Beverage blurring is on the rise globally, as companies look to diversify portfolios with cross-category drinks to draw in bigger business. And in Brazil, just over half of consumers (55%) cite 'natural' as a choice driver for a beverage blurring, according to data from Mintel's report Beverage Blurring – Brazil –January 2019. In addition, 42% of Brazilian consumers say 'improves energy' is a key purchase driver and 39% cite 'fast hydration' as important.
Ana Paula Gilsogamo, food and drink consumer and market analyst at Mintel, told NutraIngredients-LATAM that in Brazil, these three factors were “important drivers for Brazilian consumers to try or purchase a new beverage”.
Therefore, Gilsogamo said companies could specifically “invest in these claims to target these consumers”.
Coconut water as a base
Marina Ferreira, food and drink specialist at Mintel, said coconut water presented a strong base for developing a healthy beverage blurring in Brazil, particularly given the continued popularity of the category.
According to Mintel's January report, 48% of consumers would use coconut water as a base for beverage blurring.
Ferreira added that Coca-Cola's recent move into Brazil's coconut water space under its Del Valle brand also indicated there was “space for this market to grow”.
Tom Vierhile, a Fairport NY-based new products expert, agreed and said newer brands like Brazil's Obrigado had been able to “make a big splash”, proving that whilst coconut water was “no longer the new kid on the plant-water block”, it was certainly not a saturated category.
However, Ferreira said introducing a healthy beverage into Brazil would not be without challenges.
“Especially for Brazil, competing with fruit juice – a category with high market penetration – can be a great challenge,” she said.
Sustainability and packaging
But, Ferreira said looking at what juice drinkers in Brazil looked for provided a good indication of what strategies could be used to succeed.
“Investing in claims related to sustainability can be a strategy, as 35% of Brazilian juice drinkers said they would pay more for juices with an eco-friendly production, according to Mintel report Juice – Brazil – June 2018.
“Investing in transparent bottles is also something that can add value to products, as consumers can see the content (…) before they purchase it. According to the same report, 21% of Brazilian juice drinkers believe 'juices/juice drinks in transparent packaging are of better quality than those in opaque ones, e.g. clear plastic bottles versus cans,” she said.
Developing fortified juice variants is also now an option in Brazil. In September last year, fortification of 100% juices or 'full juices' with vitamins, fibers and other nutrients was written into law by Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture under its normative instruction 49/2018 [Article 14].