Halloween cocktail pumpkin

The beverage aisle was once a simple in-and-out trip with few core options, but over the years it has mutated into either a harrowing maze or a delightful exploration, depending on how you look at it (and maybe how much time/energy you have to make a decision). Fizzy, functional concoctions tout nirvana-like experiences; energy alternatives offer much more than a clean buzz; there are seemingly unlimited permutations of water (because there’s no one way to hydrate); and non-alcoholic options have come a. long. way.

In the era of “peak beverage,” many consumers have come to crave this variety as they fulfill a wide range of needs. 48% are always looking for new or interesting beverage flavors.1 And while beverages offer a low-risk way to have fun and explore, these purchasing decisions still carry weight: consumers’ beverage choices reflect their unique preferences and aspirations. Beverages and brands — intentionally or not — take on identities aligned with certain values, or even personality traits, to differentiate and resonate with consumers.

Consumers also express their unique values by prioritizing specific claims or attributes. Offering an easy shortcut to understanding a beverage’s impact on their health and wellness, consumers view claims related to ingredients, sugars, and calories as important selection criteria. However, there is no golden rule when it comes to product claims for beverages.

Category is a key consideration when it comes to desired claims. For example, when choosing alcohol, 38% seek no artificial sweeteners and 37% seek low sugar: two of the top three claims for the category.1 By contrast, the desire for no artificial sweeteners and low sugar is much higher when choosing functional beverages: 63% seek no artificial sweetener and 62% seek low sugar.1

Sweetener preferences are just one example of the intricacies within and across beverage categories. With so much competition and saturation in the marketplace, it can be challenging for both emerging and established brands to remain relevant. As such, it’s crucial to translate modern beverage culture trends correctly.

That’s why we developed our exclusive Beverage Category Snapshots: your toolkit for dialing in the right attributes and occasions within your beverage category so you can spot disruptive ideas and innovate quickly.

Backed by Hartman’s exhaustive research on 2023 beverage culture and data from our proprietary eating/drinking occasions database, this 12-page executive-ready report will set you up for success by:

  • Inspiring innovation with category-specific recommendations
  • Making you a master of Modern Beverage Need States, so you can reach new consumers by nailing the “why” behind their consumption
  • Clarifying the who, when and where of consumption in your category
  • Illuminating specific attributes and claims that will resonate with your consumers
  • Settling the debate on which sweeteners consumers will and won’t tolerate in your products
  • Strengthening your foundational knowledge of new and perennial beverage culture trends that are influencing consumer perceptions in your category

From alcohol to water, coffee to dairy, soda to juice and more, a Beverage Category Snapshot has the insights you need to not only keep your brand relevant, but on the cutting edge. Learn more about Beverage Category Snapshots here, or connect with Melissa Abbott, VP of Syndicated Studies, to discuss how these insights will help prime your innovation pipeline: mailto:melissa@hartman-group.com.

1. Modern Beverage Culture 2023, The Hartman Group