Weekly dose of microtrends that will shape our future

NWO.ai predicts Hemp Energy Drinks, Water Filters for Microplastics, and more

by Jack LeeHoffman

Edited by Christian Thompson

Hello Readers!

Welcome to this week’s inflection point, where we will cover the latest food and beverage trends. From healthier eating to Hemp Energy Drinks, we are doing a deep dive to see trends that may impact the future of the food and beverage industry.

I. Satisfy your Cravings: Healthier Snacking

NWO.ai's signal for "Healthier Snacking"

We all love to snack, but it's never the healthiest option. Nowadays, there are a plethora of new entrants into the snack market aimed at providing more nutritious options. As a result, the signal for Healthier Snacking has increased by 279% over the past two years. Moreover, the future estimate predicts continued growth in the coming months. So let’s dive deeper into some of the companies shaking up the snacking industry.

NWO.ai's signal for "Olipop Soda," "Catalina Crunch," and "Hu Chocolate"

Over the past two years, brands like OLIPOP, Catalina Crunch, and HU Chocolate have grown steadily, with OLIPOP having the most significant growth. OLIPOP is a soda brand that uses natural ingredients to help the popular beverage be healthier. OLIPOP’s soda boasts only five grams of sugar and 45 calories. This new soda is the real deal when it comes to healthy sodas. Catalina Crunch and HU chocolate are other brands making more nutritious snack foods such as cereals, cookies, and chocolate. So next time your sweet tooth is acting up, consider trying one of these brands.

II. That came from a plant? The Rise of Plant-Based Food

NWO.ai's signal for "Plant-Based Food"

Plant-Based Foods are gaining popularity in recent years, and this momentum is not slowing down. Over the past two years, the impact score for Plant-Based Foods has increased by 235%. The future estimate forecasts exponential growth. What has been driving this trend?

According to The Food Institute, around 40% of surveyed consumers made a plant-based purchase in the past six months, with the primary motivating factor being their health. In addition, the majority of these consumers made plant-based purchases multiple times per month, signifying high product loyalty. As a result, plant-based foods may start playing a more significant role in your life, so you could consider a plant-based option next time you're at the store.  

III. The Rising Tide of Water Filtration

NWO.ai's signal for "Microplastics"

Over the past six months, the impact score for Microplastics has increased by 820%, and the future estimate forecasts steady growth in the coming year. So why has this signal grown? Microplastics are making their way into our food chain, and people are concerned. A study conducted by Orb Media found that 83% of tested water samples from major metropolitan areas were contaminated with microplastics. Additionally, they found that 93% of bottled water showed some sign of microplastic contamination. The increasing presence of plastic in water sources seems to be driving consumers to look into water filtration systems.

NWO.ai's signal for "Coway Water Filter," "Brita Water Filter," "Pur Water Filter," and "Larq Water Filter"

Household names such as Brita and Pur filters have dominated the water filter market. However, a new player in the mix is looking to disrupt the water filtration market. Comparing different water filter companies shows that Coway has been gaining momentum. Coway uses a state-of-the-art filtration system that helps remove microorganisms, including microplastics. The company has also implemented a subscription plan for its water filters, making the cost very similar to buying high-quality water every month. The rising presence of microplastics in water may make you consider a new filtration system.  

NWO.ai's signal for "Hemp Energy Drink"

Over the past year, the impact score for Hemp Energy Drink has increased by 215%, and the future estimate shows rapid growth in the following months. In recent years, hemp has grown in popularity, with companies leveraging the versatile plant for various products. The latest rendition comes in a can and is packed with caffeine: energy drinks.

NWO.ai's signal for "Rockstar Unplugged"

One of the newest editions to Pepsico's canned beverages is Rockstar Unplugged, which is a hemp-infused energy drink. Launched in February 2022, the new product aims to provide drinkers with a relaxing feeling with a slight jolt of energy. In addition, PepsiCo has stated that there is a lower amount of caffeine in Rockstar Unplugged, only having 80 milligrams of caffeine compared to other Rockstar drinks containing 160-300 milligrams. So this summer, if you are looking for a new pick-me-up, you may want to try a Rockstar Unplugged and taste the hype.

Bonus: Revisiting Canned Cocktails with a twist

NWO.ai's signal for "Canned Cocktails," "Hard Seltzer," and "Beer"

Earlier this year, we covered predictions on Canned Cocktails outpacing other canned alcohols for the drink of summer. Our forecast had the signals for Canned Cocktails and Hard Seltzer in a tight race for top canned beverage, with Hard Seltzer slightly edging out first place. However, looking at the trends above, we can see that the race for first is much closer than before and even predicts Canned Cocktails to reach highs well above both Hard Seltzer and Beer. Canned Cocktails seem ready for a strong summer, but a new canned cocktail trend has been exploding recently.

NWO.ai's signal for "Energy Drink Canned Cocktail"

Over the past year, the impact score for Energy Drink Canned Cocktail has increased by 262%. Although this may seem alarming, consumer sentiment has grown, showing interest in the product. We will be watching out for this new trend to see how it performs in the coming months and if any companies release an energy drink canned cocktail.

Thanks for reading this week’s pulse. Tune in next week and as always, have a great weekend.


About NWO.ai
NWO.ai's predictive platform enables leading Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to anticipate and track global cultural shifts by aggregating, analyzing, and producing actionable reports on human-generated data. We are leveraging petabytes of external, noisy, and unstructured data from various sources including search, social media, blogs, news, patent databases, SEC filings and we are continuously adding more sources. Our mission is to answer the what, when, and most importantly, 'why' behind a consumer trend and enable our customers to detect these shifts as early as possible.

P.S.  We're hiring! Check out our open positions and let us know if you'd be a good fit for our team. We're growing quickly and adding several engineering, sales and customer success roles to help us decode the anatomy of next.

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