Over the last decade as consumers have continued to move away from carbonated soft drinks, they often migrate to a healthier alternative like tea. A lot of this growth early on was a rising tide that helped all brands.
Embracing the mass appeal of protein, beverage-makers and formulators are innovating new protein-fortified products in a variety of beverage categories for everyday consumers looking for a protein pick-me-up.
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.
As Beverage Industry wraps up the year, the editor’s take a deeper look into the most innovative beverages and packages of the year. Also featured in this issue is the 2018 Work Truck Roundup, and Pack Expo and SupplySide West 2018 Post-Show Reports. As usual, we identified and reported on the prevalent trends and topics shaping all aspects of the beverage world.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.