Product Innovation in Soft Drinks

April 2024

This report utilises Euromonitor International’s new Passport Innovation portal to explore new launches and sub-brands in global soft drinks. Three key innovation platforms are identified for global non-alcoholic beverages in 2023/2024, with product examples from large global e-commerce retailers over the last 12 months.

USD 1,325
Request More Information


This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

A disciplined and focused approach to innovation within soft drinks, with a close eye on ROI

The global soft drinks industry is unlikely to see an acceleration in the overall number of new products introduced over the next 12 months, as producers instead streamline portfolios and operations to control costs. With more limited marketing investment available, established beverage brands will primarily focus on safer bets - particularly bolder, flavour sub-brand launches, partnerships and flavour-based LTOs - supported by targeted (largely digital/social) marketing campaigns.

Balanced, incremental innovation - complementing the existing portfolio and long-term whitespace for consumer need states

Successful innovation within the drinks industry must prove to be genuinely incremental to existing beverage occasions and need states rather than investment that cannabilises existing products. Whitespace will include premium functional beverages beyond the established areas of energy, hydration and digestive health. Relaxation drinks and mood-enhancing adult soft drinks are two particularly promising areas of development. 

Low investment, high impact innovations yield outsize impact when amplified through social channels

Not all innovations within soft drinks need to re-invent the category. Brands can have an outsized impact with targeted flavour innovations, limited time offers (LTOs) and promotions that are amplified through social media channels. Evolving and refreshing brands through cost-effective seasonal flavours or creative packaging can still produce strong results, as evidenced by the strong performance of price premium energy drinks brands despite rising costs of living.

Product innovation in soft drinks
Passport Innovation: What's covered?
Key findings
Soft drinks innovation overview by country
Soft drinks innovation overview by category
Soft drinks innovation overview by retailer
Leading supplier profiles: Coca-Cola Creations boosts ROI, while Pepsi explores co-branding
Top three innovation trends in soft drinks
Soft drinks innovation trend #1: Diversifying energy-boosting drinks
Diversifying energy drinks through performance positioning and cleaner caffeine
Innovation examples: New lines of category segmentation within energy drinks
Brand extension profile: Celsius maintains growth surge through flavour innovation
Soft drinks innovation trend #2: New functional need states
Natural, functional alternatives to alcohol, to promote relaxation or sleep
Innovation examples: Non-alcohol (NA) mixers, apértifs and botanical ingredients
Retailer profile: An expanding premium, functional portfolio at Thrive Market
Soft drinks innovation trend #3: Package and format expansion
Soluble, functional mixes offer convenience for both suppliers and consumers
Innovation examples: Electrolyte powders with added benefits and smoothie powder
Brand innovation profile: Rapid expansion of Liquid I.V. after Unilever acquisition


If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extraction Free!