ECRM Trends to Watch: Winter Beverage Program

    It was fun to see the beverage trends before they hit the shelves during ECRM’s Winter Beverage program, held virtually in February of 2022.  Shoppers want eco, socially conscious brands and innovative packaging. They are also seeking healthier alternatives. Beverage companies are meeting their demands.

    “Everyone wants to know what more is this product going to do for me,” said Sarah Davidson, Vice President of Food & Beverage at ECRM. “We saw a lot of suppliers doing a great job highlighting the functional or additional benefits you get with their products.”

    Eco was in the description of many of the brands, as buyers are becoming aware of the importance of sustainability. “It’s gone from a nice to have to a have to have,” says Michael Sands of Smile Beverage Werks. “Consumers want it. Corporations have publicly committed to it, and state governments are demanding it in their new laws.”

    Brands are finding great ways to connect with their customers’ needs and wants. For example, one of the attending suppliers has a line of products targeting Gen Z, and their packaging was fun and funky to catch the eye of their target audience. Additionally, their packaging and manufacturing process was highly focused on being sustainable and good for the environment, perfectly in line with something important for their audience as well.

    At the program, we met with all different companies either doing something green, something healthy, or something different. Check out the trends we spotted:

    Smarter Packaging & Delivery

    Red Bay Coffee has a single-serve steeped coffee (looks like a tea bag). Every Steeped Coffee Bag is nitro-sealed for freshness within packaging that’s made using compostable and renewable materials, making every cup guilt-free and eco-friendly. At the ECRM Beverage Program, they presented a new line of RTD coffee spritzers that are a mix of coffee and sparkling water with unique flavors.

    GenZ offers a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic with 100% reusable and recyclable bottles made from aluminum. The brand’s bold and retro creative designs are meant to be a conversation starter, causing a smile at the combination of unexpected elements and scenarios and providing a source of connection for water drinkers everywhere.

    Smile Beverage Werks says it is the only completely compostable coffee pod on the market (entire pod, lid, filter & inks) that is BPI certified. They are also plant-based, sustainable, carbon neutral (certified), and Rainforest Alliance Coffees – responsibly sourced.

    Convenience Without Sacrificing Flavor

    Waka Coffee brings quality, sustainable instant coffee that uses a high-tech spray that enables the instant coffee process and protects the depth of flavor and the authentic aroma of high quality single source beans used in better slow drip but can be made in a fraction of the time and effort.


    Magnum Coffee Roastery provides private label and wholesale coffees at a reasonable price for their customers. They says they accomplish this by hand selecting the most exceptional coffee beans that nature has to offer.


    Swami Foods has a line of instant chai teas that come in eight gourmet flavors, each with a different benefit. The teas deliver  on flavor with trending spices such as turmeric, ginger, saffron, and cardamom. They source their teas and natural ingredients from farms and plantations where agriculturists foster recyclable resources and promote ecological balance.

    The Plug Drink is a functional recovery drink that is also available as a liver detox. It sources pure bedrock water from the foot of the Unak Mountain in Pocheon. Additionally, the ingredient list includes a blend of 13 herbal plants and flowers including DHM (oriental raisin tree), dandelion, chrysanthemum, and honeysuckle, which the company says work together to support the breakdown of alcohol in the body and help your liver to flush toxins.

    RX Water changes the way people hydrate with cellular level alkaline water and electrolytes. It has 9.5+ alkalinity, ultra-purification, and is potassium-enriched with electrolyte contents.

    Gnubees is a fun and delicious kid-friendly drink rich in fiber and protein. It’s also nut-free, gluten-free, and kids love it.

    Sonora Corp. is a woman- and minority-owned company that has fresh and healthy aloe vera juice with real aloe juice and 15% real aloe pulp. It contains antioxidants and is gluten-free, plus helps improve digestion and supports immune health, the company says. This brand also has 100% natural coconut water with pulp that contains electrolytes.

    Drinkable Desserts

    The Frozen Bean, which for good reason thinks of itself as the “Willy Wonka of powdered drinks,” is a leading manufacturer of specialty desserts and beverages for the food service industry. Its research staff has developed delectable blends of specialty desserts and beverages that are simple to make and can be served as your own gourmet treats.

    Check out more trends here!

    Previous articleKeHE Becomes the Primary Distributor for ARS
    Next articleIFF to Acquire Health Wright Products
    Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm with an office in Los Angeles. Trent & Company, which launched many fitness brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at You may also visit