The Rise of the Conscious Consumer—How Beverage Brands Can Thrive 

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The landscape of beverage brands is undergoing a seismic shift. Today’s consumers—tech-savvy, environmentally conscious, health-focused, and price-sensitive—are driving a wave of change in the beverage aisle. Brands that can adapt to their evolving demands will not only survive but thrive. 

The Value Hacker Goes Mainstream 

Inflation has become a constant worry, with nearly 75% of consumers expressing concern about rising costs (Euromonitor International, NielsenIQ). Enter the “value hacker”: a resourceful shopper seeking to stretch their budget without sacrificing quality. This translates to trading down for cheaper options, seeking out bargains near expiration, and, most notably, embracing private label brands. 

The Private Label Manufacturers Association reports a staggering 19.1% year-on-year jump in 2023. Private label bottled water alone saw a dollar share gain exceeding 34%, highlighting the shift from branded alternatives. 

Building Brand Loyalty in a Value-Conscious Market 

To counteract this trend, brands must cultivate unwavering consumer loyalty. Consider subscription models and repurchase options that offer value-seeking shoppers a sense of financial advantage. Go beyond the product itself by providing value-added packs with recipe cards and bonuses, creating a more enriching buying experience. 

The Evolving Beverage Aisle: A Digital Frontier 

Online grocery shopping is now mainstream, with 61% of US consumers intending to make online purchases in 2024 (Bank of America). By the end of the decade, global eCommerce is projected to account for a quarter of all grocery sales. 

This necessitates innovative ways to engage consumers beyond the traditional beverage aisle. Brands must leverage digital touchpoints like apps, emails, and interactive online experiences, alongside enticing shipping and delivery options. By creating an omnichannel approach, brands can influence purchasing decisions in the ever-growing realm of eCommerce. 

Healthy People, Healthy Planet: A Powerful Pairing 

While price remains a major factor, it’s far from the only one. The rise of the “conscious consumer” presents a significant opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves with products that promote health and environmental responsibility. 

Products that boast eco-friendly and socially responsible attributes witnessed an average growth of 28% over the past five years compared to non-aligned offerings. To capitalize on this trend, prioritize both health and sustainability throughout your product and packaging portfolios. Embrace natural ingredients, focus on functional and nutritional benefits, and invest in plastic-free, recyclable packaging. This winning combination speaks volumes to the conscious consumer. 

Partnering for Success in the Age of Conscious Consumption 

The brands that will weather this transformative period are those that offer innovative products and packaging solutions while catering to the value-driven, health-conscious consumer. 

At Graphic Packaging, we have a long and distinguished history of adapting to the ever-evolving needs of the fast-moving consumer goods market. Our innovative paperboard packaging solutions for beverage multipacks, including the award-winning KeelClip™ and EnviroClip™, strike a perfect balance between value for today’s shoppers and operational efficiency for production lines.