The State of Online Beverage Sales in 2024 - NIQ

The State of Online Beverage Sales in 2024


The State of Online Beverage Sales in 2024

The way consumers purchase beverages is undergoing a refreshing transformation. Gone are the days of solely relying on brick-and-mortar stores. Today’s consumers are increasingly embracing the convenience and variety offered by online shopping, and the beverage industry is no exception.

The online CPG beverage market is experiencing a surge, with sales growing by 15.2% in the past year alone, reaching $9.9 billion in online sales.1 For CPG beverage brands, this digital wave presents both opportunities and challenges. Understanding these evolving online trends is crucial to stay ahead of the curve and cater to the changing consumer landscape.

Read on to dive into the key trends shaping the online beverage space and get equipped with valuable insights to navigate this dynamic market and quench the digital thirst of your customers.

As the online beverage market flourishes, understanding consumers’ evolving needs is paramount to winning online. Unfortunately, many CPG beverage brands haven’t fully embraced the online market, lacking a strong e-commerce presence and efficient direct-to-consumer channels. Focusing solely on traditional models might hinder their ability to cater to the growing consumer demand for healthy, convenient, and sustainable beverage options readily available online.

With that in mind, here are 3 key online beverage trends to know:

1. Health and Wellness Focus

Growing health and wellness trends are exerting a significant influence on online beverage sales. With a growing emphasis on holistic well-being, consumers are gravitating toward beverages that provide immunity boosters, low-sugar options, and other wellness-enhancing ingredients. This shift in consumer preferences has led to a surge in demand for beverages fortified with vitamins, antioxidants, and other functional ingredients, as consumers prioritize products that support their overall health goals.

One notable trend in the realm of health-focused beverages is the remarkable rise of sparkling water, which has garnered attention for its refreshing taste and potential health benefits. Additionally, sparkling water brands are increasingly incorporating antioxidants and vitamins into their products, capitalizing on consumer interest. This has helped sparkling water reach $824 million in online sales up 8.8% over last year.1 This growing demand for healthy options underscores the importance of offering beverages that align with consumers’ health-conscious lifestyles, driving the expansion of online beverage sales in the health and wellness segment.

2. Convenience and Experience

Consumer demand for convenience is also shaping the landscape of online beverage sales, prompting brands to innovate and adapt to meet evolving preferences. With today’s fast-paced lifestyles and busy schedules, consumers prioritize convenience when it comes to their beverage choices. This shift has propelled the rise of single-serve options and subscription services, catering to consumers’ desire for hassle-free consumption experiences. Moreover, the convenience factor extends beyond the purchasing process to include aspects such as packaging and delivery.

Brands are leveraging e-commerce platforms to offer a wide array of convenient beverage solutions, ranging from grab-and-go formats to customizable subscription models, allowing consumers to effortlessly access their favorite drinks with just a few clicks. Additionally, streamlined delivery options, such as same-day or scheduled delivery, further enhance the convenience of online beverage shopping, ensuring that consumers can enjoy their favorite drinks whenever and wherever they choose. As consumer demand for convenience continues to drive online beverage sales, brands must remain agile and responsive, continuously refining their offerings to meet the evolving needs of modern consumers. But, this needs to be done thoughtfully, as 78% of grocery searches on Amazon are unbranded and 84% of brands fail to claim at least 1 of their top 3 most-searched product attributes.2

Consumer Outlook 2024

6 consumer sentiment-driven strategies to power growth and capture spending

Consumers have been tested in more ways than one over the past year—and beyond. Pockets of growth have emerged as consumers pivot spending behaviors to survive and thrive. Dive into a high-level view of this year’s global report.

3. Demand for Transparency and Sustainability

Consumer demand for transparency and sustainability is driving brands to prioritize clear labeling and communication regarding the source and quality of ingredients. In an era marked by heightened awareness of health and environmental concerns, consumers are increasingly scrutinizing product labels to make informed purchasing decisions. By offering clarity on ingredient sourcing, processing methods, and nutritional content, brands foster trust and confidence among consumers, who value transparency as a hallmark of authenticity and integrity in their beverage choices. In fact, 76% of grocery shoppers say transparency is important, an increase of 7pts since 2018.3

Furthermore, consumers’ growing commitment to sustainability is driving consumers to seek beverages packaged in materials that minimize environmental impact, such as recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Supporting this effort, last year, products with sustainable claims grew at a rate of 6% vs. 4.5% for those that didn’t.4 Brands are responding to this demand by implementing sustainable packaging solutions, reducing carbon footprints, and embracing eco-friendly manufacturing processes. By aligning with consumers’ sustainability values, brands not only contribute to environmental conservation efforts but also enhance their appeal in the online marketplace, attracting eco-conscious consumers who prioritize sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

Actionable e-Commerce Strategies for CPG Brands

In today’s dynamic market landscape, capitalizing on emerging trends is imperative for brands seeking to maintain a competitive edge and drive growth in the online beverage sector. As consumer preferences continue to evolve, fueled by shifting lifestyles and evolving health and wellness concerns, the beverage industry is witnessing a plethora of trends that present unique opportunities for innovation and expansion.

As such, here are 2 key strategies for adapting to the online beverage market:

1. Omnichannel Presence

To thrive in the competitive landscape of e-commerce, CPG brands must embrace a multifaceted approach that leverages omnichannel presence, social media marketing, and subscription services to enhance customer engagement and drive sales. Within the US, 86% of CPG dollar sales are represented by “omnichannel shoppers.” This means consumers are buying CPG products through every channel, often at the same time. By strategically leveraging online marketplaces alongside their own digital storefronts, brands can expand their reach and tap into diverse consumer segments while maintaining control over their brand image and customer experience.

In addition to omnichannel presence, social media marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for CPG brands to connect with consumers and foster brand awareness. Platforms like TikTok offer a dynamic environment for brands to showcase their products through engaging content, such as trendy recipe creation and lifestyle-oriented videos. During its September launch, TikTok Shop ranked twentieth in Health and Beauty sales among e-Commerce retailers. During this period, Health and Beauty products accounted for 85% of total TikTok shop sales in the US.5 By capitalizing on the viral nature of TikTok and other social media platforms, brands can effectively reach and resonate with their target audience, driving both online and offline sales.

2. Increased Competition for the Digital Shelf

In response to the growing demand for health-conscious choices, CPG brands are prioritizing product development strategies that cater to the well-being-focused consumer. This entails the creation of innovative and nutritious beverage options that not only quench thirst but also support consumers’ holistic health goals. By developing beverages enriched with functional ingredients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and immunity boosters, brands can appeal to health-conscious consumers seeking products that align with their wellness aspirations.

Moreover, to cater to diverse consumer preferences and encourage exploration, CPG brands are embracing the concept of variety packs as a strategic product development initiative. These curated assortments offer consumers the opportunity to sample different flavors and beverage types within a single purchase, catering to both adventurous taste preferences and the desire for convenience. By bundling a range of flavors and beverage variants into variety packs, brands can tap into consumer curiosity and encourage trial purchases, driving incremental sales and fostering brand loyalty. Though beverage combo packs only saw $472,000 in sales in the past year, that is a 2,000%+ growth over last year.1 Additionally, as sustainability becomes increasingly important to consumers, CPG brands are investing in eco-friendly packaging solutions as a key product development strategy.

Winning pricing strategies

Make Your Beverage Brand Online Trend-proof with NIQ

2024 offers beverage brands the opportunity to grow by adapting to shifting consumer behaviors and optimizing their strategies. But if you don’t have the right data and insights, you’re likely to fall behind. NIQ offers a range of solutions and expert insights to support brands of all sizes.

Emerging brands can start their journey with a free Byzzer™ subscription, NIQ’s platform built for emerging brands and their budgets. Free access gets you 3 free reports and a weekly alert to get you started with data. Byzzer™ provides breakdowns of a wide range of attributes and markets in easy-to-digest reports.

Best of all, we’ll show you how to leverage this information for your action plan. It’s never too early to start acting on data.

Interested in more valuable insights like these?


1 NIQ, Omni Sales – 52 weeks ending February 24, 2024

2 NIQ Label Insights

3 FMI and NIQ 2023 Transparency Report

4 NIQ, Retail Measurement Services, NIQ Product Insight, powered by Label Insight, Total US xAOC; Total Store; # of Categories selling, 4-yr CAGR ($); 52 weeks ending December 30, 2023

5 NIQ Omnisales Report – Beauty retail’s newest player: What’s trending on TikTok Shop US