Jorgen Prestegard, Marketing Associate, Coffee at Finlays Americas shares his three take-aways from the NACS Show 2022 which took place in October.
With 1,200 exhibitors spread out across 425,000 square feet at The Las Vegas Convention Center, there was a great deal of excitement and innovation for the future of the convenience retailing industry. Despite declining sales and customer interactions during the past few years, it is evident that the industry is witnessing the “post-pandemic boom.” Shoppers are ready to get their feet back in stores and are eager for exciting, new products.
Having had the opportunity to explore the event for a few days and talk to some very interesting people, I was able to learn some powerful insights into where the market is heading and what is currently trending. Here are three key trends from NACS 2022:
- Energy Everything. Brands did not hold back on energy products this year at NACS. Not only did we see a large presence of energy drinks, but an explosion of ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee, and other alternatives for caffeine such as energy gum, caffeine pouches, and even more so in food service. This demonstrates how Gen Z is open to trying new ways to consume their “daily dose” of caffeine, as they are trying these new formats of Energy. These new formats or variations of energy may open an unexplored market for those who do want that boost of energy but would prefer to consume it differently.
- Evolving RTD Cocktails. While bringing a new alcoholic product to market is not that easy, brands have began to repurpose their existing product lines. They have done this by turning some of their previous beverages into alcoholic beverages, opening their brand to a bigger audience. A few that stood out at the show were “Simply Spiked Lemonade “and “Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzers” by the Coca-Cola Company. With Coca-Cola’s strong brand recognition, it gives these new products a strong shot in the market.
- Flavor Overload. This year at NACS, brands made sure to hit everyone’s palates. Brands took their products to the next level with all sorts of fun, creative, and innovative flavor profiles for their packaged goods. With consumers going back into physical stores, brands are being pressured to stand out and re-educate consumers on their products by introducing new concepts and flavors. Some products that stood out at the show were Smirnoff Ice Neon Lemonades, Twix Cookie Dough, Drunkin’ Iced Coffee – Coffee Cake Muffin, and stevia-sweetened Gatorade Zero, a version of Gatorlyte rapid hydration drink.
Next year will be a busy year for the convenience channel and it will be remarkably interesting to watch the growth of this industry as new competition fights to take market share in these large and fast-growing industries.