While innovation is a valued component to every category, the juices and teas segment of packaged beverages seems to be particularly prone to new twists and creative concepts.
Largely in response to consumers looking for more functionality and added value in their libation, drink manufacturers have been rolling out juices and teas infused with vitamins, antioxidants, sedatives and other health benefits.
Convenience store coolers are bursting at the seams with new soft drinks, bottled waters, teas, juices, energy drinks and other packaged beverages, so it falls on retailers to educate themselves about new products.
Evidence that the juices and teas segment is thick with competition: 93 key decision makers were asked to evaluate 19 category suppliers for the 2009 CSD Brand Preference Study, and 59% said they received less than five presentations from the 19 companies in the last 60 days, while the rest received presentations from five or more suppliers.
The 93 key people ranked Lipton (PepsiCo.), Tropicana (PepsiCo.) and Minute Maid (Coca-Cola Co.) as top performers, while honorable mentions went to AriZona Beverage Co. and SoBe (PepsiCo.).
Tea remains a key player in the cooler because of its demand. Beverage Marketing Corp. called iced tea “one of the bedrock sectors of New Age beverages,” with popular brands capitalizing richly on tea’s better-for-you appeal, easy drinkability and refreshment, as well as its ability to be blended with a variety of intriguing flavors.
The ready-to-drink tea sector, in fact,, burgeoned in excess of $6.85 billion in sales in 2008.