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Consumers sip healthy alternatives to sugary drinks

BY Barbara White-Sax

The future of the beverage category is in low- and no-calorie drinks. Consumers have been forsaking traditional sugary beverages in favor of healthier alternatives. Statistics from the American Beverage Association show that the average calories per serving from beverages has dropped 23% since 1998, and the number of calories in the American diet from added sugars in soda has fallen 39% since 2000. Sales of traditional carbonated beverages also have been sliding.

About one-third of Coca-Cola’s North American sales volume is now generated from low- and zero-calorie drinks, including Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Category leaders have been rolling out new lower-calorie versions of old favorites. Pepsi Next has 60% less sugar than Pepsi, and Mountain Dew Kickstart contains only 80 calories versus more than 100 for Mountain Dew. Dr Pepper Ten and 7UP Ten are Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s 10-calorie versions of the classic brands.

Manufacturers are tempting consumers with new sparkling beverages. Honest Tea’s Honest Fizz, sweetened with organic stevia and erythritol, has been a hit since its introduction in early 2013. The product, the company’s first foray in the carbonated space, is being rolled out nationally. "We thought there was a need for a naturally-sweetened, zero-calorie carbonated beverage that tasted good, and the Honest Fizz has exceeded expectations," said Joanna Seiden, a spokeswoman for the company.

Hint goes even further with its unsweetened  flavored  sparkling water, Hint Fizz, introduced last year. Like the company’s still waters, the beverages are unsweetened and flavored with natural fruit skins and oils. The company also is introducing new flavors and sizes this summer. "People don’t like the aftertaste of sweeteners," said Kara Golden, Hint’s CEO. "We believe that unsweetened products are where the category is headed."

Consumers also are looking to non-carbonated beverages for lower-calorie hydration, and manufacturers are happily serving up alternatives. Honest Tea is testing an Unsweetened Lemon Tea in the New York City market now, with national rollout planned for the fall. "We think there’s room in the mainstream market for unsweetened products," Seiden said.

Even the water category is seeing action. Glaceau’s Smartwater has created a niche with its focus on electrolytes, and Whole Foods is giving a lot of play to its private label electrolyte water introduced under its 365 brand. Nestlé Waters North America recently introduced a new brand of still water called Resource. In its ads for the new brand, Nestle is playing up the "100% naturally occurring electrolytes" in the still water, boasting that the beverage is "more than hydration, its total electrolytenment."
 

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Bold lips continue to make bold statement, sales

BY Antoinette Alexander

Lips are still getting a lot of attention as the bold lip continues to a make a big statement and beauty mavens indulge in the small luxury of lipstick. IRI reported that within U.S. multi-outlet locations, sales of lipstick rose nearly 12% for the 12 weeks ended June 16. During that same period, sales of lip gloss slipped 3.8%, and sales of lip treatments dropped 27%.

Beauty manufacturers are responding by developing lip color that promises to deliver not only intense color, but also more moisture and longer wear.

Revlon recently launched 10 new shades of Super Lustrous Lipstick. The high-shine, lightweight lipsticks feature a light-reflecting LiquiShine complex that contains Abyssinian oil for shiny radiant color. Shades include Rich Girl Red, Fuchsia Shock and Kissable Pink.

Maybelline New York introduced two collections earlier this year. Color Sensational Vivids feature an array of bright pinks, reds, corals and plums. It features new technology using rich coated pigments to produce Color Sensational’s brightest, most vibrant color ever, and is formulated with lip conditioners and honey nectar. It also promises to wear for up to four hours. The new Color Whisper collection features pure color pigments suspended in a weightless gel. The result? A barely-there feel and a sexy soft, diffused color.

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Consumers swipe on new products with added benefits

BY Antoinette Alexander

What is the product that many beauty enthusiasts would choose as their top pick if they could choose only one beauty product to wear? Congratulations if you guessed mascara.

Market research company Lab42 conducted in May a study among 400 millennial women, ages 18 years to 34 years, to reveal all things beauty. Among the findings: Mascara was the No. 1 product they would wear every day if they could choose one.

So what do women want in their mascara? According to a report by The NPD Group, which tracks prestige beauty, thickening/volume and lengthening are the most important mascara benefits. Anti-clumping follows closely, with 56% of mascara users rating the benefit as important. Defining — meaning, separates lashes — and waterproof or water-resistant round out the top five mascara benefits in terms of importance among women overall.

Looking to bring the latest innovations to market, beauty manufacturers are far from resting on their laurels. In early 2013, L’Oréal Paris debuted the look of lash extensions in a tube with the launch of its Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara. Now, the beauty brand has introduced a new Carbon Black shade offering for an even more dramatic look. In addition, L’Oréal Paris just introduced its new Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara, which it positions as Voluminous Million Lashes "with a kick." This new mascara features the same Clean Sweep Wiping System as Million Lashes but has a bigger brush to deliver maximum lash separation in one coat.

LashDip, a semipermanent lash enhancement line that uses gel-based coating for lush lashes, has announced the launch of its first retail line. It is not a lash extension or a strip; rather it is a weightless, gel-based coating that delivers all the perks of mascara but lasts for weeks. The easy-on, easy-off formula, which is available in five different colors, is designed for use over professional LashDip application, naked lashes or LashDip’s strip lashes.

And earlier this year, Revlon introduced its new Lash Potion, which is infused with strengthening proteins to give lashes volume and length. It also features an "illusionist wand" with wide grooves to coat lashes and triple brushes to comb through for clump-free length in one swipe.

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