For beverages, colors can play a crucial role when it comes to shelf appeal. They can help grab a consumer’s attention as well as correspond to the flavor and branding of a beverage. In addition, as beverage-makers seek more natural ingredients to be able to provide clean label statements, the search for colors that can deliver on all of those requests has helped spark innovation among ingredient suppliers.
Beverages have become more than just a source of refreshment. Consumers also are turning to beverages for functional benefits. Sports drinks as well as energy drinks and shots have become a source to provide a variety of functionalities.“There are quite a number of functional benefits that consumers are looking for with energy drinks and shots besides [an energy] boost,” says Garima Goel Lal, senior analyst at Mintel International, Chicago.
Earlier this year, Beverage Industry’s 2011 Product Development Survey forecasted a return to traditional flavors. Survey respondents indicated that traditional flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, remained popular choices, but rising stars such as superfruits were not as popular as lemon, lime and orange flavors. Now more than mid-way through the year, ingredient suppliers are reporting that industry flavor trends continue to include superfruits as well as several twists on traditional favorites.
Some parents and pet-owners have devised methods to hide medicine or supplements within the food and beverages consumed by their children and animals. These inventive methods parallel the behind-the-scenes work of flavor companies that collaborate with beverage-makers to increase the palatability of a new sweetener or functional formula.
It’s hard to know when inspiration will strike. During an interview for this month’s Beverage R&D article on flavor trends, Cathianne Leonardi, flavorist at Allen Flavors, Edison, N.J., discussed how she developed a line of beverage prototypes inspired by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit dedicated to late fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The “Savage Beauty” exhibit featured McQueen’s garments along with the audio and video presentations that accompanied the designs during their respective runway shows.
Cardiovascular concerns propel heart health ingredients
August 15, 2011
The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that the prevalence and control of traditional risk factors of heart disease, such as hypertension, tobacco use, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, remain an issue for many Americans, according to the AHA’s Circulation journal’s article “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2011 Update” published in December 2010.
Sodium consumption has been a large concern in the food industry because, in excess, it can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase the risk for heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney failure, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Now consider that according to Russell Keast, associate professor at the Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University in Australia, the average American consumes nearly four times the recommended amount.
The frequently asked question, “What should I have to drink?” was the inspiration for Diageo’s flavored malt beverage (FMB) strategy. This summer’s advertising for Diageo’s Smirnoff Premium Malt Mixed Drinks answers that question featuring a “Fridgetender,” a portable bartender character who appears in refrigerators and coolers at the right time. In addition to Smirnoff Premium Malt Mixed Drinks, Diageo’s FMB lineup also includes the recently launched Jeremiah Weed FMBs and Smirnoff On The Rocks, which is a multi-serve version of the Premium Malt Mixed Drinks.
Obesity continues to be a significant health issue in the United States and health-conscious consumers continue to look for functional products that promise weight management-related benefits. In their quest for wellness, consumers are learning more about the benefits of protein and fiber. In addition, some consumers are searching for what Ram Chaudhari, senior executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Schnectady, N.Y.-based Fortitech Inc. calls a “magic bullet” for weight loss and management solutions.
Somewhat serendipitously, I opted to read the May 16 edition of The New Yorker featuring an in-depth profile on PepsiCo’s food and beverage innovation plans while traveling to last month’s IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo in New Orleans. The “Snacks for a Fat Planet” article by John Seabrook details PepsiCo’s plans for innovation across its portfolio of products with insight from senior PepsiCo executives, including Jonathan McIntyre, senior vice president of R&D global beverages, who was featured in Beverage Industry’s April cover story.