Themed Week Flexibility: Respond to Trends and Consumer Demands with Flexibility and Innovation

Innovation Flow Lounge
© drinktec

Getting one step ahead. For marketers, not just in the drinks industry, that poses an exciting challenge. Ideally, you would be able to anticipate consumer demands. Targeted analysis of consumer demands and trends and use of innovative ingredients can make that possible.

What we eat and drink is subject to constant change. The drinks industry always needs to be ready to react accordingly. But what is just a flash in the pan, and what is here to stay? By looking at global food trends, the communication agency Edelman.ergo has determined that drinks should give consumers a ‘good feeling’. That could be, for example, new wellness drinks with activated charcoal, seaweed or aloe vera. This is a trend which goes hand in hand with the fact that, today, people are striving for self-optimization and are much more health-conscious. Youth and fitness are in vogue and the wellness industry is booming. The drinks industry can best meet those needs using additives from the superfoods category.

Breakfast and Lunchtime Drinks Serve Many Trends: health, convenience and functionality

Mobility, time pressure and even convenience are all components of today’s world. It is well known that young people in particular tend to go without breakfast. There is a great deal of interest in meals-to-go. According to a survey by the market research institute Mintel, almost half of German 16 to 24 year-olds believe that smoothies are a suitable alternative to breakfast. They also believe that quinoa, chia seeds or wheatgrass, owing to their high protein, fiber, iron and calcium contents, are particularly suitable for turning a smoothie into a nutritious meal. Vegetable proteins and healthy fats are regarded as trend-setting ingredients – primarily because of the trend towards natural and functional products. You can find out more about current developments and challenges in this industry at the ‘Ingredients, Additives and Treatment Agents’ exhibition area of drinktec.

According to Mintel, a kosher coffee drink, ultrafiltered and lactose-free whole milk and a cold fruit soup are particularly innovative products. The fruit soup shows that the line between drinks and liquid food is becoming increasingly blurred; it could also pass for a smoothie. In general, when rigid categories are broken down, the customer just wants to find the most appropriate product for their situation.

Relaxation Drinks: time-out for drinking

Functional drinks are currently experiencing a big boom. Energy drinks have demonstrated that and are considered big sellers. The more recent countertrend is relaxation drinks. After higher, faster, further, these drinks now promise relaxation, ‘time-out’ to drink. Many ingredients in American relaxation drinks such as the sleep hormone melatonin and the amino acid L-Theanine cannot be sold on the German market because they are prescription drugs. That calls for drinks manufacturers to exercise all their powers of creativity to find innovative, relaxing substances among approved ingredients.

With its special exhibition New Beverage Concepts, drinktec offers a superb platform to learn about and try out innovative drinks concepts and interesting ingredients and substances. Pascal Piroué from Hopsteiner delves deeper into that topic in his presentation entitled ‘Brand New Inside’ on September 14 in the Innovation Flow Lounge.

Innovation Flow Lounge is supported by:

  • Döhler
  • FoodBev Media
  • KHS
  • Sahm GmbH

Andra Gerhards

Andra Gerhards is a freelance journalist and copywriter. She focuses on topics such as marketing for town councils and local companies, (sustainable) consumption and retail.