My friend Steve Nickolas has been in the beverage and food science industries for over 30 years, and knows that market better than anyone. He especially has experience in the bottled water industry, having worked with multiple bottled water companies, which he has taken international. In this interview with Beverage Magazine, he explains why there is still room for more growth in the healthy beverage market. Steve intends to come out next with a bottled vitamin water that will taste like regular water, not flavored.
Beverage Industry Magazine
by Joanna Cosgrove
Fortified beverages have been around for some time, but believe it or not, industry experts say further growth is attainable if ingredient suppliers, beverage manufacturers and consumers could all get on the same wavelength. As Steve Nickolas, president of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Beverage Science Labs, puts it, “no one really knows what they want.”Can that really be true? In this time of harried consumption, when manufacturers have seemingly penetrated each beverage segment with fortified options to help healthy-minded consumers guzzle good-for-you nutrients on the go, how can no one know what they want?
Nickolas explains that while the applications are innovative, ingredient efficacy and consumer understanding still haven’t gelled. “As an industry we are not assuming a leadership role in providing the consumer with a selection of fortified beverages that have an impact on consumers’ health,” he says. “Consumers, on the other hand, have no clear concept as to what they want their beverages to do; the term functional has virtually no meaning for them.“For years, all a beverage had to be was thirst quenching and good tasting, not necessarily healthy,” he says. “I see many more years of trial and error until the category matures.”
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