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The fastest-growing food & beverage brands in 2022

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Inflation caused record-low purchasing consideration in 2022, but paved the way for more food and beverage brands to make Morning Consult’s list of top 20 fastest-growing brands.

STOK Cold Brew was the fastest-growing food and beverage brand in 2022, according to Morning Consult’s annual Fastest Growing Brands report, followed by Walmart’s Great Value Cream Cheese and Gatorade Fit.

“Food [and] beverage tends to do well in economically tense times, and I think that's reflected in this year’s fastest-growing brands list,” Emily Moquin, food & beverage analyst at Morning Consult, said.

Morning Consult labeled the report its “slowest ‘Fastest Growing Brands’” report since its inception—the result of massive inflation that’s caused record-low purchasing consideration among the nearly 1,700 brands included in the analysis.

The top 20 brands with the biggest purchasing consideration across all industries are included in the report.

Purchasing consideration, per Morning Consult, is a measurement of growth in the share of consumers who said they would consider purchasing from a brand over the course of the year. The average purchasing consideration for brands was -1.37 percentage points in 2022, per the report, down from .22 in 2021 and .32 in 2020.

“Inflation across the board just depressed purchasing consideration across all the categories that we study,” Moquin said. But it also paved the way for more food and beverage brands to make the cut, she added, especially established brands.

“It's difficult to show double-digit growth when you're already a huge brand in the space,” she explained. “So for those brands that had some growth that they were on the list this year, whereas in past years that might have been below the cutoff for our fastest-growing brands.”

Chobani, for example, is an established brand that took the dairy aisle by storm more than a decade ago. In 2022, Chobani Yogurt took the No. 11 spot and Chobani took the No. 16 spot.

“They've expanded into these other areas of [alternative] milk and some categories that probably putting marketing effort behind expanding into those areas has helped to lift the overall parent brand,” Moquin shared. “So we see both Chobani Yogurt as well as Chobani itself on the list.”

Among all U.S. adults, the food and beverage brands that made Morning Consult’s top 20 list of fastest-growing brands included: STOK Cold Brew (No. 4), Walmart’s Great Value Cream Cheese (No. 8), Gatorade Fit (No. 9), Chobani Yogurt (No. 11), CELSIUS Fitness Drinks (No. 13), Chobani (No. 16), Häagen-Dazs (No. 17), Frito-Lay (No. 18) and Four Loko (No. 20).

Across generations, the top fastest-growing food and beverage brands varied.

Half of the brands to make the top 20 list among Millennials were food and beverage brands, including the top three spots: STOK Cold Brew (No. 1), Gatorade Fit (No. 2) and DiGiorno Pizza (No. 3).

Conversely, only two food and beverage brands made Gen Z’s top 20 list: GHOST Energy (No. 4) and Heinz (No. 15).

“Food and beverage is really important for Gen Z,” Moquin stated. “It tends to be one of the places, even if they're not a primary grocery shopper, that 18-plus-year-olds start to spend their own money because it's almost a form of entertainment when you're in that 18-to-21-year-old range. … There's just so many things that compete for [Gen Z’s] attention that I think breaking through in terms of being in the food and beverage category can be difficult.”

Gen X’s list saw brands such as Doritos, Krispy Kreme and Smucker’s, which Moquin said could be inspired by Gen X’s relationship with their Gen Z kids.

Boomers’ top 20 list included legacy brands like Cheerios, Yoplait and The Coca-Cola Co., as well as a wild card: Great Value Cream Cheese.

Great Value Cream Cheese’s arrival on the list of top 20 fastest-growing brands highlights two trends impacting the food and beverage industry, Moquin said: supply chain issues, as well as a move to private label brands by consumers to help meditate rising costs.

Rachel Adams joined Informa’s Health & Nutrition Network in 2013. Her career in the natural products industry started with a food and beverage focus before transitioning into her role as managing editor of Natural Products Insider, where she covered the dietary supplement industry. Adams left Informa Markets in 2019, but continues to freelance for both FBI and NPI.

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