As legend has it, the Fountain of Youth is a spring that restores youth to anyone who drinks from it. Because the fountain is a bit difficult to find, many people have settled for beauty treatments such as lotions, serums and plastic surgery. However, what’s arguably more important than looking young is keeping the human mind young, and beverage-makers are creating drinks that help do just that — and they’re not nearly as difficult to find.
Hydrocolloids provide solutions for new formulations
February 13, 2012
As beverage-makers dream up new formulations to address the gamut of consumer requests, such as natural, diet, functional or indulgent products, new recipes often can spur the need for new solutions from ingredient suppliers. In response, hydrocolloid manufacturers have developed portfolios of binding ingredients that are able to perform in new applications.
Answering consumer demand, creating new formulations and leveraging growth opportunities are among the reasons why beverage-makers plan to launch more new products in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the results of Beverage Industry’s annual New Product Development survey. A planned increase in launches was cited by 59 percent of respondents, which is a 14 percent rise from last year’s survey results.
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.