looking at established categories, disruptive companies are always thinking outside the box. We’ve gathered together some of the best and brightest CEOs to talk about what they’re doing differently. 

2.00pm-2.40pm EST:  KEYNOTE: Jeff Church, CEO, SUJA JUICE

Jeff-Church-Suja-Juice

Suja’s progress has been nothing short of meteoric, generating revenues of $18m in 2013, more than $40m in 2014, and a forecasted $70-80m in 2015. And now it can count Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division as key investors. CEO Jeff Church explains how it all happened so fast, and what’s next for the brand.

2.45pm-3.30pm EST: TREND-WATCHING PANEL: What’s hot, what’s not, what’s next?

Mark Wahlberg drinks AQUAhydrate

What are the fastest-growing beverage categories and what consumer trends are successful firms tapping into?  Hear from leading market researchers, a beverage CEO and a leading retailer to find out which beverage categories are growing, what consumers want and how retailers view the category.

  • Hal Kravitz, CEO, AQUAHYDRATE​   
  • Mathis Martines, emerging brands and innovation director, KROGER  
  • Howard Telford, senior beverages analyst, EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL​     
  • Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director, CANADEAN CONSUMER​      

REGISTER HERE​ for the event, which is sponsored by  Virun,Ingredion​, and Glanbia Nutritionals​,​ and supported by Cargill ViaTech stevia​ and Pizzey Ingredients​. 

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To whet your appetite, we've also pulled out some useful facts & figures​ about the beverage market from Brian Reed, principal, market structure, at Chicago-based market researcher IRI:

  • VOLUMES​: In the past year, the refreshment beverage industry has seen a volume sales increase of 3%.
  • CSDS IN DECLINE: ​Carbonated soft drinks (CSD) and refrigerated orange juice have both endured negative compounded annual growth rates (CAGR) for the past five years, down by 3% and 4%, respectively.
  • GROWTH CATEGORIES: ​Beverage categories generating double digit growth include ready-to-drink teas/coffees (+13%), flavored sparkling waters (+24%), coconut and plant waters (+16%), flavored water (+56%), and refrigerated kombuchas and fermented beverages (+45%).
  • NATURAL REFRESHMENT BEVERAGES ​(as defined by IRI’s partner SPINS) account for only 6.6% of the beverage category [this includes organic beverages], but are driving 31% of dollar growth. "The natural refreshment buyer base continues to grow​ [59m buyers, +6% YoY]."
  • THE NATURAL REFRESHMENT BUYER:​ In the past year, the average amount spent per buyer on refreshment beverages was $217. However, the natural refreshment buyer spent $30 more throughout the year – a difference of 14%.  Natural beverage buyers are more likely to be: young; multi-cultural; and educated.

Speaking to delegates at the recent BevNET Live event in Santa Monica, Reed added a note of caution, however: “Consumers aren’t buying these products because​ they are natural or organic. They buy them primarily because they love the taste and the product and they also happen to be natural/organic. But they also tend to be premium products with high-quality ingredients.”

He also observed that while marketers are obsessed with Millennials and Gen Z-ers, 50% of sparkling water sales are to older couples.

Meanwhile, 26% of coconut water buyers earn less than 35k a year, and the same people that drink Coca-Cola on one day will drink a niche cold brew coffee brand the next.

Click HERE​ to register for our event.

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