Summer is quickly approaching, and consumers are ready for a warm-weather, vacation-fun frame of mind. For small-business owners, the goal is to entice those summer consumers to spend money at your business. Here are three trends to watch closely and see if they can be applied to your business.
Trend #1: Happiness Is Ice Cream
You’re probably not surprised, but the demand for ice cream is far from cooling down: US consumers eat 18.4 liters per person per year, according to Mintel.
What’s “hot” in ice cream? Think artisanal. Mintel research shows ice cream lovers want locally handcrafted brands with “a homemade-style authenticity.” There has also been a tidal wave of good-for-you ice creams, such as low/no/reduced allergen, low-fat, and gluten-free.
Trend #2: Craft Beer Is Still Brewing Strong
Summer is a great time for a cold beer, and since 2012, the microbrewery and craft beer trend has not only grown, but evolved. Recently that evolution has included an explosion in flavored beer innovation.
Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) reveals the proportion of flavored beer product launches has grown over 80 percent in the past five years. Young women (especially those aged 22 to 34) are the biggest fans of flavored beer. Leading flavors include pumpkin, spicy, coffee, and chocolate. Consumers are interested in trying new varieties of beer and want to know where their products come from and how they are made.
Trend #3: Health Drinks Are on the Rise
Summer means thirst, and on the other end of the beverage industry is a proliferation of healthy drinks. In a recent Smart Blog on Food & Beverage post, Ilana Orlofsky, marketing coordinator at the beverage development company Imbibe, says consumers are focused on transparency, the brand story, and functional beverages from natural sources.
Nutritional drinks are popular, especially water, tea, coffee, and beer fortified with protein. Vinegar-based drinks aid digestion, reduce blood pressure, and help with weight management. Plus, as medicinal and recreational marijuana becomes legal across the United States, look for more cannabis-based beverages to hit the shelves.
For more tips on getting your business summer-ready, check out "Preparing for Spring and Summer Shopping Habits" and "Should Your Business Have Shorter Hours in Summer?"
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website SmallBizDaily.com to get the scoop on business trends and to sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.