CPG Beverage Industry:

Trends, Insights & Marketing Strategies

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    Imagine planning a trip to the grocery market with a shopping list that includes mental clarity, boosted immunity, and sustainable choices. Welcome to the new era of the beverage industry, where drinks are not just about quenching thirst but enhancing lives! In the US and Europe, the demand for health, functionality, and eco-friendly solutions is driving unprecedented innovation in the functional beverage industry, energy drink market, and non-alcoholic beverage sector.

    This white paper explores the key trends transforming the beverage landscape and offers actionable marketing strategies to help brands thrive in this dynamic environment. Whether you're an emerging brand ready to make a splash or an established name aiming to stay ahead, this guide provides the insights you need to navigate and succeed in the future of beverages.

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    US Market Overview:

    The US beverage market is vast and diverse, valued at $359 billion. It includes an exploding range of products, with bottled water and carbonated soft drinks reigning as the two largest segments. However, consumption patterns are shifting significantly, driven by evolving health trends and lifestyle changes:

    Bottled Water vs. Carbonated Soft Drinks: Bottled water is on the rise as more Americans prioritize healthy hydration. In contrast, carbonated soft drink consumption is steadily dropping, with private-label bottled water brands leading the charge toward healthier, cost-effective choices.

    Energy Drink Boom: The energy drink market is buzzing with a 9.9% sales spike, surpassing $22 billion. Innovative products and savvy marketing are capturing the attention of health-conscious and active consumers, fueling this rapid growth.

    European Market Overview:

    The European beverage market, valued at $527.2 billion in 2023, is set to grow to $694.4 billion by 2029. While sharing some similarities with the US market, Europe boasts unique characteristics, particularly in health trends and sustainability efforts:

    Healthy Longevity: European consumers' focus on healthy aging is driving demand for low-sugar, organic, and functional beverages. Sparkling water enhanced with vitamins and antioxidants stands out, with online sales soaring 8.8% over the past year.

    Non-Alcoholic Beverage Surge: The non-alcoholic wine and beer market hit €8.6 billion in 2023 and is projected to almost double by 2032. While still a tiny percentage of the overall alcoholic drinks market, non-alcoholic alternatives comprise one of the fastest-growing subsectors, with Western Europe leading the charge.

    Sustainability Focus: Sustainability is an increasingly hot topic among European consumers, prompting regulatory initiatives like the European Parliament's directives on environmental claims and labeling.

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    Embrace Continuous Innovation

    The beverage industry is dynamic, requiring constant innovation to stay ahead. To remain competitive, brands can leverage AI, engage with real-time consumer feedback, and stir excitement through limited-time offerings to keep their products relevant and appealing.

    Leverage AI-Driven Insights:

    Utilizing AI to analyze consumer preferences and market trends can help brands create personalized products that cater to specific tastes and dietary needs, potentially enhancing consumer satisfaction and boosting loyalty.

    Swiss retailer Migros launched Vivi Nova, the world’s first AI-developed beverage. Partnering with Vivi Kola, Migros used AI tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and 3D creation tool Unreal Engine to create this vegan drink in just two days. ChatGPT selected the health-boosting ingredients, while Midjourney and Unreal Engine designed the product. This swift, innovative process highlights AI’s potential use for trendy beverage production.

    Listen To Social Feedback:

    In a world where consumer preferences can shift rapidly, social listening is critical to staying relevant. Monitoring social media and consumer feedback in real-time allows brands to refine their marketing strategies and product offerings, ensuring they meet these shifts.


    Sprite relaunched its iconic "Obey Your Thirst" campaign with a modern twist, guided by a Gen Z council that informs the brand’s product and marketing decisions. By combining traditional testing methods with social listening, Sprite stays in tune with consumer trends and keeps its brand fresh and engaging.

    Experiment With Limited Drops:

    Creating buzz through limited-time offerings and unique flavor experiments can generate excitement and urgency. This strategy encourages immediate purchases and enhances brand loyalty by offering consumers something novel and exclusive.


    Numi Organic Tea introduces limited-edition seasonal blends like "Winter Spice" and "Spring Blossom." These unique tea flavors are available for a short period, encouraging tea enthusiasts to try them before they disappear.


    Leverage Social Media

    In today’s digital age, social media is a powerhouse for building brand awareness and loyalty in the beverage industry. Through captivating content and direct consumer engagement, beverage brands can forge deeper connections and boost visibility. Think trendy recipe videos, lifestyle posts, and interactive campaigns that grab attention and offer memorable experiences.

    ‘Influence’ Your Marketing:

    Influencer marketing can be game-changing in reaching target audiences. A 2022 Oracle survey shows that almost 40% of US consumers trust social media influencers over brands . Collaborations with influencers who resonate with the brand and genuinely enjoy the products can be particularly effective.

    skinny mixes

    Skinny Mixes struck gold with the viral "WaterTok" trend led by TikTok star Tonya Spanglo. Her fun, creative videos transforming water into exciting drinks like Bubblegum and Salted Caramel Apple caused Skinny Mixes’ products to sell out multiple times. With over 400,000 views on some videos, Spanglo’s authentic switch from sugary sodas to zero-calorie waters resonated with fans, showing how powerful influencer marketing can be when done right.

    Offer Social Media Exclusives:

    Offering exclusive content and products on social media can create a buzz and build a sense of community. These strategies get consumers to interact with a brand, and each other, boosting overall engagement.

    Nestlé San Pellegrino created a photo contest managed by Snipp, that invited consumers to share their 'Table Moment' with the sparkling water brand. Tagging and following the brand entered them in a contest that offered a grand prize of a trip for 2 to Quebec and an unforgettable exclusive fine dining experience! With fun, user-generated content, San Pellegrino significantly heightened its social engagement.

    Coca-Cola launched a limited-edition soda exclusively on TikTok Shop, featuring unique packaging and "hype kits" with related items like tissues. This campaign was a hit with Gen Z, leveraging TikTok’s e-commerce platform to drive buzz and sales through novelty and exclusivity.


    Evoke Nostalgia

    Nostalgia is increasingly becoming a popular marketing strategy for the beverage industry, stirring up fond memories and creating strong emotional bonds with consumers. Beverage brands are smartly blending retro elements into their packaging and campaigns, striking a chord with those longing for the good old days. By tapping into nostalgic feelings, brands can connect with a broad audience, bridging the gap between past and present in a way that feels both fresh and familiar.

    Renew with Retro:

    Retro packaging and branding is having a moment, with over 3,000 mentions on social media in the last six months, according to RILA Global Consulting . The ’80s and ’90s are especially popular, evoking positive vibes and simpler times. This nostalgic appeal isn't just for established brands; even new startups can adopt a retro look to evoke authenticity and simplicity.

    Ocean spray

    Ocean Spray worked to nail the balance between tradition and innovation with its recent brand overhaul. The updated imagery reflects a “wildly uncommon” theme, meant to appeal to both long-time fans and new customers. By integrating its rich history into the packaging, Ocean Spray is tapping into an emotional connection, strengthening brand loyalty while drawing in a fresh audience.



    Ribena is bringing back its beloved Ribena Berry characters from the 1980s to rekindle consumer love. These playful characters, representing British blackcurrants, highlight the brand’s local sourcing. Backed by a £5 million investment and a partnership with Hasbro, the campaign includes an on-pack promotion where consumers can win family games, adding fun and nostalgia to their purchase.


    Showcase Sustainability

    Consumers want authenticity and transparency from brands, especially regarding their sustainability practices. By implementing sustainable packaging solutions, reducing carbon footprints, and embracing eco-friendly manufacturing processes--throughout the entire product lifecycle and distribution–brands can contribute to environmental conservation efforts as well as enhance their appeal in the online marketplace. Avoiding greenwashing is crucial, however, as it undermines consumer trust and damages brand credibility in the long-term.

    Source Ethically:

    The demand for sustainable, ethically produced ingredients is skyrocketing. Consumers now see these as essentials, not just extras. Highlighting products that focus on thoughtful sourcing can set brands apart.


    Touted as a complete source of protein and more environmentally friendly than neighboring nuts, Táche sources its pistachios from fourth generation family farmers. Requiring about 75% less water to produce and using recyclable packaging, the brand aims to be ‘better for you, better for the environment’.

    Package Sustainably:

    Eco-friendly packaging is more than a trend; it's a statement of responsibility. Brands that integrate sustainability into their packaging can create lasting customer bonds. By making it easy and rewarding to recycle or reuse containers, brands can enhance engagement and loyalty.


    Coca-Cola introduced an innovative refillable drink program in Sweden, partnering with Stockholm's PBX convenience store. The program offered consumers more than 60 refillable soda flavors, as part of the company's initiative to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

    Build Trust with Clear Labeling:

    With 76% of grocery shoppers valuing transparency, brands that provide clear labeling to communicate their sustainability efforts can significantly build consumer trust and confidence.   Even further, consumers are willing to pay a hefty premium for the same: An IBM study found that 71% of consumers were willing to pay "an additional average premium of 37% for companies providing full transparency and traceability."


    HowGood and SES-imagotag's partnership brings sustainability data directly to store shelves via smart digital labels that provide insights into greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and labor practices. In a UK pilot, products with these labels saw a 25.8% sales boost, with "Fair Labor" items leading at 45.1% . More than 80% of consumers were also willing to use QR codes, websites, apps, or other tools to seek more product details, whether in-store or online.


    Optimize Omnichannel

    Beverage brands must recognize that consumers often purchase products across multiple channels simultaneously. A seamless omnichannel strategy is crucial not only for delivering a satisfying consumer experience but also for gaining a comprehensive understanding of consumer behavior. By integrating online and offline touchpoints, brands can achieve the following benefits:

    Gain Shopper Insights:

    Gaining insights into how consumers shop across different channels allows brands to tailor their promotional strategies effectively. For instance, 82% of energy drink shoppers in convenience stores (C-Stores) plan their purchases ahead of time, compared to 73% in mass channels. Brands can leverage this information to craft specific marketing strategies for each channel in the energy drink industry.

    Refine Product Offerings:

    E-commerce platforms enable brands to test products quickly and efficiently, identifying best-sellers and long-tail products to offer in third-party retail stores. This approach allows consumers to explore beyond the top-selling SKUs, catering to both loyal fans and curious new customers in the ready-to-drink beverage segments.

    Collect First-party Data:

    Successful omnichannel marketing campaigns create a cohesive and satisfying consumer experience. By seamlessly integrating digital and physical touchpoints, brands can create immersive, engaging experiences while collecting valuable data for future marketing efforts.


    Coca-Cola’s Innocent Drinks launched a digital out-of-home campaign in London metro locations. Consumers who scanned QR codes on billboards could learn about the brand’s sustainability initiatives via a microsite, which also captured first-party data including names, emails, addresses, and birthdates. The campaign achieved a 65% engagement rate and a 10% repeat engagement rate, exceeding expectations by 5,000%.


    Leverage Experiences

    Harnessing the power of major events and occasions can dramatically boost brand visibility and consumer engagement.

    Tap Into Events:

    By partnering with high-profile events, beverage brands can connect with larger audiences, amplify their messaging, and create memorable experiences that foster consumer loyalty.

    Peroni 0.0% leveraged its Formula 1 partnership to enhance brand visibility through in-person activations and limited-edition merchandise. Fans could take pictures with a replica of a Ferrari Formula 1 car on a yacht while sampling Peroni 0.0%. This association with the excitement and prestige of Formula 1 created an unforgettable brand experience that resonated with fans and boosted engagement.

    Featuring gymnast Simone Biles, Powerade’s 'Pause is Power' Campaign highlighted the importance of mental and physical well-being during the Olympic Games. The emotional campaign emphasized supporting athletes that 'take a pause' to come back stronger, with improved health and performance.

    Design Unique Experiences:

    Brands can make a significant impact at events by designing unique, interactive experiences that leave lasting impressions on attendees.


    Red Bull’s annual Flugtag event, where participants build homemade flying machines and launch them off a pier, embodies the brand’s adventurous spirit. This hugely popular event draws large crowds and generates extensive media coverage, reinforcing Red Bull’s image as a fun, daring, and innovative brand in the beverage industry.

    Create Pop Culture Tie-Ins:

    By tapping into current trends and entertainment, brands can reach broader audiences and create strong associations. Pop culture tie-ins generate buzz and excitement, making brands more relatable and engaging.

    Pure - leaf

    Pure Leaf’s 'Unbelievably Sweet Files' campaign featuring 'Ghostbusters' actors promoted its zero-sugar sweet tea with a humorous, myth-busting theme. This campaign not only engaged consumers with its fun, nostalgic appeal but also collected valuable first-party data. By leveraging the enduring popularity of 'Ghostbusters,' Pure Leaf crafted a memorable and engaging marketing campaign that resonated with a broad audience.

    Liquid Death partnered with Netflix to offer prizes like a year of free Netflix. Aligning with a highly anticipated film, Liquid Death reached a wider audience and generated significant buzz. Snipp built a sweepstakes entry system where consumers could register for a chance to win prizes, including free Netflix for a year, a TV, and a soundbar.


    Tap Into Payment Media Networks (PMNs)

    PMNs are transforming marketing strategies for CPG and beverage brands by utilizing SKU-level data and banking networks. These networks help brands deliver precise, personalized SKU-level promotions to consumers, directly at the time of their card-based purchase. This kind of seamless integration not only streamlines the shopping experience but can also enhance customer satisfaction and foster loyalty.

    Snipp’s PMN gives beverage brands access to over 67 million shoppers via top-tier bank partnerships, offering SKU-level, grocery cash-back promotions directly on consumer cards. By targeting customers at the point of sale, it has the potential to boost spending while also guaranteeing 100% marketing attribution with comprehensive data analytics.



    Engage Through Promotions and Rewards

    Promotions and rewards are potent tools for driving consumer engagement and loyalty. By incorporating gamification elements, beverage brands can create interactive and exciting experiences that encourage repeat purchases and deepen consumer connections.

    Create Targeted Rewards:

    Through regular, targeted rewards promotions, brands can make their customers feel valued for their loyalty and repeated patronage, while maintaining a constant connection with their consumer base.


    Mtn Dew launched a targeted rewards promotion aimed at gamers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Outdoor Gear Program featured codes on select bottles and packs, redeemable online for prizes like National Park Service annual passes, The North Face sleeping bags, and Engel coolers. Meanwhile, the Gaming Rewards Program, in partnership with Xbox, offered prizes designed to enhance gaming setups. Certain flavors even provided double points, encouraging more frequent purchases and deeper engagement with the brand.

    Offer Receipt-Based Promotions:

    Receipt-based promotions, such as instant win contests, buy-get offers, and sweepstakes, add a layer of excitement to consumer purchases. By entering these contests with their purchase receipts, consumers are incentivized to buy, while brands gain valuable insights into their behavior.


    Nescafe's 'Get Rich Quick' campaign leveraged receipt-based entries to boost consumer engagement. Customers who bought qualifying products could upload their receipts online for a chance to instantly win a daily $500 prepaid digital card and enter a larger sweepstakes. The program also accepted non-purchase entries via a brief essay and a skill-testing question. Additionally, a status tracker displaying total winnings introduced a competitive edge to the experience, boosting engagement further.

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    Simply having a great product isn't enough in the fiercely competitive beverage industry. Success demands a keen understanding of shifting consumer preferences, a willingness to embrace current trends and the ability to leverage data-driven insights. Sometimes, the path to prominence may involve launching a fresh marketing campaign, or introducing innovative packaging that captures consumer interest. Other times, it could mean diving into bold new product innovations or exploring untapped markets to stand out. By focusing on agility, continuous innovation, and deep customer engagement, beverage brands can navigate the ever-changing landscape and thrive. Infuse your marketing with the strategies and ideas outlined in this paper, and keep your brand sparkling in the market!


    To boost your CPG Beverage marketing strategy and engage your consumers with effective promotions and loyalty programs, contact us to speak with one of our experts!


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