Category blurring, functional ingredients and activism were among key beverage trends during NYC's BevNet Live

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags beverage trends Packaging functional beverages Marketing ESG

FoodNavigator-USA spoke with Alexis Guetzlaff, director of marketing at glass bottle manufacturer, O-I during BevNet Live June 14-15 in New York City to discuss category blurring in the beverage scene.

“We’re seeing kombuchas blend into probiotic drinks into sparkling juices and functional waters. So, these traditional categories of beverages are becoming a lot more blurry and consumers are looking for products that do more for them,​” Guetzlaff explained to FoodNavigator-USA.

Active ingredients and activism shape beverage brand strategies

Popular functional ingredients like collagen for skin health, apple cider vinegar for gut health, l-theanine for energy and hemp to promote calmness are no longer limited to their traditional categories. Brands are infusing active ingredients into still and sparkling beverages to give consumers a diverse array of functional, drinkable options. Along with active ingredients, activism is shaping brand strategy as more companies are including ESG messaging on pack and in marketing communications.

Sparkling and infused water brand, Daio​, features four beverages promoting different attributes surrounding wellness, hydration, balance and mental health. The brand also partners with and donates to non-profit programs that develop charter schools in disadvantaged communities.

The crowd-sourced sparkling energy drink, Gorgie​, promotes itself as a “beverage with benefits​” and features l-theanine, biotin and green tea in flavors like Paradise Punch, Watermelon Crush, Mango Tango, Peachy Keen and Citrus Burst. A woman-owned and operated brand, Gorgie built its community through social media which later informed its formulation and packaging strategy. The brand hosts and participates in online and in-person community events that “cover[s] everything from resume review to mentorship, happy hours to holiday parties,​” according to its website.

Consumers want “more control over their customization​”

Personalization, particularly in the RTD coffee concentrate space, offers consumers “more control over their customization of their drink​” Guetzlaff explains. “We’re seeing pockets of traditional categories starting to stake off outside of the larger RTD coffee categor​y,” she adds.

From simple clean to vibrant and bold, packaging grabs consumers' attention instantly. Guetzlaff also added how brands within saturated markets, like still and sparkling water, have an opportunity to differentiate themselves with packaging materials like glass, plastic and aluminum. As a glass bottle manufacturer, Guetzlaff is seeing how water brands can use glass as a differentiator from the standard aluminum packaging.

What’s top of mind for me right now is sparkling water in relation to glass. It’s a saturated market in cans but it’s very commoditized and you have consumers brand switching based on what’s on sale…I see a lot of opportunity to bring consumers into the category and add some incrementality… so unlocking even a little of that market for a brand can be huge volume and big success​,” she emphasized.


Related topics Markets

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more