December 30, 2017      3 min read

The lifestyle trend, driven by millennial’s interest in personal wellness and environmental concerns are redefining the beverage industry. This generation has been the subject of considerable consumer research, and with good reason. Millennials are estimated to number more than 2.5 billion consumers globally, representing a significant portion of the current consumer market.

Millennials support sustainability initiatives and will make the effort to buy from those businesses that support the causes they are interested in. Over half of these consumers will look to purchase beverages in packaging from renewable materials. Nearly 75 percent will buy products in recyclable packaging.

Why It Matters

Understanding the influences and purchasing habits of the millennial generation with their massive buying power in today’s economy is crucial for beverage industry brands. It is essential for these companies to understand consumer insights to be able to identify and capitalise on emergent industry trends.

Many of these trends will continue to focus on the expectations this generation has toward quality products, great taste and nutritional benefits. They are twice as likely to care about organic, and they look for real, natural products with minimal processing, produced in a sustainable way.

What’s New?

The changing shape of the beverage industry has manufacturers actively exploring healthy alternatives and creating innovative new products. Seeking to develop new varieties of product and inventory stock to service this switch toward more healthier options.

This increasingly health conscious group are cutting back on fizzy drinks, with the once popular soda category, high in sugar content, facing a continual decline in demand and inventory stock. While alternately the demand for carbonated, vitamin and mineral infused sparkling water products is experiencing growth.

Earthy flavours and plant and herb-based beverages are some of the new product developments, driven by the millennial interest in personal wellness and environmental concerns.

Until recently, soy-based milk products were the only alternatives to dairy. Now inventory stock on the supermarket shelves provides numerous chilled, ready-to-drink plant based alternatives developed from seeds, grains and nuts. These are not seen merely as an alternative to dairy but as sustainable options offering value-add nutritious ingredients and delicious flavours from almond, chia, coconut and rice sources.

An obsession with coffee is fuelling innovation in the caffeinated beverage arena, with the creation of premium ready-to-drink products to fill the void left by declining sales in the soda range. Cold brewed coffee is a process of steeping coarsely ground coffee granules in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. This brewing process is said to produce a smoother, better tasting, higher quality and less acidic coffee than a standard iced-coffee.

Keeping Pace With Millennials

Price-conscious, millennial consumers are focused on quality and will spend more on premium goods that support their philosophy of healthier, more sustainable products. As comparison shoppers, millennials are more likely to read product reviews and compare prices online before making a purchasing decision.

They have been significant to the craft beer revolution, embracing the authenticity of craft products and engaging with the community of brewers and craft beer enthusiasts. Preferring first-hand experience and tastings, they like opportunities to directly engage with brands, responding to personal offers, discounts and new discoveries.

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