Food and Beverage Substitutes to Combat Falling Sales of Traditional Products
If you’re in the food and beverage distribution business, you’re probably tired of hearing about changing consumer tastes and the sustainability trend. Well, get used to it because low-sugar beverages, plant based foods and better-for-you snacks continue to lead food trends and show no signs of slowing down. Here are some suggestions for new items to add to your distribution list that consumers are increasingly craving and demanding.
Buh-bye soda, hello seltzer and tea!
Soda sales continue to plummet as consumption has fallen for the 10th year straight. Consumers are avoiding the high sugar content to keep associated health risks like diabetes and weight gain at bay. As an alternative, sparkling water – fruit flavored seltzer and even alcohol-infused sparkling water are growing in popularity. In fact, the seltzer business grew 29% between 2013-2018. Customers buying less soda? Load your trucks with beverages like Bai Bubbles – a canned sparkling water that is 5 calories, artificial ingredient-free and contains 1 gram of sugar.
Truly Spiked & Sparkling is an alcoholic seltzer brand with popular flavors like Wild Berry and Colima Lime. These canned drinks contain 5% alcohol/volume, only 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar. They market these beverages to health-conscious, active drinkers as a refreshingly light alternative to beer, wine or cocktails for light day drinking or a post workout treat.
Ready to drink (RTD) teas are a $5.3 billion business in the US so be sure to carry a variety of these in your digital catalog on the inSitu app. Teavana has deliciously complex flavors such as unsweetened Meyer Lemon Black Tea and Pineapple Berry Blue Herbal tea. The bottle designs are minimalist and the flavors are bold blends of premium herbal, black and green teas, botanicals and real fruit flavors.
Plant-based proteins are moo-ving onto the shelves!
According to the Plant Based Foods Association, plant-based foods topped $3.3 billion last year, an annual increase of 20%. Cell cultured meat is catching on as plant-based burger companies like Beyond Meat continue to grow in popularity. Their plant-based burger is available in meat sections of grocers nationwide and boasts 20g of vegan protein, no GMOs, soy or gluten. Beyond Meat has recently launched a line of sausage products that they claim looks, tastes and cooks like pork. These plant-based sausages come in the usual flavors – brat, hot Italian and sweet Italian. There’s also pea protein Beyond Beef Crumbles for meat-free tacos and non-GMO soy and pea protein Beyond Chicken strips for sandwiches, salads and stir fry.
Besides consumers turning away from meat, dairy sales have been in decline as well. Dairy-free cheese sales are up 43% ($124 million), at $162 million, plant-based yogurt sales are up 55% in spite of the premium goat’s milk, Icelandic and Greek yogurt trends. Non-dairy creamers made by brands like Califia Farms are up a whopping 131%.
Looking for a dairy-free yogurt to carry? Try Anita’s Yogurt, a creamy, full-fat coconut milk yogurt with the smooth, rich texture of whole milk Greek yogurt. Available at select Whole Foods, this yogurt is gluten-free, kosher, paleo and keto-friendly, and contains no added sugar, additives or preservatives.
Snacking with a little less guilt!
People of all ages are always going to snack but more and more parents especially want to give their children healthier version of the treats they love. There are so many salty and savory snacks made from wholesome ingredients with sustainable practices and healthier preparation techniques. Pipsnacks makes a delicious mini popcorn called Pipcorn that is made with whole grains and a delicate hull that is easier on your teeth and belly. See if your stores like Bacon Heir’s Pork Clouds, a 100 calorie per bag, carb and gluten-free fried pork skin. They are fried in heart healthy olive oil and come in unique flavors such as Cinnamon Ceylon and Rosemary + Sea Salt. For customers with a sweet tooth, add Barkthins to the assortment. They use only fair trade dark chocolate and non-GMO ingredients and have a shelf life of 12 months.
To learn more about plant based foods, check out the Plant Based Food Association.