Food & Beverage

From mocktails to coconut milk, you're going to see a lot more of these brands

Key Points

An employee assists a customer at the checkout counter of a Whole Foods Market Inc. location in New York.
Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Healthy is trendy.

Shoppers are scouring grocery store shelves for food and drinks that are better for them. Food companies responding with products that meet customers' wish lists.

Here are some of today's biggest trends.


One cranberry peach bellini, please. Hold the Prosecco.

More people are ditching alcohol in their quest to live a healthier lifestyle. A few years ago, Ocean Spray discovered that people were filling wine glasses with juice to mimic the sophistication of drinking wine without the hangover, said Clark Reinhard, Ocean Spray's vice president of global innovation.

The company decided to act on the insight and develop juice blends based on some of the most popular cocktails: cranberry peach bellini, cranberry sangria and tropical citrus paradise. Ocean Spray debuted its "mocktails" this spring.

Repeat rates, which show whether customers are continuing to buy a product, have been strong, Reinhard said. He envisions the line becoming a $100 million business for Ocean Spray.

"It's definitely a hot space, and overall we're delighted with how it started out," Reinhard said.

Ocean Spray Mocktails.
Source: Ocean Spray

International yogurt

Greek yogurt? Been there, eaten that. Customers are now exploring brands from other parts of the world.

Greek yogurt surged in popularity as shoppers started sampling healthier food options. It's still an industry leader, but it lost some momentum last year. Sales fell 4.6 percent from the year before, according to Nielsen data.

Brands like Siggi's, an Icelandic yogurt, and Noosa, which has with Australian roots, are growing. Siggi Hilmarsson, founder of Siggi's, and Koel Thomae, co-founder of Noosa, both say Greek yogurt made shoppers more open minded and willing to try new products.

"I absolutely think Greek yogurt really invigorated the category from both a retailer and consumer perspective," Thomae said.

Both companies have also benefited from people's changing eating habits. Siggi's offers yogurt that's low in sugar, which Hilmarsson said people weren't concerned about when it first debuted in 2006. Noosa's yogurt is full fat, which Thomae said people are more accepting of than they were when the product launched in 2010.

Last year, Noosa's sales reached $170 million, Thomae said. Siggi's does not release sales data, Hilmarsson said. It grew more than 100 percent in 2014 and 2015, and nearly 90 percent in 2016, according to Nielsen data.

Siggi's and Noosa yogurt products.
Source: Siggi's | Noosa

Coconut milk  

Coconut milk is catching up to its older cousin, almond milk.

Sales of coconut milk grew 7.7 percent last year, reaching $67.8 million, according to Nielsen data. That's still behind almond milk, whose sales reached $1 billion thanks to sales surging 8.3 percent.

At Silk, a subsidy of DanoneWave, coconut milk's sales growth is outpacing almond milk's, a company spokesperson said. Although, almond milk is a larger and more established category, the spokesperson said.

Starbucks has hopped on the trend, introducing two coconut milk drinks this summer before introducing an almond milk drink earlier this week.

Silk Coconut Milk beverages.
Source: Silk

Riced vegetables

Carbs are out. Vegetables are in. Shoppers aren't completely ditching rice, but some are swapping out traditional grain versions for vegetable versions.

B&G Foods' Green Giant debuted riced vegetables last fall. It currently sells four versions, all variations of cauliflower rice. The products have been so successful that the company is introducing two new flavors in September, said Green Giant vice president Jordan Greenberg.

"I think this is just the beginning of the trend," Greenberg said. "People are always looking for ways to get more vegetables in their diet."

Green Giant will continue to invest heavily in developing innovative vegetable products, he said. The company simultaneously debuted veggie tots when it introduced riced veggies. It will roll out another tot next month alongside the two new riced veggie flavors.

Green Giant Riced Veggies.
Source: Green Giant

Frozen treats

The ice cream aisle is crowded these days. From "healthy" ice cream to non-dairy ice cream to mochi, the industry is undergoing a transformation.

Millennials are scooping up Halo Top ice cream. The brand's pints range from 240 to 360 calories, the equivalent of about one-half cup of traditional ice cream.

Unilever's Ben & Jerry's released launched pints made with almond milk earlier this year. Frozen Greek yogurt pop brand Yasso is trying to capitalize on yogurt fever.

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is finding success with its Japanese frozen treats made of ice cream wrapped in a sweet rice dough. The product hit shelves at the beginning of the year and have since expanded to 6,000 stores, the company said.

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream
Source: My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream

By CNBC's Angelica LaVito