Trend them packing: beverage market analysis

3 July 2018

Beverage Packaging Innovation takes a look across beverage markets to ascertain what is currently trending in the industry, with help from GlobalData.

Manufacturers can exploit positive perceptions of dairy- and lactose-free options with more sophisticated products that offer a wide range of benefits – from a functional and convenience perspective.

Enhance and promote dairy-free products’ healthy credentials

Although the correlation between lowdairy consumption and incidence of bone health issues has been disputed, consumers continue to worry. Besides regional discrepancies, globally, calcium deficiency is as much a concern among dairy-avoiders as the average consumer. To capitalise on concern for calcium deficiency and related health issues, dairy-free brands can offer products with health credentials to balance out deficiencies from a lack of dairy.

Older consumers are more likely to associate lactose-free with good health

The growing demand for lactose-free products goes beyond intolerances. Half of global consumers purchasing lactose-free goods do so because they believe them to be healthier. This feeling is stronger among the elderly, a segment for whom consumption of calcium-rich products, such as dairy, is more important in an effort to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Sentiment for lactose-free products being healthier is also higher among consumers who are trying to lose weight, further supporting health motivations behind growing demand for dairy-free products.

Asia-Pacific demand for more sophisticated dairyfree options

Asia-Pacific is a region where lactosefree is most likely to be perceived as being healthier than dairy-based milk. However, despite previous attempts by the Chinese Government to promote milk as a major source of calcium, any attempt to launch has been constrained by high lactose intolerance. The challenge for manufacturers operating in the region lies in introducing dairy- or lactosefree options that retain the benefits of dairy, such as calcium and protein.

Earth’s Own SoFresh Oat, fortified oat beverage, Canada

Promoted as source of calcium, vitamins D, and B12, this fortified oat beverage will appeal to those dairyavoiders seeking out dairy-free alternatives with a more complete nutritional profile that satiates hunger and thirst.

Bakoma Senior Active drinking yogurt, Poland

Claimed to be high in calcium and vitamin D, this lactose-free yogurt targets senior consumers, who are more likely to experience nutritional deficiency in these areas.

The brand name helps to position the product as tailored towards the health needs of older consumers.

Vida Veg Leites Vegetais coconut milk, Brazil

Despite being a staple beverage in the country, this novel coconut milk with added nutrients will resonate among health fanatics. Featuring 15g of protein per carton, the beverage is a source of vitamins B6, D, and B12, while also claiming to deliver 33% of the daily requirement of calcium in a single 200ml serving.

Sagamiya Daizu Origin drinking tofu, Japan

Plant-based beverages are adopting dairy packaging to meet the needs of consumers looking for dairy-free options. This innovative product features tofu in an on-the-go cup. A similiar dairy product is already a popular drink for commuters. It will meet demand from consumers seeking dairy-free, yet high-in-protein, options in a convenient format.

Consumers demand a bigger boost of energy from their food and drink

Overall, consumer interest for food and drinks providing functional benefits in supporting energy and performance is strong. From an age perspective, younger consumers are more likely to be actively buying products supporting and improving performance and stamina, but a significant proportion of consumers across all ages are interested in these.

In this scenario, the proportion of consumers interested but not actively buying suggests to dairy manufacturers that there is still time and room to innovate.

Capitalise on the positive health appeal of dairy-based proteins among active and sporting consumers

Recently, dairy brands have exploited the credentials of milk-based products to meet strong demand for protein. The high protein content has particular appeal among those consumers engaged in active and sporting lifestyles.

To tap into the interests of active consumers, dairy brands can combine ‘high-protein’ claims with other energising benefits, such as added ginseng or green tea. Portable packaging, such as squeezable pouches, will also increase dairy’s appeal as a booster before, during or after a workout.

Yakult Plus fermented skimmed milk, Italy

This new and functional drink contains added fibre and vitamin C to ensure the proper functioning of the immune system. The company, well known for its original formulation containing 6.5 billion probiotics, claims the new release offers even more complete and balanced nutrition.

Origin Almond ginger turmeric golden milk, US

This almond milk is infused with natural energisers, and healthboosting plants and herbs to provide an anti-inflammatory for the consumer. The enhanced beverage will appeal to health fanatics seeking out natural energising products that maintain a balanced nutritional profile.

Goodday Charge+ chocolate flavoured milk, Malaysia

This milk is ‘re-energised’ with protein, calcium, vitamins, iodine and niacin, and promises to support the body’s growth and the health of bones and eyes, while also offering an energy boost. These energising credentials will differentiate this launch from regular flavoured milk drinks to target active consumers.

Sleep Well Milk Drink, UK

This drink, promoted as aiding sleep, is made from cows’ milk from Jersey, which, it is claimed, contains 20% more calcium, and protein, and a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than milk from other breeds. The provenance tag will appeal to the health-oriented.

Explore unconventional flavours combinations that can satisfy dairy consumers’ demand for experimentation

Flavour is a key factor that can encourage consumers to experiment with food and drink products. While consumers often opt for comforting and familiar flavours, the number who enjoy experimenting is surprisingly significant and is proving to continue to drive innovation. Generally, consumers are most likely to be experimental when it comes to purchases of cheese compared with other dairy products. This is likely due to the wide variety of product types already available within the category, in which cultural exploration allows for trial and experimentation.

Asia-Pacific consumers are reluctant, perhaps due to the relative novelty of dairy products in some countries within the region. Dairy brands can tap into experimental behaviour through the use of unconventionally sweet or savoury flavours in an effort to provide a new sensory experience and capture and maintain consumer interest.

Zuo bold and spicy flavoured drinking yogurt, China

This dairy brand has launched a line-up of drinks that marry traditional natural yogurt with spicy, tart, bitter and salty flavours. The new range breaks the familiarity of archetypal sweet fruit-flavoured yogurts, and instead opens up the category to new and adventurous consumption occasions, as well as exciting potential pairing opportunities.

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