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Food fights aren’t just for kids. Today’s food and beverage manufacturers and retailers are waging fierce battles for bigger and bigger pieces of the proverbial pie—and paying close attention to who’s buying what. And for good reason: what makes it into the shopping carts of the most powerful cohorts is the evidence they need to divine their business futures.
Parking lot shopping-cart wranglers might want to reconsider their job security as major retailers continue to focus on opening more small-box format stores. Wal-Mart and Target are just two companies racing to invest in small-box urban stores aimed not at stock-up shoppers but rather at quick-trip shoppers who are more likely to carry a basket–if they use one at all.
Considering the consumer clamor in recent years for all-things-natural, it’s no wonder that food and beverage manufacturers may occasionally stretch the boundaries of the term to apply it to their products.
It has been decades since expectant parents felt compelled to paint the nursery walls baby blue for boys and cotton candy pink for girls. But gender-specific marketing can be a huge turnoff for many shoppers–particularly Millennials and the cohort behind them, Gen Z. Both have proven to be the most gender-bending consumer groups to date.
The benefits of coconut water have quickly catapulted the electrolyte-rich elixir from an exotic liquid sipped from the shell by locals and tourists to the epicenter of an entirely new beverage category: plant waters. And while coconut water continues to grow and evolve in the natural beverage space, which intersects with the similarly expanding functional foods category, it now has lots of company.
They’re barely out of diapers. But Generation Alpha—children born since 2010—
promises to be the most highly educated, diverse and technologically proficient generation to live so far, predicts Tessa van Asselt, a demographic expert from TrendsActive, a Dutch consultancy.
U.S. producers of natural and premium beverages such as coconut water, value-added dairy products and, in the food category, broths and soup, have gravitated to aseptic packaging for four principal advantages.
When temperatures drop, soup sales heat up. But in recent years, consumer attitudes toward the category have been chillier than winter in Alaska, and declining sales of this venerable and undeniably versatile dish have left soup manufacturers in need of some comfort themselves.
A long-simmering food fight in the U.S. is about to reach a boil. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is intent on improving its labeling standards to encourage healthier eating.
To meet bottling regulations, much ready-to-drink tea is acidified and sweetened. Yet health-conscious shoppers want premium teas with less sugar.