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 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.
The better-for-you health movement has helped take emerging food and beverage categories from niche to mainstream. As these niche categories become more commonplace, they not only are helping themselves but also are giving a platform to other products, categories and flavors.
Once a niche trend, health and wellness has gone mainstream as many market research firms have highlighted in reports. As better-for-you options abound throughout the consumer packaged goods market, beverage formulators are turning to stabilizing ingredient sources to maintain product efficacy.
Chef Roger Mooking loves giving traditional dishes an exotic twist on his Food Network Canada TV show “Everyday Exotic.” Consumers’ desire for exotic flavors also has helped push tropical fruits into mainstream beverage formulations. Yet, ingredient suppliers note that the growing demand for exotic fruits also taps into broader, mainstream trends.
With consumers increasing their scrutiny of what’s in the consumer packaged goods (CPGs) that they consume, beverage-makers are responding by providing more products made with recognizable ingredients, like domestic fruits. As more consumers look for simplicity and transparency, these ingredients have garnered more attention.
There’s an idiom that states to “feed a cold, starve a fever.” To stay healthy and prevent illnesses like the common cold, consumers increasingly are turning to foods and beverages that are high in natural, immunity-boosting ingredients like antioxidants.