The beverage industry encompasses far more than just what comes to mind when we think of famous beverage brands, going beyond soft drinks, juices and bottled water. It is typically divided into two subcategories, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, with many brands venturing into both segments to appeal to a wider consumer base.
While some beverage brands have a more focused approach with a core product category, other typically larger and more established brands have a large portfolio of beverage products. Despite some brands falling by the wayside due to the pandemic and declining sales, the industry overall has remained resilient as many beverage brands are consumer staples.
With many new entrants fighting for space in a mature, saturated market, the beverage industry continues to be dominated by a few internationally-recognized players, all of whom have employed various marketing, sales, supply chain and logistics tactics that give them a competitive edge. With more supply than demand, since similar products are offered by multiple companies of differing sizes, there is a lack of customer loyalty with the exception of a few brands, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
To stay relevant to consumers and maintain a long-lasting place in their lives, beverage brands must evolve with changing industry dynamics. Here are the top five fastest-growing beverage brands to look out for this year.
Coca-Cola-owned Monster Energy has cemented itself as one of the most popular brands in the sector with a loyal fanbase and consistently growing sales figures. In 2020, the company had revenue of about $4.2 billion, up $400 million from the previous year, resulting in revenue growth of nearly 13 percent. Although it was less than its growth in the previous year, it is still quite high when compared to its competitors in the sector.
Founded in 1935 and formerly named Hansen’s, Monster Beverage was bought by Coca-Cola in 2015 and began its rapid growth soon after. The company manufactures several brands, including Monster Energy, Relentless and Burn. As of 2020, Monster held around 39 percent of the $57 billion US energy drink market.
As the maker of Fiji Waters and POM Wonderful, The Wonderful Company is one of the fastest-growing beverage companies with an annual growth rate of 11.7 percent in 2020. While the company is also known for its pistachio brand, as well as its naturally seedless lemons, The Wonderful Company’s beverage divisions account for most of its growth.
Fiji Waters marketed itself differently than other bottled water brands and is now the largest premium brand in the sector. Meanwhile, POM Wonderful maintained its stronghold on the pomegranate juice market, which is why it’s hard to find other brands of pomegranate juice at grocery retailers. With more than $4 billion in revenues, the Wonderful Company shows no signs of slowing down.
French multinational food and beverage company Danone is traditionally known for its yogurt brand. But last year, Danone-owned Stok Cold Brew became one of the fastest-growing coffee beverage brands worldwide, second only to Starbucks. Stok held the second-highest spot for refrigerated ready-to-drink (RTD) coffees last year, with nearly 35 percent market share.
Targeting a new, younger generation of coffee drinkers around the world, Stok gained popularity for being a smooth brew without the sweet taste of most iced or refrigerated coffees. Last year, the company launched a line of higher calorie from protein drinks and continues to focus on innovation and product development.
Despite shuttering hundreds of locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Starbucks has steadily risen to number 114 on Forbes’ Fortune 500 list and has yet to go down in the ranking. The coffee giant experienced average revenue growth of nearly 11 percent and has one of the most consistent growths in the restaurant industry.
Founded in 1971, the world-famous coffee brand has a presence in more than 70 countries and employs around 350,000 people. With its loyal customer base, Starbucks also recently earned a spot on Forbes’ World’s Most Admired Companies list.
Similar to Danone, over the past few years, Chobani’s focus has been on its yogurts. But more recently, the American privately held food and beverage company has become increasingly popular for its smoothies. Marketed as blended yogurt drinks, the smoothies come in a variety of fruity flavors and have appealed to health-conscious consumers. Both sales and volume rates increased last year, 7.6 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively.
Founded in 2005, Chobani has become the number one maker of Greek yogurt, but it has been expanding its product line since day one. Adding oat milk and coffee creamers to its lineup, Chobani is now entering the probiotic sector, one that it hopes will complement its thriving smoothie sales.