Beverage Trends – Drink Up: Health and Convenience Priorities Shaking Up CPG Beverage Category

As pandemic shopping habits normalize, consumers are looking for ready-to-drink solutions that help them stay healthy and energized. Across the board, convenience is a top priority, even when it comes to cocktails, according to Catalina’s Buyer Intelligence Database.

Health & Immunity

Sparkling Ice
Sparkling Ice sales are outpacing LaCroix and Bubly sparkling water brands by promoting ‘zero sugar’ as well as antioxidants and vitamins.

More consumers are looking for easy and good-for-you refreshment options. Category growth is coming from a focus on health benefits – from low carbs to antioxidants. Frozen drink smoothies took off during the pandemic, more than doubling in the past year.

Sparkling water has not only emerged as a healthier alternative to soft drinks, it is also becoming a functional beverage choice enriched with minerals that support cognitive function and immunity. Kefir, known for its probiotic and immunity benefits, continues to draw in new shoppers (+8%) as Kombucha’s popularity is slowing, with 7.7% fewer shoppers reaching for it in the past year.

+14% Total Non-Alcohol Beverage Category Statistics

Energy & Focus

Stok Cold-Brew Iced Coffee
Danone has entered Starbucks territory with a ready-to-drink iced cold brew.

Working – and schooling – from home has consumers looking for easy ways to improve energy and focus. Ready-to-drink coffee - including cold brews - replaced the Dunkin run during the pandemic. Consumers continued to crave caffeine, with 85% of coffee drinkers saying they have at least one cup of coffee at home each day - and 23% buying a new coffee machine. Less than half say they’ll return to their favorite coffee shop soon, and PwC predicts a long-term shift to a hybrid office-home work balance in 2021.

Shoppers are also spending more than average on non-alcoholic energy drinks, which are marketed to increase energy and mental performance.

+19% Total Alcohol Beverage Category

Easy Entertaining

Gloria Ready To Drink Margarita
Consumers favor pre-mixed cocktails for easy outdoor entertaining.

During the pandemic consumers became their own barkeeper. Initially sales of beer, wine and spirits shot up significantly, while premixed cocktails and coolers are now growing in popularity. Shoppers are also spending more money on non-alcoholic cocktail mixes. With bars and restaurants continuing to operate at reduced capacity in many parts of the country, Catalina expects the trend to continue as more people gather together in their backyards this summer. The quality and convenience of premixed cocktails and coolers are proving to be a winning combination.