Coconut Water Trends Among Millennials
Millennials are driving the specialty food and beverage market, which is increasing in size at a rate three times faster than conventional foods and beverages. They are using beverages such as coconut water to help save money on a night out as opposed to spending money on cocktails, and they prefer to purchase specialty beverages from independent brands, as these brands are seen as more eco-friendly, healthier, and sustainable. Other key purchase drivers for coconut water among millennials are the trends towards plant-based and nutraceutical beverages, foods, and diets. Coconut water is also being used as a natural sweetener to make existing products, such as juice, lower in sugar; low-sugar claims on food and beverages are sought after by 26% of millennials, according to a recent survey. Below, you will find a deep dive of our findings and methodology.
In order to conduct this research, we first began by researching exhaustively through consumer surveys, market reports, press releases, industry reports, and trusted media articles that were published in the past year that discuss the purchasing and spending habits of millennials in relation to coconut water and healthy beverages overall. Data on this specific topic was found to be quite limited, specifically in regard to coconut water. This is because the majority of recently-published information regarding millennials and the purchase of healthy beverages tend to take a broader look at the topic. However, even when analyzing this topic from a broader perspective, there does not appear to be any recently-published surveys or reports that offer very in-depth details regarding millennial coconut water spending or healthy beverage spending habits. For example, we were unable to locate direct spending insights showing things like the frequency of expenditure, annual expenditure totals, or the average price paid per item. Although there are a number of interesting resources that cover trends and expenditures on coconut water in general, none of these resources were found to contain insights specific to millennials, but only offered insights about consumers as a whole.
Despite the numerous limitations posed by the lack of publicly available information on this topic, we were able to pull together a list of trends that highlight purchase drivers among millennials with regard to coconut water and other healthy beverages. In doing so, we considered information from resources which were directly noting coconut water, or otherwise were discussing healthy beverage trends from which it could be reasonably assumed the trends were relevant to coconut water. Only resources published in 2019 or 2018 were included for this report.
NUTRACEUTICAL BEVERAGES ARE BECOMING MORE POPULAR
Nutraceutical beverages that optimize hydration and provide probiotics are trending among millennials; this includes coconut beverages and other plant-based beverages. These foods are seen as 'functional' because they provide health benefits beyond those offered by a standard, healthful diet. Nutraceutical beverages, in particular, are gaining traction among millennials because they enable consumers to receive nutritional benefits without the time it takes to prepare a meal.
MILLENNIALS ARE INCREASINGLY SPENDING ON SPECIALITY BEVERAGES
Insights from topical research brand Beverage Daily shows that the specialty segment of the food and beverage industry is growing three times faster than the conventional segment. Millennials (and Gen Z) are the main consumers of specialty foods and beverages, and that market is currently worth $140 billion in the United States. High quality, taste, and 'peace of mind' are among the top purchase drivers for specialty food and beverages among millennials, according to a Mintel survey.
MILLENNIALS PREFER TO SPEND ON SPECIALTY BEVERAGES FROM INDEPENDeNT BRANDS
Marketing firm Trend Incite found that millennials are "more likely to support indie specialty food and beverage brands" as these brands are seen as more transparent, more sustainable, more eco-friendly, healthier, and tend to use more natural and organic ingredients.
MILLENNIALS ARE SWAPPING ALCOHOL FOR HEALTHY DRINKS
A 2018 article published by Yale discusses the trend of Millennials swapping out alcoholic drinks for healthy beverages on a night out. Coconut water is cited among one of the preferred healthy beverages of choice over alcoholic cocktails. A key driver of this trend is the general attitude of Millennials regarding social situations; they feel that there are more benefits to remaining sober in a social situation compared to the sentiments of previous generations. Turning to non-alcoholic alternatives, like coconut water, allows them to have more meaningful conversations, save money, and avoid a hangover. Yale cites a recent survey which reveals that a large majority of millennials feel 'getting drunk' is out-of-date, and about 40% have a negative view of people who are drunk.
USING COCONUT WATER AS A NATURAL BEVERAGE SWEETeNER
The 2018 U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends survey published by The Food Marketing Institute found that 26% of millennials are looking for low-sugar claims on beverage packages, along with 60% of consumers overall. This trend is leading many beverage companies to begin using alternative sweeteners in their products, especially natural sweeteners such as coconut water. For example, Tropicana now offers a line of juices that are sweetened using coconut water.