Due to busy and arduous lifestyles, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages have become popular amongst consumers. This demand is complemented with the demand for clean-label, gluten-free, low-calorie and low-carb products, which has led to the elevation of the low-calorie RTD beverages market in the food industry. The growth in the overall functional beverage market and increasing health consciousness amongst consumers has fuelled the growth of the low-calorie RTD beverages market. Many product launches with new flavor variants have recently been witnessed in the low-calorie RTD beverages market. Local players are also entering the low-calorie RTD beverages market which is expected to exhibit steady growth in the forecast period because artisanal and homemade functional beverages are trending amongst consumers, concurrently fuelling the growth of low-calorie beverages market. In January 2017, the company Diageo launched a low-calorie Seltzer under its brand Smirnoff. The company also offers these low-calorie RTD beverages which have also have low carbohydrates, zero-sugar and artificial sweeteners.
The functional beverage market is exploding with newer variants and the retail stores are fully occupied with these beverages. Low-calorie RTD beverages, clean-label beverages without artificial sweeteners, etc. are some of them. The low-calorie RTD beverages segment is stirring the functional beverage industry. Consumers are becoming more responsible towards their health and taking it into their own hands by opting for healthy drinks and low-calorie RTD beverages, as they offer a feasible solution for the consumers to stay healthy. Many low-calorie RTD beverage producers are aiming to include more nutritional information on the can/bottle labels, following the latest consumer buying strategies. The low-calorie RTD beverages are marketed with a health benefit tagline and this strategy has been adopted by many manufacturers in the low-calorie RTD beverages market. Key players, such as Diageo, are also focusing to expand their product offering in the health and wellness segment, which echoes the growing demand for low-calorie RTD beverages.
Global Low-calorie RTD Beverages Market Segmentation On basis of beverage type: Alcoholic beverages – Cocktails, Vodka, Wine, Rum; Non-alcoholic beverages- Carbonated, Seltzers, Sparkling water; Non-carbonated – Tea & Coffee, Flavored/Infused water, Fruit juices; On basis of flavor: Fruits- Citrus fruits, Cranberry, Grapefruit, Others; Herbs & spices; On the basis of distribution channel: Direct, Indirect, Store-based retailing, Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Convenience Stores, Specialty Stores, Discount stores, Traditional Grocers, Online Stores
Examples of some of the key players operating in the low-calorie RTD beverages market are Diageo plc., Asahi Breweries, Ltd., Global Brands Limited, Bacardi Limited, Kold Group, PepsiCo, Inc., THE COCA-COLA COMPANY, SGC Global, LLC, Malibu Drinks, Herbal Water, Inc. and AB InBev (Spiked Seltzer), among others.
In April 2016, the company Spiked & Sparkling, launched a new sparkling water which is a very low-calorie RTD beverage and also available in low-carb and gluten-free. The product was launched to cater the increased consumer demand for carbonated water and low-calorie RTD beverages globally.
In 2014, the Skinnygirl Cocktails, manufacturer of low-calorie RTD beverages, launched two new products in the U.S. market, Sweet’arita and Sparkling Margarita.
Manufacturers have great opportunity to expand production lines and retail outlets for low-calorie RTD beverages in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East & Africa regions because the North America and Europe regions have become saturated. Also, the consumer demand and purchasing power of the consumers in this region has increased and the tropical climate also encourages the consumption of low-calorie RTD beverages in these regions. In North America, there remains cut-throat competition in the market as all the major key players are focusing on developing low and zero calorie RTD beverages, and hence, newer flavors or new packaging formats should be explored to enhance consumer base. Also, special low-calorie RTD beverages can be launched for consumers with obesity and the focus can be turned to the clinical nutrition segment, as low-calorie RTD beverages have a wide scope of application in the food industry.
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