“The concept of ‘concentrated dose’ is one of the most powerful in marketing,” says Julian Mellentin, author of a new report, The Power of a Concentrated Dose: The future of healthy beverages?1 Mellentin is director of New Nutrition Business2.
“In food and drink it is at an embryonic stage but the evidence is that it enables companies to create new markets, totally new types of products, and earn superior profit margins,” he adds.
“While it has long been used in categories such as personal care and washing powders—in the $34 billion (€27 billion) global laundry powders and liquids market “concentrated dose” powders and liquids have a 35% market share—it’s only just starting to take hold in foods and beverages, and at present it’s really only a beverage trend,” says Mellentin.
A “concentrated dose” means offering a high, and effective, dose of an active ingredient in as small a package as possible—for example, a beverage delivered in a 1.7oz-6oz (50ml-180ml) “shot”.
“Offering a ‘concentrated dose’ of a particular benefit will help strongly differentiate your brand in today’s crowded supermarket,” says Mellentin.
Long established as a product format in Asia, the concept of a “concentrated dose” has been growing in popularity in Europe over the last decade, and the idea is now, at last, taking off in America, after years of resistance to the concept from marketers. On a conservative estimate, global sales of concentrated dose beverages are, at retail prices, already $8.5 billion (€6.9 billion), of which probiotic dairy and energy shots are the single largest segments.
The concept of “concentrated dose” is gaining ground for two reasons:
1. Increasingly, to be credible with regulators and with consumers, brands have to offer an effective dose of the active ingredient—a dose guaranteed to deliver the benefit the consumer is looking for.
2. More companies are applying one of the key lessons of the last 15 years—that packaging innovation is often one of the keys to success in the business of food and health. The “daily dose” pack is one of the most eye-catching formats and suggests to consumers maximum benefit from minimal size—a “concentrated dose”.
So far the “concentrated dose” concept has been applied to fruit, dairy, energy and digestive health, with impressive results.
In Portugal, Compal Essencial packs a whole fruit into a tiny bottle and earns the company a more than 100% premium over regular fruit juice. Essencial has proven very successful in Portugal, where it was launched in 2008, and in 2009 it had over 25% penetration of Portuguese households. The brand has also been launched in Spain, the UK and Sweden.
Packing more energy into smaller bottles, the US energy shot market is doubling in size every year. The market leader remains the brand that created the category—Living Essentials’ 5-Hour Energy—with a 70% market share. What’s more, it’s a premium-priced brand, with a 2oz (59 ml) bottle retailing for around $33 (€22) per 12-pack—equivalent to an impressive $41 (€32) per litre.
ProViva Shot! is an extension of the very successful ProViva probiotic fruit juice, which was launched in Sweden in 1994. ProViva has annual retail sales of 25 million litres, worth around €50 million ($75 million), in a country with a population of just 9.1 million. If such a high per capita consumption were to be translated into the US market it would be equivalent to a $2.2 billion (€1.5 billion) brand.
Anlene Concentrate is the “daily dose” version of Fonterra’s Anlene bone health brand, the most successful bone health brand in Asia. Each 3.7 fl oz (110ml) pack of Anlene Concentrate UHT milk provides a concentrated dose of calcium and other nutrients for bone health. Carrying a message of “four times as much calcium as regular fresh milk”, each pack delivers 500mg of calcium. Sales have exceeded expectations, despite its super-premium price. For its target market of health-conscious women over 45 the price—equivalent to $4 (€2.67) a litre—is worth paying. It’s an example of a successful brand creating a high-value, low-volume niche with high repeat purchase patterns. Anlene Concentrate has become a significant driver of growth for the total Anlene brand.