• Australian Beverage Council CEO Geoff Parker
    Australian Beverage Council CEO Geoff Parker

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.

1. Premium 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.

2. Growth in functional beverages

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 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.

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