In the flavors market, numerous factors come into play before suppliers or brand owners are willing to formulate with new options. Yet, when trying to anticipate what consumers will want, the best way always is to listen to them.
Through its portal Trendscope, Black Swan Data identifies, prioritizes and predicts trends using data science. The algorithm allows the data firm to pinpoint whether an item is mature or emerging as well as predicts the longevity of such items.
Following analysis of interviews from this issue’s Beverage R&D feature on flavor trends, I reached out to Alex Gould, senior insights and innovation consultant at Black Swan. Many interviews for the flavor trends article noted the popularity of ginger within beverages, so I wanted to see what insights Black Swan had on the ingredient.
With a trend ranking of 592 out of 1,070, ginger was tracked to be part of more than 1.49 million conversations, the data firm found.
“Ginger is currently identified as a ‘mature’ and stable trend, with the highest growth noted in conjunction with [carbonated soft drinks] (CSDs) and water,” Gould says. “The ingredient skews to younger females, with 64 percent of the conversation driven by women between the ages of 17-24. The sentiment surrounding ginger is quite positive (55 percent) and is primarily linked to its soothing and cleansing properties. The big CSD companies are currently owning this space, with Coke, Sprite and Pepsi the Top 3 brands most commonly associated with ginger (no surprise following the launch of Coke Ginger and Pepsi Ginger last year). We predict this trend will continue to remain popular amongst consumers in the next 6-12 months.”
Another ingredient referenced by interviewees for the flavor trends feature was turmeric. According to Black Swan, turmeric has a trend ranking of 411 out of 1,070 and was tracked as part of more than 243,000 conversations.
“Turmeric is currently identified as a ‘mature’ and stable trend, with the highest growth noted in conjunction with coffee, tea and water. Water saw the highest growth at 43 percent year-over-year,” Gould says. “The ingredient skews to females, with 69 percent of the conversation driven by women between the ages of 24-34. The sentiment surrounding turmeric is quite positive (58 percent) and is primarily linked to its anti-inflammatory and detox-based properties.
“Milkis is the top associated beverage brand when it comes to turmeric in the minds of consumers, beating out Starbucks, Coke and another emerging beverage brand – Numi,” Gould continues. “We predict this trend will continue to remain popular amongst consumers in the next 6-12 months.”
Beyond ginger and turmeric, Gould also provided the Top 10 emerging flavors based on Black Swan’s Trendscope analysis to date: winter melon, rhubarb, oroblanco, mandarin, blackcurrant, calamansi, guava, blood orange, elderflower and dragonfruit.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see which of these emerging flavors could reach mature status.