The beverage industry is one of the first to respond to the trends prevailing in the society. At present, in the developed countries, the main trend in consumption is the interest in high-quality drinks with new flavors in a convenient package. In developing countries, there is a growing interest in branded products with high value-added as a method to meet a certain standard of living (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2012). In order to evaluate the trends that are dominant in the international market, it is crucial to analyze the various management tendencies and the fast-changing practices that allow addressing the customer needs effectively. As a result, the present paper is devoted to the review of two articles that describe modern trends in the beverage industry and the analysis of their implications for managers.
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Summaries of the Articles
The article by Berry (2016) is devoted to the upcoming trends in the beverage industry, including “better-for-you brands” (para. 1), which have been offering various products from ready-to-drink tea and coffee to carbonated and crafty drinks. The feature that unites all these brands consists of the way they are working towards avoiding excessive sugar and other potentially unhealthy ingredients and introducing ones that increase nutritional properties of the drinks, make them healthier, and offer new flavors. Berry (2016) states that these trends have been caused by consumer’s willingness to buy such healthy and otherwise useful products, implying that simple “thirst quenchers” are no longer popular (para. 39).
The article by Del Buono (2016) is similar in describing the trends in the beverage industry, but it primarily illustrates one particular fashionable feature: the use of plants and “botanicals,” especially in alcohol drinks. The article describes the way the function of botanicals in the beverage industry has changed from flavoring substances to healthy, nutritious, and functional ingredients that can be employed for their color or emulsifying properties. In the end, botanicals become multifunctional components that offer multiple benefits and are approved by the customers. Del Buono (2016) extensively describes the possible reasons for customer’s approval, which include their curiosity with respect to unusual and especially sophisticated flavors, the interest in healthy and nutritious products, the aversion to chemicals, and they wish to know what ingredients constitute a product and be knowledgeable about their effects. Finally, Del Buono (2016) mentions the challenges of botanicals that include inconsistent distribution of attributes, which depends on multiple factors of plants’ growth, as well as botanicals’ tendency to affect various product properties, including shelf life. Off-putting flavors are also a possibility, but when managed appropriately, as Del Buono (2016) and Berry (2016) prove, botanicals can become a multifunctional and popular tool for the beverage industry.
Beverage Industry Implications
Trends and Tendencies
Both of the analyzed articles have much in common in terms of the described tendencies, and they emphasize that the major trend in the global beverage market is health orientation, which is reflected in the reduction of sugar and artificial ingredients in the drinks (Berry, 2016; Del Buono, 2016). The sweet carbonated drinks have approximately 40% of the soft drinks market shares, but sweet soda loses its market position giving way to the sports and functional drinks. The market share of sports and energy drinks is to account for about a quarter of all the sales. Whereas, the share of the low-calorie drinks on the market is to reach up to 15%. Subsequently, there has been an evident shift in consumer behavior.
In general, according to the articles, the segment of healthy drinks with reduced calories and sugar that have natural ingredients is increasing steadily (Berry, 2016; Del Buono, 2016). For instance, most of the mineral water manufacturers extend their product range with lemonades based on natural ingredients (Ashurst, 2016). The health benefits remain the major, unrelenting beverage market trend in developing any new product; managers should consider the naturalness, health security, and useful properties when introducing new commodities and planning the marketing (Hitt et al., 2012). Needless to say that even in the positioning of alcoholic beverages, the producers emphasize their focus on the natural ingredients (Singh, 2012).
It should be noted that successful innovations in the beverage segment should orient at such attributes as multifunctionality, useful properties, and fun (Pellettieri, 2015). Multifunctional drinks will be in demand due to a combination of multiple properties in a convenient format. Further, the intensive sales of useful beverages (in terms of health) are directly connected with the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, youthfulness, beauty, and sport. The notion of fun is one of the crucial aspects to consider when focusing on the younger target market (Pellettieri, 2015). It implies the introduction of new textures such as bubbles filled with special flavors and other. Due to the current trends, most of the beverage manufacturers adjust their productions to manufacture drinks that are functional and contributive to health and contain only natural ingredients to support the active way of life of people.
In order to stand out from the competition, companies need to monitor and analyze constantly the situation in the market and examine the company’s strategy in relation to the current tendencies. The consumer behavior undergoes a change under the pressure of different influences, and companies need to adapt to the needs and preferences of clients in order to remain relevant. The beverage industry is indeed volatile and is characterized by the high rivalry; therefore, managers need to regulate the alterations in the environment and transform the company’s activities in accordance with the changing trends, which include the use of botanicals and other healthy and multifunctional ingredients.
Ashurst, P. (2016). Chemistry and technology of soft drinks and fruit juices. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Berry, D. (2016). Beverage trends 2016. Web.
Del Buono, A. (2016). Botanicals gain favor for clean label, functional benefits. Web.
Hitt, M., Ireland, R., & Hoskisson, R. (2012). Strategic management cases. Boston, MA: Cengage.
Pellettieri, M. (2015). Quality management. Boulder, CO: Brewers Publications.
Singh, S. (2012). New mega trends. New York, NY: Springer.