LAS VEGAS -- Supermarket guru Phil Lempert, a well-known analyst of consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, will share why he thinks nutritious and functional beverages will define the future of the beverage industry as the 2013 Healthy Beverage Expo keynote presenter. The inaugural event is set for June 7-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and will collocate with World Tea Expo.
"We've seen a war against unhealthy, high-calorie, sugary beverages and over consumption, starting with New York's size regulation and Coca Cola's advertising about obesity factors," said Lempert, who is also the food trends editor and correspondent for NBC's "Today Show." "Now, consumers are going to want to understand what makes a beverage healthy, and they're going to want a variety of healthy options at their supermarket. Without a doubt, beverage manufacturers of all kinds need to prepare for certain change, as we're entering a realm that may not be comfortable for antiquated beverage businesses."
Lempert said he will survey the SupermarketGuru.com Consumer Panel -- consisting of more than 110,000 consumers -- on beverage consumption habits, preferences, knowledge of healthy beverages and what's most important to them. Lempert will reveal the results of the study during the Healthy Beverage Expo keynote session on June 7 at 3 p.m.
"The future is huge for healthy beverages," said Lempert. "I anticipate more demand for healthy beverages and a very interesting product development cycle in the near future. Now is a critical time for the industry to delve into this segment."
He emphasized the importance of beverage retailers and suppliers helping customers understand the definition of a "healthy beverage," making them aware of such options and promoting the benefits of these types of drinks. "And rather than trying to glamorize products, manufacturers need to emphasize the simple facts and ingredients of their beverages," Lempert said. "In tandem, we need to keep evolving our healthy beverages in terms of taste. Because as we all know; if it doesn't taste good -- even if it's healthy -- consumers won't buy into it. Taste is No. 1."