Posts Tagged ‘Beverage Trends’

Written on December 2, 2021.

2022 Beverage Trends

Experts at the Louisville, KY-based beverage development company, Flavorman, have announced the drink trends to watch for in 2022. Driven by the long-term effects of an ongoing pandemic, this year’s forecast is shaping up to focus on celebrating life’s simple pleasures while striving for balance.

Going Big & Bold: As evidenced by the seltzer boom of the last few years, drinks with subtle displays of flavor have previously taken center stage, but that is likely to change in 2022. With the seltzer market beginning to saturate, beverage makers are now seeking ways to differentiate from the competition, opting for bigger and bolder profiles.

Client requests have taken a 180-degree turn on flavor, especially where seltzers and sparkling waters are concerned,” said Tom Gibson, Flavorman’s Chief Flavorist. “Whereas before, clients would be looking for a gentler spritz of nuanced flavors in their drink, we are now seeing more clients ask for loud and proud, single-note flavors.

In the wake of COVID-19 – a virus that is notorious for attacking a person’s taste and smell – it makes sense that drinks with prominently featured and straightforward flavors may provide reassurance to consumers still recovering from sensory loss related to the virus, or those who are just concerned with changes to their senses in general.

In 2022, expect beverage makers to continue emphasizing the presence of familiar flavors in drinks across categories. Childhood favorites like watermelon, strawberry, cherry, apple and grape will see a resurgence as consumers reach for those immediately recognizable and nostalgic profiles.

 

Guilt-Free Indulgence: As the world becomes more accustomed to the challenges of an ongoing pandemic, consumers are learning to strive for balance in all aspects of their life. Rather than sacrificing on indulgent experiences, consumers are embracing them with some slight modifications.

Citrus flavors have been a cornerstone for the drinks industry, but consumer tastes are now evolving towards botanical-forward beverages—particularly in the premium sector. Floral profiles like hibiscus, lavender and elderflower are becoming more mainstream and making way for the earthier, more herbal flavors of turmeric, anise and rosemary.

Many of the ingredients you would find in your kitchen spice cabinet can introduce an extra element to a drink, providing new dimensions of flavor or functionality,” said Katie Clark, Flavorman’s Lab Manager. “Consumers tend to react to these twists with greater expectations—an insight that brands can leverage in premium beverage offers.

2022 Beverage Trends

Because premium is also so often associated with quality, ingredients like juice and full sugar are also becoming more popular in beverages marketed as high-end. Consumers indulging in these drinks aren’t as concerned with calorie restrictions or sugar because they recognize that they are treating themselves to a unique experience. The same can be observed in the spirits and beverage alcohol sectors.

In the spirits world, amaro, absinthe and other botanical spirits are seeing a renaissance,” said Colin Blake, Director of Spirits Education at Moonshine University, the sister company of the Flavorman Beverage Campus. “These drinks tend to have a distinctive quality due to their balance of bitter and sweet, and they are consumed in very particular ways, usually before or directly following a meal. Consumers in the premium sector have embraced the ritual involved as another way of replicating a bar experience.

 

A Return to Simplicity: Simplicity provides a source of comfort during a time when life feels like it has become much more complicated. In fact, the ongoing “clean label” trend shows us how the quality of ingredients, not quantity, is shaping consumer perceptions of the value of a beverage. It also explains why drinks with simple ingredient statements continue to be consumer favorites.

Transparency has, time and time again, proven to be important to consumers,” said Clark. “Many clients seeking compliance with Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and other ‘better-for-you’ food and beverage retailers have simply opted to do away with sweeteners or added colors instead of combing through the accepted ingredient lists. Consumers don’t seem to mind.

2022 Beverage Trends

With health and wellness continuing to drive trends as we move into 2022, beverage brands will opt for simplicity in beverage formulations across the board. In the spirits sector, simplicity takes the form of moderation.

Going low- or no-alcohol is a lifestyle choice that some consumers are rallying behind as a way to achieve holistic health goals, said Clark. This trend has fueled explosive growth in non-alcoholic spirits and ready-to-drink mocktails—as well as lower ABV wine-based cocktails—that we expect to continue into the New Year.

With nearly 30 years in the beverage business and over 70,000 drink formulations, Flavorman compiles this annual trends summary through examination of beverage projects that have passed through its laboratory over the last 12 months.

 

See how last year’s Flavor Trends compare.

Have a drink idea that you think will excel in 2022? Flavorman can help you bring it to life. Give us a call at (502) 273-5214 or contact our team through this webform.

 

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Written on July 28, 2021.

From kickstarting the day to pushing through a tough workout, caffeine is a regular part of our diets; in fact, we consume over 100,000 metric tons of it worldwide each year! While it might seem obvious, most of that caffeine comes from drinks—and we are lucky to enjoy more caffeinated beverage options than ever before.

Despite being around for generations, one caffeinated drink in particular has recently been making its way into the spotlight. If you aren’t already familiar with yerba mate, then you’re sure to be hearing more about it soon. Discover the origins behind this ancient superfood, why it’s so unique, and how innovative beverage brands are using it to change what the world is drinking:

Yerba Mate’s Origins

Yerba mate is made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, a member of the holly family. Native to the subtropical regions of South America, this herbal remedy has been enjoyed by indigenous cultures like the Guaraní for over a millennium.

With the discovery of the New World in 1492, Spanish colonizers in the Parana-Paraguay system learned of the plant and the native’s practice of consuming it. Unlike cacao and coffee, yerba mate was not a domestic plant when first encountered by Europeans; instead, it was harvested traditionally from wild stands.

In an attempt to cultivate the resource, Jesuit missionaries built up plantations in the 1650s-70s. Agricultural efforts were difficult, though they helped to establish a commercial market for yerba mate throughout the rest of the Spanish Americas. Of course, yerba mate wouldn’t make it to Europe until much later, as the continent was already too focused on crops like tea, cacao, and coffee.

By the 1770s, the drink had become largely a niche product and staple of South America where it eventually became a chief export of Paraguay and surrounding countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. It remained the preferred caffeinated beverage of the region even after coffee and tea were introduced.

 

Drinking Yerba Mate

Consumed at all hours of the day, yerba mate continues its reign as a South American favorite prepared and enjoyed the traditional way—among friends and family.

Yerba mate is drunk from a single hollowed out gourd called a “calabash” or “mate.” This vessel comes in all kinds of shapes and styles, and utilizes another instrument called a “bombilla”—essentially a thick, curved straw with a filter at one end. Any authentic yerba mate requires these tools for proper preparation.

First, a kettle of water is heated—but not boiled! While the water is being arranged, the mate or calabash is filled about two-thirds of the way with “yerba” (the herb). Covering the opening of the gourd, it is shaken gently to bring all the larger leaves and stems to the bottom of the container so as not to clog the bombilla later.

The vessel remains tilted to keep all the herbs to one side, then the bombilla is inserted into the mate, still held at an angle. A little cold water should be added to prevent dust from gathering in the bombilla and prepare the yerba for the infusion, preserving any nutrients that might be neutralized by the addition of hot water.

Finally, hot water (less than 150-degrees Fahrenheit) can be added—but not filled to the top! Now it is ready to drink. This is where the ritual part of this process comes in. The same vessel can be refilled nearly 20 times and is meant to be shared. Here are some best practices to follow, courtesy of Francisco Huanaco of Buenos Aires, Argentina:

  • The person preparing the yerba mate is known as the “cebador/a” and should be the only person who pours fresh water between tastings.
  • The cebador/a should drink the first yerba mate poured.
  • The cebador/a should try to avoid dampening all of the leaves with each pour or the drink will lose its flavor too quickly—this is called “lavado.” It is considered disrespectful to pass someone a “mate lavado.” Always pour near the bombilla for the best result.
  • If you are offered the yerba mate, you must drink all of the liquid inside and then pass the vessel once again to the cebador/a. Always return the mate to the cebador/a!
  • It is okay to add sugar for some extra flavor, but gauge the preferences of your group before doing so. A yerba mate without sugar added is called “amargo,” meaning bitter.
  • When you are finished, rinse out the calabash and bombilla with water only, dry with a cloth, and let rest upside down to ensure no water is left inside to mold.

 

From Ancient Drinking Ritual To Trendy Beverage Ingredient

With a bitter, smokey, and woody flavor, yerba mate has a very distinctive taste that, like coffee, can require adjusting to—but the real draw for consumers is the caffeine. That’s right, there’s a reason why some have referred to the drink as a “productivity hack.”

Boasting an allegedly jitter-free buzz, yerba mate contains about 80mg of caffeine per cup. This amount has been described as a happy medium for consumers looking for a boost, as it contains twice as much caffeine as in black tea, but less than half that of a cup of coffee. You could even call it the Goldilocks of caffeinated beverages!

As a bonus, the beverage is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as beneficial plant compounds like quercetin, theobromine and theophylline. Components of this superfood have been known to reduce risk of cancer and heart disease, decrease the accumulation of fat in the body, and improve blood flow. The health benefits abound.

It helps that the qualities of yerba mate are supported by trends favoring experiential, naturally positioned beverages that deliver on both functionality and flavor. This is a driving force behind why yerba mate has become a beverage favorite in recent months—and beverage developers are finding creative ways to innovate with it. As an energy booster, weight loss supplement, focus aid, and source of digestive support, there are many reasons why beverage developers are exploring the utility of yerba mate as a beverage ingredient.

Dozens of brands have popped up on the shelf and some US consumers have even taken to brewing it up the traditional way at home, as yerba mate leaves are made available at grocery stores across the nation. In recent years, yerba mate has made its way into everything from health elixirs to “clean and natural” energy drinks, even alcoholic seltzer. In May 2021, Coca-Cola’s Honest Tea portfolio rolled out a line of organic yerba mate beverages in three flavors—lemon ginger black tea, strawberry pomegranate matcha, and peach mango green tea.

It’s clear that what was once a niche beverage has officially entered the mainstream. As consumers become more educated about yerba mate, new products containing this special ingredient are sure to emerge. Yours could be next.

Do you have an idea for the next tasty, caffeinated drink? Flavorman can help you make it a reality! Get started by filling out this form or giving us a call at (502) 273-5214.

 

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Written on March 3, 2021.

Health and wellness have always been important to consumers, but in the face of the current outbreak, that’s truer now than ever before. As the world grapples with a global pandemic, consumers have found ways to take their health into their own hands—and stomachs.
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Written on December 8, 2020.

Our beverage experts formulate dozens of new and innovative drinks for clients every day, making them a valuable resource on the latest flavor trends. After a particularly turbulent year, our team got together to share their insights on the top flavors we expect to take over the beverage industry in the New Year.

Driven by the long-term effects of an on-going pandemic, this year’s forecast is shaping up to be focused on creating experiences in a socially distant landscape. Here are the 2021 flavor trends to watch out for:
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Written on August 26, 2020.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Ready-to-Drink (RTD) cocktails continue to dominate the beverage space. Though already on the upwards trend pre-COVID, the RTD cocktail category experienced an unprecedented boost just as the US was beginning to feel the effects of the virus.
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Written on July 22, 2020.

At this point last year, no one could have foreseen that within a few short months we’d be facing a global pandemic.

Back in December, our beverage development experts predicted that 2020 would be a year focused on the fresh and functional. Now the world has taken to calling 2020, “The Year of the Lost Summer.” As we approach the halfway mark for this historic year, it makes sense to consider how current events have affected drink flavor trends and what that might mean for tomorrow.
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Written on May 13, 2020.

If beverage trends show us anything, it’s that water alternatives are now more popular than ever. Spurred in part by consumer demand for healthier, lower-calorie drink options, new brands – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – are continuing to pop up on grocery store shelves.
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Written on April 22, 2020.

You may have seen friends on social media posting pictures of their coffee lately, and the weird thing is, everyone seems to be making the same thing.

So what’s on the menu? It’s a completely DIY whipped drink called dalgona coffee.

Spurred in part by closures of coffee shops and cafés across the globe, coffee lovers have become their own baristas, and this South Korean drink has quickly become an at-home favorite worldwide.
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Written on March 4, 2020.

From essential oils and extracts to herbs and flowers, botanicals are proving to be much more than just a garnish for your favorite drinks. As demand continues to increase for natural, functional beverages, botanicals are becoming more prevalent as a drink flavor and ingredient.
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Written on January 22, 2020.

While the excitement of New Year’s Eve has come and gone, we’re sure your dedication to your New Year’s resolution remains strong! If you’re looking to start off 2020 with healthier habits, we’ve got some healthy drinks that can help you stay on track.
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