|Title:||United States share of beverage sales by type in percentages for 2006 and 2011|
Start of full article - but without data
Volume share of market by U.S. beverage segment 2006-2011
Tap/Others X.X% XX.X% V-A Water X.X% X.X% Energy Drinks X.X% X.X% Wine/Spirits X.X% X% Sports Bev. X.X% X.X% Tea X.X% X.X% Fruit Bev. X% X.X% Beer XX.X% XX.X% Coffee X.X% X.X% Milk XX.X% XX.X% Bottled water XX.X% XX.X% Soft Drinks XX.X% XX.X%
CSDs saw a drop in market share, while bottled water increased
slightly; many other categories remained relatively stable.
Source: BMC Strategic Associates
Note: Table made from bar graph.
The global beverage market has seen some growth in recent years, both in terms of new products and new drink categories. One factor that can affect a beverage's chances for retail success is effective packaging design.
Gary Hemphill is svp of information services for the Beverage Marketing Corp., a consulting, research and financial services firm focused on the global beverage industry. The organization keeps a close watch on shifts in the ever-changing market, including which new categories and subcategories have the greatest potential to capture significant market share, and how changing consumer interests might impact future sales.
According to Hemphill, the downturn in the economy has had a notable impact on the overall beverage market.
"The recession impacted the [commercial beverage] category in both 2008 and 2009--so much so that we actually saw a decline in consumption of commercial beverages in those years," he says. "The business rebounded in 2010 and turned in modest growth in 2011. Some categories have fared better than others."
Hemphill adds that while traditional drinks like sodas still enjoy popularity with thirsty consumers, a number of new and emerging categories are capturing increasing market share, with some of the hottest categories being relaxation beverages, energy shots, coconut water, protein drinks and kombucha, a tart brewed tea-like drink. "Niche categories are outperforming traditional, mainstream categories," he observes. "Energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas are among those experiencing healthy growth. Mainstream categories like fruit beverages and carbonated soft drinks are not seeing the same kind of growth"
As the number of product offerings in any given beverage category increases, brand managers find they need to differentiate from the competition beyond the ingredients and flavors of their products One way to attain stand-out status is through packaging. Hemphill says the innovations in product variety is being met with an increasing variety in packaging options.
"As we have seen beverage categories and brands proliferate, we have also seen packaging proliferate," he says. "Many marketers are using packaging to help define brand identity and give their product a graphic boost on the retail shelf."
While numerous factors can spur changes in the beverage market (among them changes in commodity prices and shifts in the health of the economy), one of the strongest drivers is swings in consumer interests, such as an increased interest in organics and sustainable options.
"Consumers want healthier choices and variety," Hemphill says. "These two trends are driving consumer choices in the beverage aisle today."
While Hemphill says he anticipates current trends to continue, the market for beverages is as rife with change as are the people who drive it.
"The market will continue to proliferate with new categories and brands emerging," he says. "The beverage industry is moving to an era of increasingly specialized products that are targeted to specific consumer demographics, or that offer specific benefits. Most of these products are low-volume opportunities but will carry a higher price tag."
Further, as the number of products continues to surge, beverage brand managers and their packaging partners must work together to stay on top of trends.
"The market and competitive landscape is constantly shifting," says Hemphill. "Marketers must be adept at changing with the market, or risk being left behind."
Hemphill singled out a number of emerging beverage sectors as being especially noteworthy, with significant potential to continue their growth trajectory:
Long popular in Latin American markets, these beverages were until recently only found in America on the shelves of convenience stores and specialty grocers serving Hispanic customers. Over the past few years, however, demand for agua de coco has skyrocketed, with the sector gaining approximately XXX percent in 2011 alone.
Coconut water beverages are most often packaged either in cartons (sometimes metallized) or shrink-sleeve labeled bottles. One brand, Zico, offers its drinks in Tetra Pak cartons but added PET bottles in 2010. The category's dominant design color is blue, evoking the ocean of a tropical isle.
Like coconut water, this category is another that has been selling on a smaller scale until a recent surge in popularity elevated it to a higher level. Once popular among college-age consumers looking to fuel all-night study sessions (or extended partying hours), the tiny bottles have gone mainstream, even making it into XX-second spots on network TV, touting their helpfulness in getting average working stiffs through the drudgery of a long afternoon. The category is typified by shrink-sleeved bottles hovering around the X-oz range, such as Vemma's Verve! energy shot; the product is packaged in a white HDPE bottle with a full-body decorative sleeve and a XX-XXX stock closure, produced by TricorBraun.
Relaxation and lifestyle beverages
At the opposite end of the spectrum from pulse-boosting shots and drinks stand relaxation beverages, which are dedicated to helping consumers relax, rather than revive, their energy levels. While enjoying a relatively small share of the beverage market compared to energy shots and the like, this sub-segment of the "performance" beverage market still is on the rise.
In addition, an increasing number of consumers are turning to beverages that elevate mood. THiNQ is a lightly carbonated "lifestyle" beverage that contains ingredients that purportedly alleviate stress and provide a host of other benefits; the beverage is housed in a XX-oz SLEEK beverage can from Rexam.
Ready-to-drink protein beverages are especially appealing to athletes looking for a boost before, during and after an intense workout. However, the beverage has been breaking out of its niche and grabbing shoppers looking for a diet-friendly meal replacement, patients requiring a doctor-recommended protein infusion and other shoppers outside of the gym.
Products in the category most frequently are found in shrink-sleeve labeled PET bottles or cartons (and, as is the case with Zico coconut water, some are found in both). A few products in this category seek to appeal to a consumer's masculine side with manly metal containers.
This flavorful brewed beverage has been around for centuries, and Americans first seemed to discover the drink in the peace-and-love era of the 1970s, when consumer interest in natural products increased. The category has boomed in recent years, with scores of new companies popping up and lifting the drink from a mostly home-brewed concoction to retail shelves.
Because the brewed beverage draws heavily upon an all-natural appeal, glass is a popular format for kombucha bottles, (although some brands opt for man-made plastic), as are paper labels. Many products in this category bear labels touting organic recipes, and the packaging's graphic elements include bright colors and flowery text, hearkening to its Eastern origins.
"Many marketers are using packaging to help define brand identity and give their product a graphic boost on the retail shelf."
-- Gary Hemphill, svp of information services, Beverage Marketing Corp.
More information is available:
Beverage Marketing Corp.,