Drinks NPD - UK - August 2009
New product development is crucial to the drinks market, maintaining consumer interest and supporting branding, which is of particular value in alcoholic drinks. NPD can address some particular current problems - including declining sales of alcohol and a weighting towards younger consumers, which is far from ideal given an ageing demographic.
However, the industry needs to tread carefully. Given the strength of public feeling about the abuse of alcohol by some young people, being seen to be encouraging irresponsible drinking is something no drinks supplier will risk. In soft drinks, sweet, sugary drinks are now definitely out, and ‘healthy’ is in.
Between these two imperatives, drinks suppliers tread a careful line. They need to add value in an increasingly harsh economic context, offer variety, target non-core drinkers, especially women, and produce 'healthier' soft drinks and 'safer' alcoholic beverages.
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