Bottled and canned soft drinks are a staple of grocery stores that are enjoyed by people of all ages and consumed around the world. But in the contemporary age. the environmental impact of single-use plastic and aluminum packaging has become a growing concern, leading to increased demand for more sustainable and eco-friendly options. The future of  soft drinks lies in the development of innovative packaging and eco-friendly practices. What say we discuss future trends and new innovations happening in the space?

Green packaging is a top priority for the future of bottled and canned soft drinks. Brands are exploring innovative materials and technologies to reduce their environmental footprint and promote circular economy principles. Some of the emerging trends and technologies that our consulting firm is now seeing in terms of product packaging include:

  1. Plant-based bottles: Made from renewable resources like sugarcane, corn, or cellulose, they can offer a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic bottles. They can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote a circular economy.
  2. Aluminum cans: These packaging options are highly recyclable and have a lower carbon footprint than plastic bottles. Brands are increasing their use, and some are experimenting with alternative can shapes and sizes to improve convenience and sustainability.
  3. Refillable packaging: Options here, such as reusable bottles and kegs, can help reduce waste and promote greener consumption habits. Think vending machines and in-store refill stations that provide more environmentally-conscious choices for shoppers

Innovation in flavors and ingredients is a big deal in terms of the future of bottled and canned soft drinks too. Shoppers are looking for healthier and more unique options, driving the development of new formulations and ingredients. Some of the emerging trends and technologies we’re seeing here include:

  1. Bio-licious ingredients: Choices such as botanicals, fruits, and vegetables, can provide a healthier and more natural alternative to artificial flavors and sweeteners. Companies are turning to these solutions to create unique and refreshing flavor combinations, such as cucumber and mint or watermelon and basil.
  2. Low-sugar and functional beverages: Shoppers are increasingly concerned about the health impact of sugary drinks, leading to the development of low-sugar and functional beverages. Going forward, count on seeing ingredients like probiotics, vitamins, and natural sweeteners to create beverages that promote health and wellness.
  3. Digital and personalized experiences: Companies are (sweet!) now using digital technologies to create custom and interactive experiences for end users. Some  are also developing apps and platforms that allow customers to customize their drink flavors and ingredients, providing a unique and engaging experience.

The circular economy and recycling are also growing in prominence. Cola providers are exploring new ways to reduce waste and promote recycling, including:

  1. Deposit return schemes: These options, where customers receive a refund for returning empty bottles and cans, can help increase recycling rates and reduce waste.
  2. Sustainable sourcing and production: These practices can help reduce the environmental impact of bottled and canned soft drinks. Companies are now looking to source ingredients and materials sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint through energy-efficient production processes.
  3. Recycling innovation: Innovation in these technologies, such as chemical recycling and mechanical recycling, can help increase the reusability of bottled and canned soft drinks.