The familiarity and fresh-from-the-vine natural goodness of citrus fruits have been resonating with consumers for decades. Used as a single, recognizable ingredient in orange juice or lemonade, citrus ingredients are adding a refreshing, good-for-you boost to a wide variety of products and can be used alone or in combination with other flavors to deliver differentiated taste experiences.
Experts note that citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, pineapples and grapefruits are a staple in juices, and also are proliferating in still and sparkling waters, sports beverages, energy drinks, ready-to-drink (RTD) teas, coffee, and beer. They also are used in combination to add a refreshing twist to even more beverage applications including spirits, mocktails and low-proof alcohol beverages, they add.
Although a tidal wave of new flavors have been flooding the market, staple flavors, like citrus, have held their ground, according to experts. The two most popular citrus options, lemon and orange, remain solid competitors against newer fruit entrants in the market.
Last year, the beverage industry set high expectations for citrus flavors. In particular, lemon was predicted to be one of the Top 3 best-selling flavors in 2014, according to respondents of Beverage Industry’s 2013 New Product Development Survey.