Trends Driving Beverage Innovation in 2024

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We dive into the key trends influencing beverage innovation next year, getting the inside perspective from the Treatt team as to what will influence NPD in 2024.

Mega trends continue to dominate, such is their nature, but what we see are nuances appearing in the form of micro trends year on year. Health & Wellness, Sustainability & Ethics and, more recently, the Financial Wellbeing trend have come to the fore as we continue to live in economically challenging times.

What it is: Trust and Transparency

Consumers are increasingly sceptical and highly wary of greenwashing and are becoming more sceptical about the validity of environmental claims. 51% of consumers are confused about what food and drinks are healthy for them (GlobalData Q1, 2023).

Green fatigue is increasingly an issue for consumers as they try to navigate the plethora of on-pack claims.

Why it’s important:

The new EU Green Claims Directive came into effect in June 2023 and will be setting a high bar for sustainability claims, potentially bringing an end to greenwashing as brands are forced to substantiate green claims.

These stricter regulations around labelling will see manufacturers innovating better-for-the planet formulations or being forced to remove on-pack claims that cannot be supported by a wholly transparent supply chain.

Gen Z’ers, who are key drivers of beverage innovation, place huge value on how products reach them on an emotional level. ‘Better for us not better for you’ is the motto of this eco conscious generation.

Find out more about our approach to sustainability in our latest Annual Report.

What is it: Measured indulgence

Consumers are making decadent occasions more permissible with features that rationalise the occasional indulgence. Rather than foregoing such occasions, they will seek product features that mitigate the negative health impacts associated with consumption.

Why it’s important:

Consumers are increasingly taking a more considered approach to enjoying indulgences such as alcohol, sugar laden desserts, and red meat.

In the beverage world, the dynamic no/low-alcohol category presents opportunities for brands to engage consumers from other soft drinks categories.

No/low saw exponential growth in recent years with the market valued at $11 billion in 2022. IWSR report that the pace of growth in this dynamic category is expected to surpass that of the last four years, growing by a third to 2026.

Find out more about our natural sugar reduction solutions HERE

What is it: The Value Equation

The value equation is concerned with delivering benefits to the consumer in forms beyond low price. It’s about the clear and simple communication of a product’s benefits.

Why it’s important:

The current macro-economic climate means that consumers seek to justify discretionary spending and will be more than willing to forego brand loyalties for an alternative value proposition they deem to be superior. This puts the onus on brands to demonstrate value-for-money in more compelling ways.

Consumers determine value based on many factors, and those reasons are not entirely defined by their demographic group. Emotional drivers and need states are increasingly influencing how consumers define value.

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