Interact Category Specialists: Shelf Stable Beverages

Interact Category Specialists: Shelf Stable Beverages

Standing out among the competition in a category such as shelf-stable beverages is daunting to say the least. However, there are certain brands who are paying attention to the mass movement of consumers away from sugary and artificial beverages and toward shorter ingredient lists, healthier choices, and options that have functional and added dietary benefits. Three emerging trends from the past couple of years are ready-to-drink teas, carbonated juices and waters as well as taking the cold-pressed phenomenon out of the refrigerated section and into the middle of the store. (Image Source) RTD TEA With ready-to-drink tea sales projected to be $9 billion by 2020, up from $7 billion just five years prior, its needless to say that the tea category is booming. Major players like Starbucks, Steaz and Nestea have all taken notice and are anteing up with new packaging, new products and reformulation. Starbucks recently rolled out a RTD version of Tevana to select retailers in hopes to capitalize on this trend. Nestea, always a major player in this category, has paid particular attention to market demand when they recently reformulated their tea to have a mix of sugar and stevia as well as removing any artificial flavors. With the majority of consumers actively searching for “no sugar added”, “organic” or any type of added health/functional benefit all companies, big and small are taking notice.   (Image Source) CARBONATION With the trend moving more toward organic and natural beverages, brands are constantly trying to find ways to set themselves apart – what better way to do this than to add a little sparkle. Cawston Press and Spindrift...
Matcha Leads the Mindfulness Movement

Matcha Leads the Mindfulness Movement

Matcha, a finely powdered green tea, is an ancient beverage first used for ceremonial purposes in China and Japan. The vibrant drink has expanded into many different cultures over the years, which has made way for all kinds of experimentation. Similar to the way masala chai grew to be a household name in the U.S., matcha has evolved from its humble yet strong beginnings into a wide array of new foods and drinks. It’s become approachable enough for the Western palate that that we’re now seeing it in excess. “Green tea lattes” are available in many coffee shops. It’s an ingredient we’re often seeing pop up in decadent desserts. And it’s being introduced as an ingredient in unlikely yet innovative combinations.     Many companies have marketed matcha in a ready to drink form, most often touting its many benefits. This finely ground green tea has been praised for being antioxidant rich, and noted for the simultaneously calming and alert sensation it provides. When bottled, chilled, and enhanced with other flavors, it’s an easy choice to reach for a matcha over coffee in the refrigerated RTD section of a grocery store.      Traditionally, the preparation of matcha calls for time and care. It requires a set of tools, the powdery tea itself, and hot water. The entire process takes only a minute or two, with the drink meant to be consumed quickly. Matcha is steeped in ritual above all – taking a few moments to focus on brewing a serving of tea for oneself, creating a sensory few moments of mindfulness in your day. Many have taken to making space in their day for matcha, in a society where the search for energy often...
Packaging Haul 12: October Edition!

Packaging Haul 12: October Edition!

Welcome to another round of the Packaging Haul! With Halloween just days away, we’re in the mood to stick to a special, festive theme. Hope you’re stocked up on candy and costumes for this one. We promised there are no tricks here – just treats.   1 – Black O’Lantern by Wasatch Brewery In a sea of orange labels decorated with photos of pumpkin patches meant to evoke warm feelings of falling leaves and a chill in the air, Black O’Lantern, an imperial stout with a hint of pumpkin, is not afraid to be the bad apple (or pumpkin, rather) on shelf.  With a stark black background, menacing jack-o-lantern face and a carved jagged die cut carrier, Black O’Lantern is a brew that unabashedly stands out among the competition. – Kelley 2 – Moonstruck Haunted House Moonstruck Chocolate from Portland has crafted these beautifully crafted Halloween chocolate truffles, each with a unique filling. This limited edition find is sold in a house (or is it a coffin?) shaped structure that you’ll want to hold onto even after the treats are gone. – Abby 3 – Teavana Pumpkin Spice Brulee Fall is about more than Halloween. We all know that Pumpkin Spice ties for being the real star of autumn. Teavana has created a tea that adds a little bit of caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla to make it that much better. With lively illustrated pumpkins on the orange canned packaging, this is the perfect tea to accompany colorful fall days. – Lindsay 4 – Frozen Ghost Vodka Frozen Ghost Vodka is the epitome of spooky packaging. The “ghosted” figure in the background is provocative and has a chilling aura. Thin, sans serif typography is also used in different weights and sizes...