Striving for Wellbeing in Drinks & Tobacco

July 2021

Striving for Wellbeing in Drinks & Tobacco has been identified as one of the most important themes in the world of beverages. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar and cannabis are a significant part of how global consumers manage their wellbeing. In the decade prior to the pandemic, however, consumers had begun to form a more ‘mindful’ and conscious approach to their intoxicants. In its aftermath, consumers will rebalance consumption and ingredients to re-establish wellbeing.

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Key findings

What do we mean by Striving for Wellbeing in Drinks & Tobacco?

The categories constituting drinks and tobacco – from carbonated drinks to cannabis – are often understood as the ‘sindustries’ – products enjoyed primarily for indulgence and refreshment. Yet as routines are reshaped post-pandemic, consumers will rebalance their food and beverage routines, finding new categories for indulgence, as well as new functional occasions satisfied by beverage options (like digestive health, sleep, energy and immune support). Indulgence and intoxication will, of course, remain a core mission of drinks and tobacco categories, while new ingredients, formats and needs will lead consumers to experiment with new and potentially unfamiliar delivery formats, such as patches, pouches and shots.

Mindfulness and natural health remain front and centre after the pandemic

The effects of the global pandemic and greater emphasis on public health may accelerate a long-term progression towards reduced alcohol and tobacco consumption, and sugar reduction across the drinks and tobacco industries. The sourcing of ingredients, product safety and impact on health will remain paramount for the post-pandemic consumer, as nutrition, food and beverage routines are examined, measured with new technology (such as wearables) and adjusted or rebuilt to promote wellbeing.

Identifying the benefit territories of the future

Caffeine and energy-boosting products remain rare areas of double-digit value growth in global beverages, propelled by the rise of super-charged energy drinks, RTD and craft coffee over recent years. Digestive health beverages are now mainstream, led by kombucha and extending into prebiotic tonics, vinegar drinks and kefir. Nootropics, fortified immune support drinks and relaxation/stress-relief products utilising a variety of ‘super-ingredients’ within the fungi and botanical kingdoms, often adaptogenic in effect, represent the most exciting areas of innovation in 2021 and beyond.

Key findings
Drinks and tobacco industries move in a more ‘mindful’ direction
Striving for Wellbeing in Drinks & Tobacco
Exploring Striving for Wellbeing in Drinks & Tobacco
Striving for Wellbeing in Drinks & Tobacco in-depth
Reducing sugar, alcohol and calories
Boosting energy
Relieving stress and promoting sleep
Immune and gut health
Ingredients delivering consumer need states: botanicals and fungi to the fore
Powering change through tech and “synth”
Striving for Wellbeing in Drinks & Tobacco in focus (1)
Companies are meeting the needs of consumers using various strategies
Reducing sugar through addition, not omission, with prebiotics and fermentation
Smaller portions, smaller package sizes and higher margins
Using new ingredients and new doses to meet the insatiable demand for energy (1)
Using new ingredients and new doses to meet the insatiable demand for energy (2)
Creating new formats and ingredients to build sleep and relaxation routines (1)
Creating new formats and ingredients to build sleep and relaxation routines (2)
Exploring new claims, as beverages become consumed as supplements (1)
Exploring new claims, as beverages become consumed as supplements (2)
Exploring new claims, as beverages become consumed as supplements (3)
Reducing harm across refreshment and indulgence occasions (1)
Reducing harm across refreshment and indulgence occasions (2)
Striving for Wellbeing in Drinks & Tobacco
Key industry takeaways
Challenges to overcome
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