What are the key beverage trends - and companies - to watch in 2018?

Soylent CEO Bryan Crowley joins lineup at FoodNavigator-USA, BeverageDaily online beverage innovation event

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Soylent CEO Bryan Crowley joins lineup at FoodNavigator-USA online beverage innovation event

Related tags: Nutrition

One of the most exciting players in the fast-growing meal replacement space, Soylent built its business – and a highly engaged community – online, first on its own website, and later on Amazon, but has recently ventured into the bricks and mortar space via a deal with 7-Eleven.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the brand, which has both intrigued and baffled trend-watchers, given that its sterile packaging and utilitarian ‘food as fuel’ approach appears to fly in the face of the culinary trend towards ‘minimally processed’ whole foods that are inherently nutritious rather than fortified with nutrients.

New CEO Bryan Crowley will explain what Soylent is all about and where the brand might be going in 2018 and beyond as the keynote speaker in our FREE-to-attend 2018 beverage innovation online event​ on Wednesday February 21, supported by FoodNavigator-USA and BeverageDaily.

For beverage trendwatchers out there, you can also tune into our 60-minute panel debate designed to give you an insight into which categories are growing and why, and what retailers are really looking for. We’ll also address questions including…

  • From cold brew tea and adaptogens to keto shakes: Which emerging trends have legs?
  • How is the war on sugar impacting the beverage category?
  • What are retailers looking for from beverage brands?
  • Will Diet Coke’s new look reverse its flagging fortunes?
  • Do all kombuchas contain probiotics?
  • What is the key to successful beverage packaging design?
  • What claims could land you in legal hot water?

Feb 21: 11.30am-12.30pm EST - BEVERAGE TRENDWATCHING PANEL DEBATE

Kra drinks

What are the fastest-growing beverage categories and which consumer trends are successful firms tapping into?  Get the lowdown on what’s hot and what’s not from Howard Telford at Euromonitor, design expert Simon Thorneycroft at Perspective Branding, Califia Farms CEO and industry veteran Greg Steltenpohl, new sports beverage brand KRā, Gabe Nabors from Ohio-based retailer Mustard Seed Market, and attorney Ryan Kaiser to find out which beverage categories are growing, what consumers want, how retailers view the category, how to build a beverage brand and stand out on shelf, and how to avoid legal hot water…

PANEL MEMBERS:

  • Greg Steltenpohl, ​co-founder and CEO, Califia Farms ​ 
  • Sarah Hardgrove-Koleno, ​co-founder and CEO, KRā ​ 
  • Gabe Nabors, ​director of marketing and category management, Mustard Seed Market
  • Howard Telford, ​senior industry analyst, Euromonitor International ​ 
  • Ryan Kaiser, ​partner, Amin Talati Upadhye ​ 
  • Simon Thorneycroft, ​founder and CEO, Perspective Branding

Feb 21: 2.00pm-2.45am EST - KEYNOTE: SOYLENT… WHERE NEXT?

Bryan Crowley Soylent CEO Dec 2017

SPEAKER: Bryan Crowley, ​CEO, Soylent   

The biggest misconception about Soylent is that it is being used to replace every meal, 365 days a year, says CEO Bryan Crowley, who joined Soylent as president in May 2017 following a stint as chief strategy officer at functional beverage brand KeVita, and took over as CEO in December after founder Rob Rhinehart moved into the executive chairman role.

In reality, he says, while you can eat Soylent exclusively (it has been formulated as a ‘nutritionally complete’ food), most customers don’t, and are instead using it when they are busy, or traveling.

“People always ask me if we’re trying to eliminate traditional food. The answer is no - we love food. It is connected to the fabric of what defines cultures and makes us human beings.

"What we do want to replace is all those times you need food as fuel, and you either skip a meal or make an unhealthy, unsustainable or expensive choice throughout your busy week. We call these ‘food voids’ and we’re on a mission to make them obsolete with a healthier, more sustainable choice…”

REGISTER HERE​ for the event, which is sponsored by Ingredion​ and DuPont Nutrition & Health​,​ and supported by Cargill,​ Synergy Flavors,​ Chr Hansen,​ and DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts.

See the full list of speakers HERE.

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