While the war on sugary beverages battles on as organizations lobby for sugar taxes in certain areas of the country, big soda brands are adapting by investing in healthier beverages like flavored sparkling waters and craft sodas.
At the end of last year, we pulled data from Foodable Labs to see what beverages millennials were drinking.
In the last half of 2016, 46.9% of millennials were drinking craft beer, 9.2% were drinking craft soda and 11.8% were still drinking major soda brands.
But in the areas with soda taxes being implemented, the percentage of major soda brand drinkers was much less. In Boulder only 3.4% of millennials were drinking major soda brands and in San Francisco it was 7.4%, versus the 11.8% of Millennials in the rest of the country.
So it’s no wonder that big soda brands are developing innovative craft products to stay competitive.
Although soda companies are launching or investing in these healthier innovative beverages, Coca-Cola isn’t giving-up on sugary beverages just yet and is focusing on building its specialty cane sugar soda portfolio in 2018. The company saw 8% growth in the specialty soda category in 2016.
Coke also revamped its Coca-Cola Zero Sugar brand last July, which attributed to its third-quarter net income of $1.4 billion, which was an increase of 38% from the same time period from the year before.
Coke has also committed to cutting sugar by 20% in its portfolio of products by 2025.
While the zero sugar beverage has been a success for the brand, Coke is also focusing on beverages with real cane sugar.
In early 2018, Coke will be introducing two new soda flavors with sugar cane. Georgia Peach and California Raspberry will be available at stores starting in March and then Coke will be adding a Green Apple Fanta as an option sometime next year as well.
The new beverages offer a local twist to the company’s original coke beverage, which is sold in a nostalgic 12 fl. oz. glass bottle and is made with real cane sugar.
Coke has high expectations for the new products in its portfolio.
The beverages were well-received when tested and resulted in "exceptionally high purchase intent scores” according to a Coca-Cola spokesperson, as reported by the “Atlanta Business Chronicle.”
75% of the subjects that sampled the new soft drink said they would either try either flavor and 66% said they would try both flavors.
Do you think these flavors will take off once they enter the market? Or will the health-conscious consumers continue to select other beverages that fit better into their lifestyle?
Read more from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.