Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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For more information, visit www.mintel.com or call 800-932-0400. Mintel Global New Products Database Category Insights Blurring RTDs with energy/sports drinks and fruit juices enables brands to target health- conscious consumers, and push back against the negative image of the category, by reducing the sugar content of their offerings. Brands can also take the opportunity to formulate with other natural ingredients to encourage consumption. These RTD hybrid beverages offer brands an opportunity to stand out in a crowded market. Opportunity exists for brands to help consumers slow down or switch off by launching relaxation teas. Brands may want to consider emphasizing the role tea can play in achieving this mood state, however. Kombucha is still a niche beverage in North America, but is currently evolving into an "all-purpose health potion" that taps into such trendy eating plans as the Paleo diet. What Does it Mean? Noncarbonated Ready-to-drink Beverages MaRket OveRview Meal replacements and other drinks grew by eight percentage points in North America, accounting for 58 percent of the total new product launches in the 12 months to October 2015. The overall category was centered on "suitable for" claims, with brands specializing in kosher and low-/no-/reduced-allergen claims. key issues Americans' health concerns have influenced noncarbonated RTD innovation, questioning the health impacts of widely popular iced tea. To counter negative perceptions, manufacturers have attempted to blur the overall boundaries of the category to make products appear healthier, as in the case of functional energy teas, or teas containing fruit juices. There has also been an increase in brands launching RTDs inspired by the beer sector. Many of the launches are particularly tapping into the cold-brew trend and feature eye-catching packaging designs reminiscent of those used by beer companies. Brands have innovated around kombucha in North America, launching new flavors to increase consumption. Although the ancient fermented tea beverage has faced its fair share of controversy regarding its variable alcohol content, consumers' interest in the drink and their belief in its healthful properties suggest that kombucha is likely to fuel growth in the region. 26 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016

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