“Courage is rewarded”
Dirk Ziems, Co-Founder and Shareholder of marketing research institute concept m research + consulting, analyses current trends in the beverages market and explains why they’re developing in an urban environment.
GZ What major trend is there in the beverage market currently, and which trend in recent years do you see as the most durable – what’s here to stay?
Ziems The central megatrend is special authenticity. We’re seeing as lot of variants on the theme of appearing particularly authentic as a new product or brand. First, you have the particularly authentic original brands, such as Fritz Cola or the various craft beers or local brewery house beers. ^
Grevensteiner Landbier, brewed from 1824 by the Veltins brothers, Carl and Anton, at the Grevensteiner Brauerei, is an example of such an authentic rediscovery. The founder legend implies special status because it puts a face on the brand. The product is backed by enthusiastic brewmasters and cool social stars, helping consumers to establish their own relationship with the brand.
At the moment, authenticity is the big megatrend
The authentic origin is rooted in the founders. In the beer world, local beers generally are seeing a new upswing, like Störtebeker from Stralsund or Mönchshof from Kulmbach, both distributed outside their regional base. In the mineral water market, local and regional brands which have original ties to their region are holding their own – for example, Spreequell in Berlin and “Fürst Bismarck” in Hamburg.
The trend towards particularly authentic styles extends to wine coolers and soft drinks. San Pellegrino markets its canned sparkling lemon drink in classic, authentically Italian style, “Proviant” wine cooler shows a 50-year-old image of a mother on the label. Incidentally, the most popular “Proviant” beverage is the rhubarb version, which is the embodiment of local authenticity. However, the ingredients don’t have to be local. As power fruits like açai, goji and noni berries show, ingredients and flavours also take on authenticity if they waft the consumer mentally to far-off places and invite special discoveries. Japanese matcha green tea or the currently popular ginger teas also promise health for body and spirit in authentically oriental style.
GZ What mechanisms can ensure that a beverage trend makes the jump from the city to the country?
Ziems Active distribution power is of central importance for this jump. One important lever is naturally distribution in the target establishments in rural areas, which have a trailblazing function for general beverage trends.
One important lever is distribution in relevant food service segments
GZ How can beverage manufacturers initiate or boost beverage trends themselves?
Ziems Manufacturers operate in a complex market structure. Those who have the courage to lead with genuine innovations can be rewarded, like Bionade in its day, or punished, like numerous innovative products which are no longer with us.
GZ Do consumers in major cities need to be addressed differently in marketing terms than consumers in rural areas?
Ziems Consumers in major cities like Berlin or Hamburg are generally more open than rural consumers. The public in the cities to some extent demand to be entertained by new beverage trends. For fashionable cafés, bars and restaurants, original new brands and products are an important profiling factor.
GZ What major trend do you expect next in beverages?
Ziems “Functional food” and “reduced sugar” will become increasingly important. The background to this is the continuing trend towards greater health orientation.