Packaged Facts: “This is a Golden Age of Beverage Innovation in America”

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After years of stagnation, beverages are being transformed by massive innovations.

Research firm Packaged Facts has released its latest report: “Ready-to-Drink Beverage Trend Forecast 2017: Culinary Trend Tracking Series,” where it concludes we are living in “a Golden Age of Beverage Innovation.”

From extended-release energy drinks that last longer and meal replacement drinks customized to each individual’s needs to water bottled from trees and milk from a new kind of cow that is easier to digest—beverage innovations abound.

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Among current trends leading to this “Golden Age” are:

•    a desire for more healthful products with cleaner labels

•     the emergence of new ingredients, production processes and technologies

•     the coming of age of Millennials as the dominant consumer demographic, a group that is adventurous when it comes to trying new things

After decades of being a rather staid business dominated by only a few major, national brands that were slow to innovate, this confluence of modern trends has unplugged the innovation pipeline for the beverage industry.

“Ideas are flowing like perhaps they haven’t in decades, if not a century. Indeed, until recently the beverage industry had remained untouched by radical transformation. That is not the case any longer,” said David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.

The report includes nine chapters, each covering the innovations and staging of trends in a different beverage category:


Dairy & Dairy Alternatives

Energy & Sports Drinks

Enhanced Bottled Water


Meal Replacement Beverages


Specialty Health Beverages


As Ready-to-Drink Beverages: Culinary Trend Tracking Series reveals, even those beverage categories that have struggled in recent years—soda, for instance, or juice—are newly invigorated with innovation.

“Innovation is touching every aspect of the beverage industry today, and there is a lot more on the horizon,” said Sprinkle.

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