In many industries, innovation is the name of the game, and that is particularly the case in retail, where brands launch new and improved products – often with bewildering regularity.
In tech, items naturally become more capable, but can also change in ways that are hard to predict. For example, at one point phones seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, but now many consumers insist on having a screen that’s as big as possible.
In food and drink, this can be changed to the recipe, a new flavour or a low-calorie option, while brands in the marketplace often pinch ideas from competitors to create their own new products.
But one other way that product ranges are diversified is through the creation of spin-off items. And in this article, we will examine some of the items that have been imagined off the back of a product that’s far better established, both here in East Anglia and across the UK.
Everybody tends to have their favourite way of enjoying alcohol, whether that be lagers, ales and ciders, spirits with mixers, or glasses of wine. But while traditional staples remain hugely popular in the sector, brands are increasingly experimenting with new products.
One such product is seltzer, which is an alcoholic beverage usually enjoyed in a can. It is made from mineral water and comes in a variety of flavours. Its main selling point to consumers is its light taste and low-calorie content.
Seltzer remains relatively new to the British marketplace, but it certainly seems to be growing in popularity among drinkers keen to keep an eye on their waistlines. One established brand renowned for its reputation has released its own line of the product, which you can buy in many of our region’s off-licenses.
Much like alcohol, cigarette smoking is a pastime enjoyed by Brits as a way to relax, but the tobacco industry has perhaps been even more forward-thinking in its product diversification in recent years. The rise of the e-cigarette has had a profound effect on the marketplace and changed the habits of millions, although there are less well-known products also capable of disrupting the industry.
Snus is a moist powder that is not smoked but instead placed inside the mouth of users. And because it isn’t smoked, snus is becoming increasingly popular with customers in the UK, who may be conscious of the dangers of second-hand smoke produced by traditional cigarettes. And while many pubs and restaurants in East Anglia also restrict the use of e-cigarettes, snus is much more discreet. It’s possible to buy the product from websites with 5 star service ratings, which can export it all over the world.
For many years, runners have stayed hydrated by taking water on board and in more recent times that has evolved to include energy drinks. Other athletes get the energy they need from the food they eat, both on the day of an event and in the longer-term.
Helping to provide a more short-term lift in recent years are energy gel pouches, which offer highly concentrated bursts of energy that can be consumed on the go. And while bottles are cumbersome, gels can slip neatly into a pocket or belt and be ingested just as quickly as a drink.
There are manufacturers known for their expertise and authority around sports nutrition and they typically offer a wide range of flavours. They can also be picked up in most larger supermarkets across East Anglia, available to pro runners and casual joggers alike!
These are just three of the products that we think have the potential to become game-changers in their industry. And while they’re traditional alternative may endure a little while longer yet, there’s no doubting the ambition of these new kids on the block.