The beverage category encompasses a large group of segments including non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Beverages are fast-moving consumer goods and are a hotbed of innovation. Trendincite’s Perfumer & Flavorist “Forward Thinking: Water Works” article, which appeared in March 2017, and “Forward Thinking: Liquid Assets, Part 1” article, which appeared in October 2015, explored non-alcoholic beverages. Many of the trends examined, such as bottled water, tea and protein beverages, remain relevant.
Current market activity is being driven by ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee, hard coffee, chocolate profiles, CBD-infused and functional beverages as well as smaller format quick service restaurants (QSR) and consumer experiences. Trendincite LLC would be remiss if activity in low and no-alcohol markets was not mentioned; however, Trendincite LLC addressed this trend in Tidbits issue 54 September/October 2019 “Lose The Booze And Raise Your Glass To LONO Drinks” newsletter and therefore it was not included in this articlea.
In July 2019, GasBuddy surveyed more than 1,000 people and found that 51% of respondents reported that they purchase a beverage at a gas station c-store at least once a week, with 20% doing so dailyb. In addition, the top five types of packaged beverages purchased at gas stations are carbonated soft drinks, water, coffee, energy drinks and sports drinks. However, the better-for-you beverage trend is spilling into c-stores, when asked if respondents have “moved more towards healthier options compared to five years ago,” 44% of respondents agreed with the statement.