Category Insight: Smooth Road for Smoothies

October 17, 2016


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Convenient, versatile, customizable and packed with taste — it’s no wonder smoothies are finding an unprecedented audience in this on-the-go age. Ranging from protein-infused meal replacements to fruit-and-veggie concoctions to blended dessert treats, this category is seeing some smooth transitions.

Smoothie fever shows no sign of slowing so let’s see how we’ve gotten here and what’s next!


Category Overview

Global new product introductions show a 23% increase from 2014-2015 with 376 new product launches in 2015. New product introductions in North America did not see the same growth pattern, but there was no decrease with 45 new product launches reported in both 2014 and 2015.

According to a recent Mintel survey, about 51% of parents will make smoothies at home for their kids as a healthier snack, while only 15% will purchase a non-refrigerated smoothie at the store. Yet there were more than 306,000 social media posts featuring smoothies in September 2016 alone, so popularity has not waned. Continued innovation, such as DIY smoothie mixes or add-ons, as well as a focus on fresh refrigerated products might help leverage smoothie popularity into CPG growth.

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When you think of traditional smoothie flavors, you might think of strawberry-banana. While we are continuing to see such classic flavor inspirations, they often come with a twist. These traditional flavors are now being paired with fresh veggies, to create a combination of nutrients that wouldn’t necessarily be available from just fruits, and with seeds like chia, which add a unique texture. Not to mention, with the spotlight on eating healthy, these smoothies are the perfect product to turn to for your daily health fix.

Health and Wellness

Health and nutrition are at the forefront for consumers. More and more, these shoppers want great tasting foods without feeling guilty about the nutrition facts. Smoothies offer a way to address that sweet tooth with healthier, naturally sweetened indulgences.

Consumers also perceive products with “nothing artificial” as healthier. In 2015, there was a 18% increase in “all natural” smoothie product launches with 204 new products compared to 173 new products in 2014.


Top Global Smoothie Flavors

1. Vegetable

2. Chia

3. Cucumber

4. Mint

5. Avocado

6. Coconut milk

7. Orange

8. Pomegranate

9. Ginger

10. Beetroot


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Products of Note

President’s Choice Pineapple and Coconut Smoothie with Oats: Blend of fruit puree, concentrated fruit juices, coconut cream, and oat sprout powder. High in fiber and contains no artificial flavors or artificial colors.

Kura Berry Flavor New Zealand Protein Smoothie Powder: Contains 14g of grass-fed New Zealand dairy protein, 26 vitamins and minerals, omega-3’s and four billion probiotics.

Ella’s Kitchen Mighty Strawberry and Red Beet Smoothie Drink: Made with organic apples, plums, strawberries, grapes and red beets; providing one serving of fruit per container.

Fresher Finds

Smoothie sales trend towards fresher, refrigerated products. Fresh claims have been identified as an important feature for consumers.

According to a Mintel survey, in 2015 97% of smoothie sales were either frozen/refrigerated whereas only 3% were shelf stable products. Chilled, fresh formats boost appeal with regards to perception of health, but also in contributing to convenience and quick consumption from point of purchase.

Products of Note

Lassonde Be Pure Oasis SmoOthie Greenergy Smoothie: Comprises a blend of purees and juices from concentrate and is ready to serve with Vitamins B3, B5, B6 and B12 which play a huge role in energy metabolism and tissue formation

Grimmway Farms True Organic Wild Berry Blend 100% Fruit & Vegetable Smoothie: A blend of eight fruit juices and purees, not from concentrate including blueberries, apples, carrots, strawberries, blackberries, bananas, beets, strawberries and raspberries.

President’s Choice Blue Menu Wild Blueberry & Acai Smoothie: Made with apple and pear juices and banana, blackberry and boysenberry purees. Not from concentrate and contains a source of fiber and eight vitamins and minerals. Low sodium and free from colors and artificial flavors

Functional Favorites

The addition of functional ingredients into smoothies is another way that consumers are meeting some of their nutritional goals. Not only are more smoothies coming packed with vitamins, many include claims like “aids in digestion” and “increases metabolism” as well. Smoothies are a great vehicle for some not-so-tasty fortification and functionality. The drinks are ideal candidates for true-to-food flavors or taste modification.

Products of Note

CVS Pharmacy Vanilla Flavored Plant-Based Protein Smoothie: Helps to support metabolism and digestion while maintaining strong bones and teeth. Vegan-suitable product offers 15g of protein, 25 vitamins and minerals per serving, and is perfect for weight management with only 150 calories

Suavva Chocolatey Cheer Smoothie: Made with 100% cocoa juice and processed according to HPP cold squeezed standards to protect antioxidant activity, vitamins, mnierals and its taste contains vitamin B6 to support brain and heart health along with antioxidants and magnesium to support healthy nerves and muscles

President’s Choice Strawberry Banana Flavor Smoothie: Source of vitamin C and calcium which aids in the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth and vitamin D which improves calcium absorption.

FONA Can Help!

Let our market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market.

FONA flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way. Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit

Sources: Mintel: Juice, Juice Drinks and Smoothies; Mintel GNPD; Mintel Reports: From Bin to Blender; Daily News; Spry Living; Social Studio