You would be forgiven for feeling spoilt for choice given the growing ranges of innovative healthy drinks in supermarkets. Almost half of consumers claim to have become more health conscious in the past year, and manufacturers are innovating to bring an increased choice of healthier products to market.
Earlier this week, Tesco announced it would be cutting sugar in its own-label drinks, a move applauded by a government focused on reformulation after the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy and Obesity Plan in the UK.
The levy calls on drinks manufacturers to be accountable for the effect of ingredients in their products, particularly sugar. Our recent Future of Healthy Drinks report highlighted how concerns over obesity levels are starting to influence consumer behaviour.
But although consumers are becoming more health-conscious, they still seek new flavours and experiences. It’s about striking a balance. Portion control and smaller pack sizes can play a large part in this, as will ensuring healthier choices are accessible and meet the needs of busy people.
More exotic flavours are hitting the market, as well as an increasing range of products that claim added benefits. Brands such as Simplee Aloe, What A Melon and Cawston Press are including natural ingredients such as aloe vera, watermelon water, beetroot and other vegetable blends.
Just Bee Drinks uses a small amount of honey as an alternative sweetener to refined sugar for a tasty, low sugar source of hydration. Fuel10K recently launched a new recipe with 30% less sugar.
Obesity is an issue that goes beyond the influence of one industry sector, given the influence of sedentary lifestyles, but there are practical ways that drinks producers can address the challenges we’re facing.
Discussions and collaboration must continue between experts in industry, health and nutrition, and government, while keeping in mind consumer needs. Healthy, sustainable nutrition is here to stay. The successful businesses of the future will be the ones that act on this.
Stefan Fageräng is MD North West Europe at Tetra Pak