Beverage Trends and Takeaways: Functional to No-Low To Gut Health

Posted by AMC Global on Apr 10, 2023 9:14:32 AM

The beverage market is constantly evolving, and 2023 is no exception. From hydration to energy and relaxation, beverage brands and manufacturers are tapping into consumer demand for drinks that do more than just quench their thirst. With such a quickly changing space, it is vital for brands to understand the trends to plan for new product entries, as well as to innovate and further develop current offerings. 


Functional Beverages with New Ingredients

As consumers become increasingly health-conscious, functional beverages that provide various benefits are still a high growth area. As detailed in Food Business News, the recent Natural Products Expo showcased L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, as a popular ingredient in many functional beverages. L-theanine is known to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels—and when combined with herbs and other unique, emerging ingredients can provide even more benefits. Energy drinks are also a still popular category in the functional beverage market, with many new innovations on the horizon. Another trending ingredient from the show was yaupon, a native North American plant that provides caffeine and is now being used in various beverages. To learn more about functional beverages, check out our Beverage Daily article on this topic. 


Continued Movement Toward Alcohol-Free

Some brands are getting even more creative in the no-low alcohol category by incorporating adaptogens or cannabis into their alcohol-free elixirs and zero-proof canned cocktails to provide a "buzz" without the alcohol. These drinks come with complex flavor profiles and sophisticated packaging, making them an appealing option for those who want to enjoy a drink without the negative effects of alcohol. We talk about this area quite a bit at AMC Global. You can check out our white paper “How the adult beverage marketplace is expanding, and how market research can help your brand keep up” or read some of our articles in Beverage Daily on no-low beer and no-low wine.


Beverages that Support Gut-Health

Food Business News also talks about how gut health is another area of focus in the beverage market—with more and more consumers seeking out drinks that support digestive wellness. At the recent Natural Products Expo, there were lots of new ingredients such as agave inulin, chicory root fiber, Jerusalem artichoke and apple cider vinegar, as well as prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics being used to formulate beverages that promote a healthy gut.


Nutritious and Delicious Shakes

Nutrition shakes also seem to be a quickly growing area of the beverage market. Innovative shakes claim to be formulated to boost metabolic health, regulate digestion and improve mood. We are seeing these hit the market in a variety of flavors as an option for those looking for a quick and convenient way to get the nutrients they need. While this market is not new, innovation is happening for brands to differentiate and stand ahead of the competition.


Using Market Research to Succeed in the Beverage Market

The beverage market is constantly evolving to meet consumer demand for the latest and greatest. Understanding the consumer is vital to succeed in this crowded vertical—from whitespace and foundational research to capturing insights from beverage purchasers in-market to seeing what current customers want in the future. Manufacturers are incorporating new ingredients and technologies to create innovative products that meet the needs of their target audiences. They are looking at aspects like relaxation, gut health, energy and nutrition to make their products stand out.  As we move into 2023, it will be exciting to see what new trends emerge in the functional beverage market—we have a feeling the trends toward health and well-being are here to stay. Want to keep your finger on the pulse of beverage? Reach out to us.