Functional benefits, natural sweeteners and surprising ingredients are among the top trends in the soft drink category at present. On the rise are many natural claims including stevia suggesting a shift away from artificial sweeteners and consumers seeking to avoid added sugar.
In addition to the sugar situation, consumers also seem interested in drinks with added nutrition such as fibre, omega-3 and antioxidant. Beverages sweetened with fruit, honey, cane sugar and stevia are gaining traction. Vegetables are cropping up in more beverage applications, along with herbs and spices, an expansion of the coconut water category and increasingly popular ready to drink breakfast shakes.