The $90 billion beverage world is figuring out that parents will pay premiums for more nutritious drinks for their kids.
Every beverage maker seems to be leaping on board – from Pepsi to Snapple to Stonyfield Farm. But this isn’t about creating soft drinks with less sugar. It’s about drinks that could pass the parent test. It’s also about sales growth. And it’s about schools slamming the door on soft drinks.
“This whole trend toward lower calories and healthier products is just at the starting point,” says John Sicher, editor of trade publication Beverage Digest.
Two years ago, Stonyfield didn’t make any drinks. Now, beverages are 20% of the company’s business.
“I’ve been in this business 22 years,” says CEO Gary Hirshberg. “For 20 years I’ve run a yogurt company. But now I’m running a yogurt and beverage company.”
Two months ago, Stonyfield began selling organic Juice Smoothies made with yogurt. Earlier this year, it introduced YoBaby yogurt and milk drinks that target kids to age 4.