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12 Marketing Strategies for the Beverage Industry

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12 Marketing Strategies For The Beverage Industry

By 2026, the global food and beverage market is expected to grow to $8,905.5 billion, representing a worldwide opportunity for beverage companies and producers to take advantage of this expansion. However, alongside this growth comes fierce competition, and it’s essential to have a robust and industry-specific marketing strategy in place to help attract new consumers to your brand and drive revenue. 

Beverage companies have a breadth of tactics at their disposal, from revamping packaging to networking with social media influencers with a wide exposure. Using these tactics, companies can create marketing strategies to expand their audience reach and edge out competition in a crowded market. 

With so many tools at their disposal, it’s important for companies to balance demand generation strategies with lead generation strategies. Let’s outline the difference between these two:

  • Demand Gen: Demand generation is the process of creating awareness and interest in a product or service. It’s the first step in the sales funnel, and its goal is to attract potential customers and get them to consider your product or service. This is often done through content marketing, such as sharing blogs, infographics, or ebooks, and by social media marketing, where companies use their platforms to share their new content and generate excitement about their products/services.
  • Lead Gen: Lead generation is the process of identifying and qualifying potential customers interested in your product. It’s the second step in the sales funnel and it aims to convert potential customers into leads. Common lead generation strategies include hosting webinars or in-person events, where potential buyers can learn more about your company, mission, and products, and have an interactive experience with your business. 

Because the beverage industry is so expansive, there is no one-size-fits all marketing strategy for every company, especially given the nuances of demand gen versus lead gen. But to help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 12 marketing tactics to help beverage brands leverage this opportunity for growth.

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What Does Beverage Marketing Mean?

Beverage marketing is the process of promoting and selling drinks to existing and potential customers to grow a brand’s reach. Beverage marketing aims to make consumers aware of the brand, emphasize its unique qualities, and entice customers to buy. As mentioned, the beverage industry includes a wide variety of companies and unique products. It’s important to differentiate between common industry categories: 

Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSD) 

The CSD market is expected to grow 4.7% by 2029, reaching nearly $335.03 billion in value, representing explosive growth opportunities for brands in this category. Companies selling carbonated soft drinks rely on branding, packaging, and advertising to differentiate themselves, and they may also use celebrity endorsements and sponsorships to increase brand visibility. Coca-Cola, for example, has worked with dozens of celebrities, from Lebron James to Taylor Swift.

Because of how large the soft drink industry is, these marketing efforts need to be broad and inclusive, appealing to all types of backgrounds, ages, and cultures. That’s why soft drink brands work with celebrities and spend time perfecting their packaging. They need to create a brand that is memorable and relatable to all consumers, whether that means using the appeal of iconic packaging or the endorsement of a widely-celebrated musician.

Energy and Sports Beverages 

The energy and sports drink industry is a widely popular market, with primary consumers being men between 18 and 34. This industry has capitalized on marketing through sports-based outlets, targeting athletics and popular events. The sports drink Gatorade, for example, announced its partnership with five-time NBA All-star Damian Lillard in 2020, who joined other athlete ambassadors like Zion Williamson and Bryce Harper.

With an increased interest in sports, the industry is expected to continue to grow, presenting opportunities to market products through targeted sports and athletic sponsorships. Unlike soft drink marketing, which appeals to a wide range of consumers, energy and sports drink marketing efforts are more targeted to their demographic and rely on tools like athlete endorsements and event marketing to grow brand awareness.


The alcoholic beverage market is unique in that it targets consumers above 21. However, with such a large age range, the tactics used to deliver marketing messages vary by platform and generation. What works for a company that sells luxury aged whiskey to collectors won’t work for companies marketing fruit-infused seltzer drinks. 

In fact, the per capita alcohol consumption of all beverages in the U.S. has been decreasing since the 1980s. This industry is highly competitive, and businesses seek to gain an edge over competitors by increasing efficiency and cutting costs through technology. Innovation is on the horizon in the alcohol industry, including enhanced online marketing and celebrity sponsorships, automated manufacturing, and augmented reality in marketing campaigns. 

Coffee and Tea

The coffee and tea industry has experienced a shift in consumer priorities due to the global pandemic, with a steep decline in away-from-home consumption leading to overall stunted consumption. Nevertheless, trends such as clean energy and functional ingredients have emerged, and consumers have been seeking healthier coffee. Sales of whole beans are up, and tea is perceived as healthy and calming, driving sales. The industry is highly profitable, with coffee being one of the three most popular beverages in the world.

To market coffee and tea products, companies can leverage the growing interest in health and wellness by emphasizing the wellness benefits of these drinks, such as their antioxidant properties and calming effects. Brands can also focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, such as fair trade and organic sourcing, to appeal to socially conscious consumers. Social media and influencer marketing are also powerful tools to reach younger audiences, who are more likely to consume coffee and tea products.

Why Is Marketing Important in the Beverage Industry?

As you can see, the beverage industry has a wide range of variation that demands specialized approaches to marketing. However, it’s universally understood that a beverage marketing strategy is essential for companies in this industry, for reasons such as:

  • Competitive Advantage - With so many companies vying for market share, it’s essential for beverage brands to build and maintain a distinct brand identity to stand out.
  • Consumer Connection - Consumer beverage preferences vary widely and change often. As mentioned, the coffee industry was forced to pivot after the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure companies stay on top of trends, they must conduct market research to identify consumer needs and tailor their marketing accordingly.
  • Product Promotion - When beverage brands launch new products like Gatorade promoting its “Beyond-The-Beverage” Gatorade gummies, marketing is essential for introducing these items. Companies in the beverage industry rely on marketing to generate buzz among customers.

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Here Are 12 Highly Effective Marketing Tactics for the Beverage Industry

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning refers to the place a brand occupies in the minds of consumers compared to competitors. In the beverage industry, brands must differentiate themselves due to the market being crowded with similar products.

For example, if you lead a marketing team at a coffee shop affected by the pandemic, you may roll out a free-trade coffee campaign to attract new consumers. This could involve sourcing ingredients from a specific region, using higher-caliber ingredients, or highlighting innovative techniques in distilling spirits or roasting coffee beans. 

Revamp Your Brand Image

If your existing beverage branding isn't giving you the desired results, it might be time to revamp your brand image. Revamping a brand image can also mark a special occasion and use this as an opportunity to stand out. For example, PepsiCo recently unveiled a new logo celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Rebranding involves changing the look and feel of your company, such as packaging, logos, brand colors, and brand voice. Alternatively, if you like your existing branding but want a refresh, you can introduce new products that align with current consumer trends. You’ll need to work with marketing and design experts like the Creatives On Call team to achieve a successful revamp.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is everywhere in the beverage industry and provides a simple pathway to directly reach consumers. Beverage companies often do giveaways on their social media accounts or respond to followers in comments and ask for feedback. Companies may also use hashtags to increase visibility and engage consumers, like White Claw’s #BringTheWave.


Blogging can be an effective beverage marketing tool that allows businesses to educate their audience about different ingredients, roasting techniques, and recipes. Offering tips and tricks related to beverages can help build trust with the audience, and sharing behind-the-scenes content that showcases the production process can create a personal connection with the consumers.

If you need help driving a content management and marketing strategy, Creatives On Call has a team of writers that deliver value through content creation.

Build Your Website

An optimized website is vital for beverage businesses because it increases visibility in organic searches, boosts credibility, and improves leads. Websites are a hub for discovering new products and also support online ordering, which opens your business to increased sales through pickup and delivery orders.

Set up Your Google Maps Business Profile

Google is the most popular search engine in the world, so having a business profile there makes you more likely to appear in search results. Google My Business allows you to create a local listing with your business's information. A complete and accurate business profile on Google can also improve your search engine optimization (SEO), making you more likely to appear at the top of search results.

Pay Attention to Reviews

Reviews can help beverage businesses identify areas for improvement, such as quality or service issues, and address them to improve customer satisfaction. Positive reviews also help companies attract new customers by showcasing positive customer experiences. In fact, 60% of patrons read reviews before going out for a meal, so positive reviews are a major selling point in the food and beverage sector. Make sure your team is working together to manage reviews and resolve complaints as they arise.

Partnering with Other Brands

By teaming up with a well-known brand, you can tap into their customer base and potentially gain new customers. Additionally, partnering with other companies helps expand your brand's products and services. 

For example, if you own a bakery, partnering with a local coffee roaster allows you to offer freshly brewed coffee to your customers. In turn, you become a one-stop shop for breakfast, delivering more value to your customers and expanding your reach.

Creating a Statement with USP

As a beverage business, making a statement with your unique selling proposition (USP) is crucial. Your USP sets you apart from your competitors and attracts customers to your business. In a competitive market, a USP is essential for standing out, becoming memorable to consumers, and building a long-term relationship with your target audience. 

Hosting and Sponsoring Events

Hosting events allows brands to showcase their products, launch new items, and interact with attendees. To engage new audiences, beverage companies may host festivals or outdoor events with free food and drinks. This gives consumers a chance to try products before committing to a purchase, which helps build trust between company and consumer. 

Beverage companies can also choose to sponsor events, which is a popular tactic among large brands. PepsiCo is a former sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show, giving the brand exposure to millions of viewers at once. Smaller beverage companies can also sponsor events like local festivals, concerts, art shows, and more.

Seasonal Offers

When people see a limited-time, seasonal offer, they may be more inclined to try your products because it creates a sense of urgency. For example, consumers rush to get pumpkin-spiced lattes from Starbucks in the fall due to its seasonal appeal. This tactic also saves brands money because they can source more ingredients locally and at their peak availability.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is about partnering with social media influencers to promote your brand to their followers. This can be especially effective for beverage brands because people love to share photos and videos of what they eat and drink, and they're always looking for new products to try. 

By working with influencers, you can tap into their engaged follower base, who will likely be interested in trying your products. Influencers also add credibility to your brand, as their followers trust their recommendations and are more likely to purchase based on them.

Creatives On Call has food and beverage copywriters and content marketers ready to help you take your business to the next level. Whether you’re revamping your brand voice and packaging and need to develop a new style, or you’re looking for SEO content to drive organic traffic to your website, our team of writers can help you achieve your vision. 

We want to hear from you! Check out all of our marketing services here, and if you’re interested in leveling up your beverage brands and content marketing, let’s chat.

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