Product Innovation Leads to Refreshing Summer for Beverage Category
There’s nothing that says summer more than popping open an ice-cold drink in the afternoon. Whether it’s a flavored seltzer, a crisp, refreshing soda, or a glass of rosé…enjoying it outside in the warm weather just makes it taste better. That's true this year especially, with June beverage sales ringing in at 6% higher than they did in 2019.
There are a handful of standout beverage categories with higher sales even compared to June 2020. These growing categories are driven by product innovation—with new products and new flavors keeping consumers excited. (Cucumber mint sparkling water. Hard kombucha. Vodka lemonade. Need we go on?)
Notably, as time in the house has decreased, shoppers have turned to ready-to-drink cocktails in lieu of mixing elaborate drinks. The new motto for this category seems to be: why do it myself when someone else has done it for me?
The face-off between Team “Hard Seltzer” and Team “Cocktail-in-a-Can” is a good example of this. In early 2019, both categories were on the same footing. That summer, new entrants in the hard seltzer category took the category to a strong lead over pre-mixed cocktails. Summer 2020 widened that lead. But this year, ready-to-drink cocktails are coming in hot (we’ll drink to that).
Not to be a buzzkill, but on the opposite side of the fight between hard seltzer and ready-to-drink cocktails is a story pointing yet again to a shift toward health and wellness—and a thirst for energy!
Although sales for many beverage categories are lower today compared to the stocking up of 2020, there are a handful of non-alcohol categories Americans are guzzling down. Water and seltzer sales in June are on the rise compared to 2019 and 2020 as consumers hit the road again. Bottled/canned coffee, isotonic/sports beverages, and new age and energy drinks all continue to grow at high rates as consumers fuel up for whatever comes their way.
If you’re among the majority of beverage brands that are still experiencing elevated sales over 2019, today is the right time to reach your best buyers with advertising.
What goes better with a beverage than a snack? Take a look at this example of a CPG brand that drove sales by targeting snack brand buyers and adjusting their campaign tactics mid-flight.
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