For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel's team of global category analysts.

This blog is based on a presentation from IFT 2022 from Lynn Dornblaser and Melanie Bartelme. For the complete presentation and more, click here.

Our expert analysts monitor global launches of some of the most innovative and interesting products across all beverage categories. We identify why specific products were chosen as innovative, divide them into broad themes, and assemble those products along with consumer, product, and market data, to put the innovation in perspective.

Check out these four ways brands can be innovative when targeting their consumers:

1. Formulation

Health benefits appear across all beverage subcategories, with unique claims and ingredients appearing.

Consumers feel more in control of their health
As the pandemic has progressed, consumers are feeling more in control of their health, which is very good news. The data also shows they are more focused on their health and wellbeing (all aspects of it), which contributes to that greater sense of control. Some examples include:

Plant protein drink for all Happy Viking Triple Chocolate Plant Protein Shakes Happy Viking is from Venus Williams, giving it instant credibility in some circles.

Uprooted Cool & Calm Cucumber, Mint & Baobab Shot with CBD Intended to calm and relax you, made with both CBD and baobab (UK).

Morning Fix Instant Latte The company says the coffee provides protein, l-theanine, collagen, polyphenols, and MCTs for a wide range of benefits.

2. Environment
Companies and brands continue to find new ways to “do the right thing” and to communicate their actions to consumers.

Consumers want brands to be clear on their environmental impact
Consumers want to know what companies and brands are doing to be good to the environment. They are seeking clear, concise explanations of programs, impact, and certifications.

Loop Mission, Canada, uses waste ingredients and imperfect fruits and vegetables for its line of drinks. Waste from the production goes into pet food.

Clean Coffee’s whole bean coffee lives up to its name, being grown on “eco-friendly volcanic soil.”

3. Blurring

Hard seltzer, sparkling coffee, tea and juice, “water with benefits”–there seems to be no end in sight to what can be merged together.

Consumers are interested in trying a wide range of hybrid drinks. But keep in mind about a quarter of consumers are not interested at all.

True North Mandarin Yuzu Pure Energy Seltzer Seltzer appears in a wide range of beverage categories, here combined with caffeine.

Health Ade Pop Lemon Lime Bubbly Prebiotic Soda, The branding is different from the company’s other products, but borrows the kombucha brand’s credentials

Coca-Cola Mocha Flavored Soft Drink, The fusion here is about the very unlikely flavor combination.

4. Flavor
When creating truly unusual flavors, companies should position them to Millennials. Two new product introductions seem to have done exactly that.

Millennials the key target for flavor experimentation. Coca-Cola has created Starlight and Byte flavors to attract younger consumers, allowing them to determine exactly what that flavor is. While Reign’s energy drink says it is “Reignbow sherbet” flavored, it’s unclear exactly what that flavor is, aside from just being really sweet.

Reignbow Sherbet Total Body Fuel

Space Flavored Beverage