Consumers are always looking for new flavors and formats for soft drinks therefore innovation is the key to success. For this reason, the soft drink sector is one of the most fast-moving and dynamic industries in the food and drink manifacturing.
The non-alcoholic industry has always placed the consumer and his needs first. Manufacturers innovate and develop their products to meet consumers' needs, diverse taste and desire for more functionality in food consumption.
The innovation is what the industry relies on. Published FOOD AND DRINK EUROPE study on data and trends in the development of the European Food Industry 2014-2015 gives the soft drinks industry the leadership position in the top 15 most innovative sectors in the food industry. Pleasure, health and convenience are the drivers of innovation, and namely these are the areas where the potential of the soft drinks industry is developing.
New flavours, with more fruit ingredients and combinations, that were not recently known on the Bulgarian market and the expansion of their variety, incl. various trees and herbs, give drinks not only delight and new perceptions, but also more functionality.
Through the consumption of beverages the industry addresses the challenges of today's lifestyle and consumers' desire for more health, toning and energy. Manufacturers rely on formulas designed for intense muscular effort, to strengthen the body and to provide the body more valuable substances - vitamins, minerals, fibers and other ingredients with beneficial general and functional effects. The naturalness continues to be the focus of the consumers' preferences. The industry's innovation trends can be summarized in the following basic directions: reducing calories, producing natural and organic beverages; innovative flavours; limited editions, basis for cocktails and mixed-drinks, "cross-categories" drinks - as these are only part of them. Packaging innovations, with its huge variety of cuts, types and shapes, rely on convenience in consumption, storage mechanisms for products quality and safety. Environmental aspects are laid down in every package from the design. Innovations are also in the distribution channels and in the advanced marketing decisions.
The main categories of soft drinks products are: bottled waters, carbonated drinks, non-carbonated drinks (so called still drinks), fruit juices and nectars, dilutables, energy and sports drinks.
Sharing the social concern about the contemporary health issues and lifstile challenges, the soft drinks industry innovates and develops its product categories by actively promoting low-calorie and low and reduced energy content drinks *.
3/4 of the soft drinks products on the Bulgarian market are low or no calorie.
no calorie - 0-4 kcal per 100ml
low-calorie - 4.1-20 kcal per 100ml
mid-calorie - 20.1-30 kcal per 100 ml
regular - >30.1 kcal per 100ml
*Nutrition Claims Annex of Regulation (EC) 1924/2016