What labeling trends should the beverage industry be aware of as 2017 gets underway? Overall, sugary drinks are losing popularity, with Fortune reporting that soda consumption has fallen to a 30-year low in the U.S. So far, it appears that consumers are most focused on environmental sustainability and health, and successful beverage sellers have to capitalize on this.
Here are some paths that the industry appears poised to take in the coming year:
"Consumers are the most focused on environmental sustainability and health."
A focus on clean, natural ingredients: Clean labeling was once just a trend, but is increasingly becoming a rule in the industry. Producers aren't just doing all they can to remove artificial ingredients from their products – they're also using labels that prominently feature mentions of natural, easy-to-understand ingredients. In addition, Packaging World reported on a survey conducted by EcoFocus Worldwide, which found that 70 percent of shoppers believe that products with healthier ingredient lists should use packaging that is free of chemicals and preservatives.
- More nutritional value: Beverages aren't just treats anymore. As consumption of sugary soft drinks declines, consumers are looking for drinks that will add nutritional value – even replacing meals altogether. Bevnet.com reported that 40 percent of dollar growth in the industry has come from natural beverages in the past five years.
- Socially-conscious products: Young people in particular are more likely to buy products made by companies that support causes they believe in, according to Forbes. Producers can capture new markets by advertising their commitment to sustainability and recycling, for example.
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