In the beverage market, as well as other consumable industries, the influence of clean label continues to expand its reach. In fact, in its Top Ten Trends list for 2017, the Netherlands-based Innova Market Insights highlighted how clean label has been a running theme for the market research firm dating back to 2008.
As more consumers take a back-to-nature approach to their health and nutrition, recognizable, plant-based botanical ingredients like green tea, guarana, turmeric, acai, vanilla and ginger are adding functionality, healthy hydration, natural caffeine and clean-label appeal to a variety of beverages.
The technical age in which we now live has offered consumers access to an endless supply of information at their fingertips. Many utilize this easy-to-access information to educate themselves on the products they are consuming. GMOs are among the product attributes that consumers are considering as they’ve gained greater understanding of what they are eating and drinking. With this, many are turning to the Bellingham, Wash.-based Non-GMO Project and its orange butterfly logo to help guide their choices.
With consumers desiring more premium options, White Plains, N.Y.-based HEINEKEN USA took its expertise as a global brewer of major brands, including Heineken and Dos Equis, to embark on a journey to give consumers the premium beer tastes from the diverse sources that they desire.
Although many consumers might be looking to live healthier lifestyles, they’re still looking for products that satisfy their sweet tooth. Looking for the best of both worlds, consumers are demanding great-tasting sweetened products that do not contain sugar.
Beverage ingredient suppliers debut new innovations
August 15, 2017
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Chicago, saw more than 20,000 attendees attend IFT17, the association’s Annual Conference & Expo, which took place June 25-28 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. This year’s theme, Go With Purpose, highlighted the latest research, solutions, innovations and trends, including clean labels, sweeteners and sugar-reduction solutions, as well as plant-based alternatives. In addition to various speakers, more than 100 scientific sessions and 700 poster presentations, the expo featured more than 1,200 exhibitors. The following are some of the beverage highlights from IFT17:
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.
When it comes to new products in the beverage market, finding drinks that are both healthy and functional is a priority for many consumers, myself included.
At the recent Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, many exhibitors showcased new ingredients and flavors, clean-label applications, sugar-reduction solutions, and plant-based products that support enhanced performance, cognitive and digestive health, and much more.
The juice and juice drinks category has been challenged to maintain its share of the beverage market as consumers look for products that contain less sugar. On the upswing, juice concentrates experienced dollar sales increases of 4.5 percent for the 52 weeks ending May 14 in U.S. multi-outlets and convenience stores, and shelf-stable bottled juices were up 1.1 percent for the same timeframe, according to Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI). However, IRI data indicates that dollar sales for aseptic juices were down 0.7 percent, canned juices were down 1.6 percent and refrigerated juice/juice drinks were down 1.5 percent.
When the Netherlands-based Innova Market Insights announced its Top Ten Trends list for 2017, clean label was highlighted as the No. 1 trend of the year. “Interest in naturalness and clean label continues to feature strongly,” Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights, said in a statement.