Healthier Sales with Healthier Beverages

May 16, 2019

Better For You Beverages


Consumers today are more active and more health-conscious than ever before, and they are increasingly looking for beverage options which fit into their healthier lifestyle. A growing number of men and women are counting their carbs, cutting calories, and ditching sugar everywhere they can, including their drinking options.

These changing, evolving consumer preferences represent a new opportunity for businesses to provide consumers with quality, premium beverage options which are still compatible with a more health-focused lifestyle.

By the Numbers

Last year, 21 percent of American consumers listed “health” as their top concern for the next six months, an increase of 3 percent over 2017, according to research from Nielsen.

Consumers also told Nielsen that sugar is a rising concern, with 57 percent of American households saying that low sugar is an important influencer in deciding what to buy. This is in part a response to rising diabetes rates, but also a reflection of the popularity of low sugar diets, such as Keto, Paleo, and the Whole 30.

Now that we understand that consumers are concerned about their health, we need to dig deeper into what that means for the beverage alcohol industry.

Should businesses simply put neon signs out pointing the way to all the light beer options and call it a day? Obviously not. Modern consumers are savvy and demanding. They want more options and “better for you” options, and they want to know what they’re getting.

We can expect to see this ‘lifestyle category’ appear in cooler door sets and floor displays at liquor stores as this category is quickly growing.
- Ryan Ferebee

Healthy Appetite

For insights into how businesses can tap into growing consumer demand for healthier drinking options, we turned to our own Ryan Ferebee, a Craft Beer Specialist based in Minnesota, who is also a Certified Cicerone.

“I recently attended the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver,” Ferebee told us, “where the ‘lifestyle category’ was a topic repeatedly discussed. This category often gets referred to as ‘better for you’ and ‘functional.’ These options are geared for consumers who are looking for options with lower carb, calories, sugar, and even lower alcohol.”

“You probably noticed some of these products label nutritional information clearly on the package,” Ferebee said. And he’s right, according to Nielsen data. 67 percent of American consumers say they want to know everything that is going into their food, and 51 percent say that the absence of undesirable ingredients is more important than the presence of desirable ones. Also, more than 29,000 products now report additional sugar on their nutritional information labels, and consumers are paying attention.

Ferebee sees the growth of this category as having a big impact on both on- and off-premise accounts very soon.

“We can expect to see this ‘lifestyle category’ appear in cooler door sets and floor displays at liquor stores as this category is quickly growing,” he said. “At some point, it might be beneficial for on-premise accounts to have this category of options listed on beverage menus as you’d find any other kind of beer listed under the appropriate style.”

As the category grows, we will be here to help your business make the most of it, Ferebree explained. “Breakthru offers some of the top selling, quality options that fit into this category, including hard seltzer water, many beer options—lagers, IPAs, sours and more—as well as hard kombucha, and healthier versions of hard teas, as well.”

Read more on Low-ABV cocktails with Mike Henderson or brush up on your Low ABV ABCs

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