Keeping an eye on what is on the shelves in the local markets, convenience stores, and even chain grocery stores provides a good insight into the changes and trends in consumer demand when it comes to beverages.
Smart production companies in the beverage processing industry stay tuned to these changes and are able to implement new products and new options for consumers that capture what these shoppers are looking for in a beverage. This is true for both flavors, ingredients, and even manufacturing processes.
Some of the changes in consumer demand that are shaping the beverage processing industry in the United States as well as around the world include healthier beverage options, local products, and manufacturing processes and ingredients with a focus on sustainability.
In the 1980s and 1990s, it was a demand for sugar-free or alternative sweetener options that drove a large part of the industry. Today, consumers are interested in healthier alternatives that do not use artificial sweeteners, but that use natural forms of sweeteners or that avoid sweeteners altogether.
Other examples of this are the carbonated waters, including the low carb, low sugar “clean” alcohol seltzers that are an alternative to beers and other types of high sugar, high carbohydrate types of drinks.
From locally brewed beer and ciders to carbonated water and fruit beverages, many consumers today are interested in shopping for locally grown and produced beverages. Many of the micro breweries start out with local sales, and gradually expand as they build their brand.
Energy efficiency, low waste production, and choosing sustainable and environmentally conscious production methods for ingredients are also a trend in the beverage processing industry. Consumers are researching and looking for manufacturers with a focus on sustainable production in all of their beverage lines.
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