Sophisticated sodas & alcohol alternatives

In the adult soft drinks market sophisticated sodas not only offer an increasingly attractive alternative for consumers who wish to limit their alcohol intake, they also appeal to broader demographics, according to consumer insight from Canadean.

The company’s recent report on the subject, Adultifying Soft Drinks; Capitalizing on rising adult demand for non-alcoholic beverages, finds that alcohol moderation and avoidance is generating interest in premium, non-alcoholic soft drinks to be consumed instead of alcohol, a trend that’s being witnessed for both everyday consumption and special occasions.

41% of alcohol drinkers surveyed by Canadean globally claim to pay a lot of attention to reducing the amount of alcohol consumed while 49% say they’re conscious of the long-term health impact of drinking too much alcohol.

But the appeal of adult soft drinks stretches beyond those looking to reduce their alcohol intake, reaching the older soft drink consumers who seek sophisticated, upscale offerings that appeal to mature tastes, says the Consumer Insight Analyst for Canadean Tanvi Savara.

“Consumers value products that are distinct from the mass market and exude superior quality through unique flavours, natural premium ingredients and ‘craft’ production techniques,” she said, “Canadean’s consumer research highlights that 56% of consumers globally would like to see more craft-style non-alcoholic beverages.

“Furthermore, according to Canadean’s Q2 2015 global survey, 62% of carbonated drink consumers experiment with new and unusual food and drink flavours at least occasionally, illustrating willingness to explore sophisticated flavour profiles beyond their comfort zone. Manufacturers can tap into this by including botanicals, investing in product extension and creating contemporary twists to classics.”

Some brands are also launching products that replicate flavours and sensory experiences commonly associated with alcoholic drinks, she added.

“Innovation is evolving beyond virgin cocktail blends to more sophisticated nuances by taking inspiration from production techniques and ingredients synonymous with alcoholic drinks. For example, Proper Soda Co’s Hop Soda in the US claims to contain a blend of hops but without the bitterness associated with an IPA,” she concluded.


Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free