#Trendspotting: Consumers Prefer Sustainable Brands

 In Blog, Trendspotting

Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging beverage trends.


Sustainability is a global megatrend that can significantly impact purchase decisions for everything from homes to beverages. A Unilever survey of 20,000 consumers found that one-third prefer sustainable brands, and more than one-fifth will actively choose brands who advertise their commitment to protecting the environment by making clear sustainability claims on product packaging.

Ugly/Imperfect Produce | Upcycled Ingredients | Eco-friendly Packaging


The ugly produce movement started in response to the approximately 25 to 40 percent of fruits and vegetables grown, processed, and transported in the United States that are being thrown away because of aesthetic imperfections like shape, color or size.


An increasing number of grocery stores and crop-sharing services are selling produce deemed “ugly” or “imperfect” to reduce waste. Krogerannounced this month that the grocery chain will start selling imperfect produce at their stores during the first quarter of 2019.


Misfit JuiceryUgly Juice and Snact are using ugly produce in their ready-to-drink/eat products.

Upcycled Ingredients

Cascara is made from dried skins of the coffee cherry that coffee farmers typically throw away, but lately these fiber and antioxidant-rich skins have been used in tea and coffee beverages. It’s also an emerging ingredient in cocktails and craft sodas.


The global commercial beer industry produces over 8 billion pounds of spent grain each year. Canvas utilizes nutrient-rich spent grain as the key ingredient in a line of plant-based barley beverages that aid with digestive health.


Toast in the United Kingdom found 44% of the country’s bread is thrown away and responded by upcycling bread that would otherwise be tossed as a grain for brewing beer.

Eco-friendly Packaging

Major players are making commitments to eco-friendly packaging. For example, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have switched to biodegradable “plant bottles” and Mondelez International recently announced the company will switch to all recyclable packaging by 2025.


Starbucks is doing their part to protect the environment by phasing out their signature green plastic straws. Other brands will likely follow suit, especially because distribution of straws is being regulated in California and cities like Seattle and Miami Beach.


Edible packaging is also novel in the food and beverage scene. Seaweed is being used to create capsules filled with a single serving of a beverage (think fruit boba) that bursts in your mouth. Loliware has a line of biodegradable and edible cups made from ingredients like seaweed, cane sugar and tapioca syrup.


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