Taste is more than just flavour. It is what drives people to purchase their favourite beverages. To create delicious beverage taste experiences, you need to know your consumers. Which drink flavours are trending? What sensorial experiences are they looking for?
The Kerry Taste and Nutrition Charts, 2023, explore trending flavours and ingredients, with seven key trends emerging across categories and cuisines. Here is a look at how these trends are playing out in the beverage category, focusing on the refreshing beverage space.
Adventure and indulgence have taken on a new meaning in today’s uncertain economy. Consumers want achievable excitement and playfulness from their beverages, which is spurring unlikely combinations like spicy habanero and sweet mango, mashups of familiar drinks, fusion cuisines and unconventional flavour pairings. One market example is the canned mango Habanero Agua Fresca made with real fruit.
Off the reel
Social media and the emphasis on visual currency have influenced food and beverage trends at a rapid pace. New recipes and over-the-top beverage creations dressed up with abundant inclusions and toppings – such as vibrant glitters and sprinkles – have an element of familiarity attract consumer curiosity. A market trend is the gin with glitter, perfect for festive nights and impressive cocktails.
With technological refinement in taste and texture, consumers expect healthy, nutritious, better-for-you, and sustainable alternatives to deliver the same taste experience and flavour intensity as mainstream food and beverages. A market example of this is a prickly pear-flavoured, non-carbonated drink made with cactus water.
In a fast-paced culture, the simplicity of familiar and comforting flavours continue to bring joy to consumers. While simple flavours thrive in a recessionary environment, nostalgia, comfort and familiarity drive an everlasting appreciation for simple things. On the market are ready-to-drink iced coffees showcasing indulgent classics such as cake batter donut, coffee cake muffin and brownie batter donut.
Roots & origins
Age old practices, ingredients and recipes are experiencing a revival. Origin stories and lost traditions are finding a new home amid the post-modernisation of food, coming full circle to authentic and wholesome experiences. One example is the Georgia peach electrolyte infusions with anti-oxidants and vitamin-B.
Hint of health
Health is no longer secondary to taste. In a (relatively) post-pandemic world, rising consumer attention to health and diet has driven the need for functional ingredients and balanced nutrition.
Flavours that convey a halo of health, from functionally-forward flavours to those that subtly imply better health, have a responsibility beyond taste. Pre-biotic tonic with invigorating notes of ginger and vibrant pomegranate flavours are a trend in many markets.
Taste with purpose
The influence of sustainability is extending into consumer decision making for food and beverage purchases – including choice of brands, flavours, ingredients and retailers. Consumer taste preferences are guided by their sustainability consciousness. Examples are sachet plant-based beverages to reduce waste and providing healthy living.
Interested in more beverage flavour trends? Write to www.kerry.com/contact-us.html.