Soda companies adjust focus to new healthy beverages in 2016
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Everyone is talking about Coca-Cola's new "Taste the Feeling" campaign. Just launched, it has already made quite a few waves in the media — social and otherwise. The campaign focuses on a series of different emotionally charged moments for Coke drinkers showcasing their simple pleasure from the drink.
At a time when sodas are increasingly berated for their negative impact on health and face declining sales, this seems bold indeed. Then again, maybe declining sales is the perfect reason for a campaign makeover.
By uniting all their products under one banner in the ads, Coca-Cola executives are trying giving the choice back to customers — enjoy these drinks "with or without calories, with or without caffeine." Will it be enough to stem the tide?
American beverage consumption is set for a revolutionary change in 2016. With alarming health reports on diabetes and obesity, all sugary drinks are under fire like never before. The soda giants can no longer look the other way and expect the storm to pass, because this time it's not just a few health experts who are making noise but consumers themselves.
Competition, in fact, is coming from a rather unlikely source — bottled water. As more Americans cut down on their daily soda consumption, bottled water has quietly inserted itself into their lives.
Consumers are also on the lookout for low-calorie, nutritious options instead of the sugary beverages that have ruled until now. Not surprisingly, these same major brands have been quick to see the potential, and now see their sales volumes growing in that sector. Coca-Cola's Dasani, Nestlé's Poland Spring and PepsiCo's Aquafina’s are some names that come to mind, each of which saw a 7 to 9 percent rise in 2014 while their soda sales went down.
While water is the latest trend watch, it is interesting to note the new brands and beverages that have come up in its wake. For major beverage companies, the focus is on developing new healthy beverages has given rise to new energy and sports drinks as well.
2016 will see new Aquafina flavored waters, organic Gatorade and even a line of non-GMO labeled Tropicana, among others from Pepsi. Not to be left behind there will be sparking Smartwater and sparkling Minute Maid from Coca-Cola. Of course, nothing has a better or healthier reputation than water, but these new offers might just save the day for the soda giants.
The American Beverage Association has set a goal to cut calories by 20 percent by 2025. One way to do that would be switching to water and other healthier drinks. The other way is to lower portions without completely giving up soft drinks from the diet. Opting for smaller cans and bottles would help in this regard, and this is exactly what the big companies are targeting to stem their sales from sliding any further.
As healthy beverages take center stage, another major trend to watch is reformulation — revamped versions of drinks with fewer calories. Mountain Dew Kickstart is a definite success story in this regard, while the recently reformulated Diet Pepsi without aspartame and the more health-centric Coke Life are still awaiting verdict.
The shift in focus is toward drinks that emphasize positive health benefits, not just less sugar, sodium or calories. There is a fine difference, and manufacturers need to understand that to survive.
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