“We look at the beverage segment, there's really three things, in my opinion, that are moving the needle right now. First is going to be energy. Second is hydration. And the third is going to be gut health. And when you think about these three trends, and these are all really under the functional space, the better-for-you space, these are all benefits that consumers can feel," Hendrickson explained.
Consumers want it all from gut health to low-sugar
Gut health claims have been on the rise, as more research reinforces the importance of gut health for overall health, Henrickson said. Per 2022 International Food Information Council data, 24% of 1,000 US consumers said gut health was the most important aspect of their overall health, and 32% said they actively try to consume probiotics.
CPG companies will need to diversify their portfolios through brand acquisition or new products to meet the demand for gut health-related products, she added.
“Now, is it going to be as big as you know, our traditional [carbonated soft drinks]? Maybe not, but I think it's going to have its place in the market in the long term. And so, as we continue to understand these ingredients and the benefits better over time, it's just going to be more and more functional benefits and more and more targeted and personalized nutrition that consumers can get from their beverages.”
Many CPG companies are increasingly relying on monk fruit to meet the demand for sweetness without the calories, Henrickson said.
“What we're seeing trending right now in the sweeteners category are things like stevia, monk fruit, allulose, and more specifically, we're seeing a combination of different types of sweeteners that can really provide you with that great taste that consumers are looking for,” Henrickson said. “At Tate & Lyle, what we're doing with our part in the industry is ... we're diversifying our portfolio with products that are ... creating a better taste experience and providing the functionality that's needed when developing in these beverages.”