The Beauty of Grab and Go Beverages

In this fast-paced world, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day ... however, most people are too busy to properly consume this meal. So what options does this leave for the pressed-for-time folks who still need something to satisfy the hunger and cravings? Grab and go bottles featuring everything from coffee, to smoothies, protein and energy drinks, soda, water, coconut water, and even beer. And this trend isn’t unique to breakfast. On-the-go is a trend common to today’s consumers. And there are a few more attributes to highlight.

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Consumers today want two things: options and the power to choose. A report from 2013 estimated that 21 percent of Americans were classified as “opportunist” eaters, who grab food and drinks throughout the day as the opportunity arises. Beverage companies are offering more and more in terms of variety of single purchase drinks which can showcase new releases, as one way to increase brand engagement, celebrate seasonal differences, and encourage consumers to expand their palates.

While it’s more economical to buy in bulk, or to get to that specific price point of a case of say water or soda, people aren’t necessarily always looking for a bargain when it comes to the beverages they grab on the go. As people manage their days, there’s an inevitable need to eat and drink. Convenience continues to trump economics or preparedness. Stopping by a convenience store or vending machine means instant gratification. People can obtain the bottle water, soda, coffee, or energy drink without having to find a grocery or big box store to purchase a case.

The Stories Brands Tell 

Also affecting the market for individual, grab-and-go beverages is the generation most likely to purchase them with regularity: the 80 million millennials that comprise one-fourth of the country’s population. They possess $200 billion in annual buying power. Millennials also have a lot of influence over the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations and are trendsetters by nature, spanning all industries from fashion, to technology, to food and drink. It only makes sense that this sector also has the greatest response to the affordable luxuries consumer packaged goods like individual beverages present to the marketplace.

The desire to spend a bit extra for life’s perceived simple pleasures has been an economic trend for a few years. The principle of economic thinking states a consumer will purchase a more expensive brand or item if there is greater incentive to buy. In the case of grab-and-go beverages, the obvious factor is convenience, but don’t overlook the stories brands can tell in order to drive brand engagement. Consumers – especially Millennials - crave to support the brands that care.

BYOC: Build Your Own Case of Beer

The appeal of single serve selection doesn’t stop at the point-of-sale cooler. Beer drinkers are getting in on the one-by-one action with BYOC- build your own case. Whether consumers are seasoned veterans of the beer industry or a beginner navigating the endless styles, BYOC is a basic way to keep both parties happy – and coming back for more. Breweries continue to be innovators dedicated to their craft, and small batches, cask-series, and seasonal offerings will continue to evolve and make their ways to your shelves. Today’s beer drinker segment aged 21-35 has specific characteristics that you can appeal to with BYOC. The Brewer’s Association released a list of six characteristics this Millennial generation specifically possesses, found here. The research states this population views craft beer as an affordable luxury. This suggests these consumers seek strong value, and not always at a lower cost.

So whether it’s skipping breakfast in favor of grabbing a Naked juice or Starbucks Refresher on the way to the office or classroom, or custom creating a six-pack to go with pizza night, consumers today are relying on the convenience and variety of grab-and-go beverages more and more. Keep your coolers stocked and at the ready.

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Published on: Feb 16, 2016

Topics: Beer, Vending, Products

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