Bevspace: Innovation

HEALTH & WELLNESS CAN KILL YOUR PRODUCT

Sure, it’s great that functional health benefits are frequently associated with food and beverages. But there is such a thing as too much health and wellness, which may put consumers off, according to experts.

Euromonitor’s head of global food research, Lee Linthicum, recently announced that several products are thriving because they promote various health and appearance benefits. But watch out for too many scientific claims, Linthicum added.

“Manufacturers are leveraging innovations in food science and making those messages known,” he told NutraIngredients USA. “But at the end of the day it is still food you are talking about.”

The Takeaway? Don’t Over-Medicalize, according to Linthicum. “There is a fine line between too much science and consumer innovation.”

PEPSI EXPERIMENTS WITH 8-PACKS

For a long time, the 12-pack of 12 oz. cans has been the key package for soda makers. But in a move that is either testing innovation or wallet size, PepsiCo is trying out an 8-pack, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

According to the story, PepsiCo’s costs have gone up 11 percent in the past year – and with CSD volumes down, pricing increases have not let the company keep pace.

It’s an important development – while health concerns were unable to force companies to change package sizes, materials costs have finally led to reductions. Up next, 20 oz. bottles will drop into 16 and 12 oz. configurations (At NACS, Coke was bannering its 16 oz./99 cent convenience store deal). PepsiCo will also try out a 1.5 L bottle for its most popular lines.

The test is going on in about 20 percent of the country, according to the Times.

COLOR BEATS ALL

A new study from European food and beverage maker Danone hinted at color and flavor are often the chief influence on whether consumers will accept new beverages.

The journal Food Quality and Preference published the study, which placed intensity of color and flavor as the dominant elements of a “sensory marketing approach.” Labeling and packaging take a back seat, according to the study, which measured only those four elements.

The study’s methodology involved having consumers look at potential improvements to a given beverage – and revealed that packaging size and labeling type were taken into account to a lesser extent than color intensity, which was named 43 percent of the time, and flavor, which was named 32 percent of the time.