Many newly developed beverages in today’s market have realized the benefits of hybrid formulations. Whether it’s a ready-to-drink (RTD) juice with energy ingredients, a sparkling water fortified with fiber and probiotics, or RTD coffee featuring added protein, beverage blurring has changed the conventions of the beverage market. As these functional formulations become more mainstream, beverage-makers are tasked with ensuring that the flavor profiles offer appeal beyond the niche markets in which they were founded.
“The trend toward better-for-you-beverages/health and wellness, including reduced sugar products has matured greatly over the last few years,” says Dale Streit, director of flavor development for California Custom Fruits & Flavors (CCFF), Irwindale, Calif. “Formulators have made improvements in taste when working with functional ingredients and sucrose reduction. A lot of effort and resources have gone into improving sweetness enhancers, flavor potentiators, modifiers, blockers and maskers.