Appealing to the Modern Palate
While the soda industry produces $60 billion in annual sales in the United States alone, soft drink manufacturers have posted steep declines in recent years as demand for sugary drinks continues to decrease. Producers, however, have historically responded quickly to changing consumer preferences, gamely altering their products to better meet demand. In the 1960s, manufacturers introduced diet sodas in response to diet trends, followed by caffeine-free and low-sodium alternatives. Today, many soda manufacturers are investing more heavily in healthier products, devoting resources to developing more fruit juices, coconut waters, and simple bottled water.
In addition, as new consumer technology emerges and more people are living in “connected homes” (with the help of devices like voice-activated shopping assistants and smart refrigerators), manufacturers are adapting to changing behaviors in how consumers purchase their favorite drinks. Although demand for traditional soft drinks may be slumping, soft drink manufacturers who are committed to innovation and staying on top of consumer trends are successfully meeting new (read: healthier) demands.