Page 24 - Food & Drink Business Jan-Feb 2020
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A trending thirst
Creativity and innovation are the cornerstone of the beverage industry. Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker tells us what to expect in the year ahead.
THE drinks industry is known for its innovation. From introducing the latest manufacturing technology to wholesale portfolio renovation, creating new flavours to the latest in sustainability, the nation’s drinks makers are leading the broader food and beverage sector in growth, creativity and innovation while keeping the consumer front and centre. As an example of this ingenuity, here are
five key trends that will shape the drinks sector over the coming year.
1PREMIUM PRODUCTS We have seen over the last few years, more and more companies have invested in premium drinks, particularly in the mixers category with exclusive ingredients being incorporated to pair perfectly with premium spirits.
Keep an eye out for niche soda waters, tart lemonade, tasty tonic and spicy ginger ale, as well as the accompanying alcohol – much of which is locally sourced.
Interestingly, in some markets sugar-sweetened drinks are increasingly being positioned as niche products that can be enjoyed on occasion as a treat.
The Australian Beverages Council has been supporting
this move for some time and it highlights a shift in consumer preferences that started more than 20 years ago.
Functional beverages may not have a particularly exciting name, but the products in this space are truly creative. Increasingly, the industry is developing low carbohydrate sports waters alongside energy drinks that have a range of new flavours to complement original tastes from leading manufacturers.
We are also seeing more functional waters with health
metabolism and a range of other body functions.
These clever developments in bottled and packaged water supports a low and no sugar strategy that is reinforced by the industry’s sugar reduction pledge (see more in the breakout box) while providing people with important hydration.
Look out for more of these products in the near future.
In 2020 and beyond, more states will adopt a container deposit scheme (CDS) that offers consumers a 10-cent refund at collection points.
to the local snack bar in
return for a small white bag of lollies. Today, in many places, these schemes provide an important source of revenue for charitable and community organisations while supporting higher-level government
litter reduction targets.
As an industry we are eager to see a holistic approach to tackling the whole waste stream, and it has been fascinating to see these CDS develop over time.
It is just one way the industry is giving back to the community while at the same time providing a good source of clean post-consumer material to go back into the next recycled bottle, can or carton.
front and centre for many people in recent times, and beverage companies have responded by announcing some ambitious and pioneering ways to address community concerns.
Today, much of the industry is manufacturing containers from recycled material, often provided through CDS.
In many instances, the recycled content of a plastic bottle is edging above 50 per cent which is great news and a step in the right direction to
“ In some markets sugar-sweetened drinks are increasingly being positioned as niche products that can be enjoyed on occasion as a treat. The Beverages Council has been supporting this move for some time...”
Sustainability has been
claims such as immunity and energy restoration. Many of these functional waters do not contain any sugar at all and are infused with green tea, fruit essence, B Vitamins, ginseng extract and more.
Importantly, the B-group of vitamins help reduce tiredness, fatigue, support energy
Western Australia is next in line followed by Tasmania while Victoria has just started to seriously consider a scheme.
While many people have
a fond, somewhat nostalgic, memory of bottle return schemes, today, these schemes are now much more than returning a large glass bottle
24 | Food&Drink business | January-February 2020 |

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