Last week at the Youth Marketing Strategy (YMS) event in in New York, the Youth100 report was launched. A yearly intiative to rank the top brands according to 16-24 year olds based on an online survey. As one of the keynote speakers of the day, the organization asked me to share my view on the results in the Soft Drinks category…
This year’s Youth 100 Soft Drinks results do show some major shifts when comparing them to last year’s, though they do not come in unexpected. It is no surprise that the carbonated drinks landscape is strongly affected by NextGen consumers’ increasing demand for healthier options. They want to replace artificial ingredients and preservatives with natural, fresher and nutritious ones.
Hot tweetaway: Meet the #Youth100 top #SoftDrinks brands according to 16-24s in the USA insit.es/2i21897 by @Joeri_InSites via @CoolBrands #nextgen
This year’s leading Soft Drinks brands Tropicana (owned by PepsiCo) and Capri Sun are clearly another proof of the ongoing trend. Capri Sun, positioning itself as the convenient on-the-go option during family occasions and successfully endorsed its “no added sugar” range while Tropicana (with an impressive 0% haters score) has launched a probiotics-infused juice line to unlock the “feel better” opportunities of its market segment. Functional, Fresh and Free of unhealthy ingredients seem to be the 3 F’s that rule the Soft Drinks category.
Hot tweetaway: #NextGen consumers demand healthier options insit.es/2i21897 by @Joeri_InSites via @CoolBrands #youth100 #softdrinks #healthy
You should also notice a remarkable strong entrant in the top 10: AriZona Iced Tea. The New York (Brooklyn) based company is not only growing in popularity thanks to the health trend – after all tea leaves are full of antioxidants and 100% natural – but AriZona knows how to stick to its unique positioning. The brand’s colorful and exotic packaging designs, original flavor varieties AND of course its low price point (0.99$ a can) certainly attract Generation Z with a stunning 50% lovers percentage in the latest Youth 100 survey. “We don’t advertise, we put those costs into more value for money” is what AriZona claims. And it is quite a clever strategy to reach the smarter and healthier young generation.
When looking at this year’s ranking, we cannot neglect Coke’s powerful youth marketing. Sprite was able to keep its strong position with introducing new fan-created flavors (like the unexpected Sprite Cherry). The brand also keeps the honest – no BS – style commercials. There was of course the latest #WannaSprite campaign featuring basketball star LeBron James, endorsing the brand’s reputation by stressing the core values of authenticity and transparency. LeBron makes fun of influencer marketing tactics in a light hearted way.
Last but not least, POWERADE is one of the rising stars in this year’s poll and clearly one to watch. The brand certainly understood Gen Z’s need for fuel and power to help them through the many obstacles of young life. It took the example of Damian Lillard as the overlooked underdog high-school recruit who worked himself up to one of the best basket players in the world all thanks to his relentless work ethic. Work hard, play hard, is definitely NextGen’s anthem.
In its Power Your School contest POWERADE is awarding $1 million funding to a total of 500 schools. A clear example of helping students to preserve the playing fields at school when athletic programs are subject to deep budget cuts. Brands that help NextGen to create a better world in an authentic way, will see their philanthropy translated in brand love.
Hot tweetaway: Help #NextGen create a better & heathier world insit.es/2i21897 by @Joeri_InSites via @CoolBrands #youth100 #softdrinks #brandlove