LOUISVILLE, Ky.– While the “Summer of Seltzer” may be over, the global craze for seltzer and sparkling water is only just beginning. As consumers continue to prioritize flavor over sweetness, experts at Flavorman – the nation’s leading beverage development company – predict that “better-for-you” beverages emphasizing bright and refreshing flavors are set to take center stage in 2020.
- Botanicals: In the new year, the floral and herbal profiles of botanicals will add fresh, delicate flavor combinations that level up any fizzy drink without leaning too heavily on sugary sweeteners for taste. The subtly sweet, aromatic flavors of basil, cilantro, lavender, and elderflower – as well as the sour, tart flavors of sorrel and orange peel – will be particularly popular in new, sophisticated takes on tonic and seltzer, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Flavors highlighting wood and pine notes (think fir needle, balsam, or cedar) will add another dimension of freshness and complexity to this refreshing next generation of beverages.
- Citrus & Exotics: While the bright, fresh flavors offered by lemon and lime will continue to be a staple in the beverage world, consumers are looking to experiment with new citrus profiles and exotic flavors that offer the perception of sweetness without added sugar, syrups, or artificial sweeteners. Exotic flavors like dragon fruit, coconut, and prickly pear will also become more commonplace and, like watermelon, they’re set to introduce a fresh, delicate sweetness to any bubbly drink. Meanwhile, citrus flavors like grapefruit, tangerine, blood orange, meyer lemon, and yuzu will offer a subtle sweetness paired with a more interesting sour, bitter profile. These types of flavors are complementary to the refreshing mouthfeel of seltzer and sparkling water (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and will cater to adventurous consumers looking for new ways to dazzle their taste buds.
- Ginger: That’s right, ginger gets its own distinction in our Flavor Trends lineup for 2020. Thanks to its variety of expressions and numerous health benefits, ginger is becoming increasingly popular as a beverage ingredient.
Ranging from hot and spicy to sweet and warm, ginger maintains a freshness that works well in an assortment of beverage types and flavor combinations. Our beverage experts predict that ginger will likely be used in 2020 as a pairing to brighten up fruit flavors in everything from seltzers to juices, teas, and kombucha.
Other Beverage Insights for 2020: As consumers become more health-conscious, these flavor trends reflect a market shift towards beverages that maximize on quality and functionality, all while packing a flavor punch.
- Less is More: Trends will continue to support the growth of “clean label” drinks that cater to a variety of alternative diets, optimize nutritional value, and support healthy living. Moving beyond the simplicity of low-calorie, fat-free, and sugar-free drinks, expect innovations on everything from plant-based milks to teas, flavored waters, drinking vinegars, and everything in between.
- Functional Plus: If the “sober curious” trend tells us anything, it’s that consumers are becoming more attentive to what they put into their bodies – and they’re also demanding more from what’s deemed “sip worthy.” That’s right, consumers aren’t just looking for a simple caffeine boost anymore: ‘functional plus’ drinks are set to boom in 2020 as consumers look for functionality – and then some!
CBD is the obvious star of this category. Health and wellness trends will continue to support its growth as an ingredient in beverages of all types: CBD coffees, shooters, teas, infused waters – you name it. Beyond CBD, we’ll also see new ingredients emerge – like dihydromyricetin (DHM) as a remedy for hangovers and ashwagandha to manage stress and anxiety. In other words, if your New Year’s resolution is to be healthier, then 2020 is gearing up to be a great year for you. Cheers!
Founded by David Dafoe, Flavorman is an international custom beverage development company that works with companies and entrepreneurs from around the globe to develop anything from energy drinks to flavored spirits, ready-to-drink and CBD-infused beverages, teas and coffee, juices, mixers, and more. With almost 30 years in the industry and over 60,000 beverage formulations, Flavorman has helped develop thousands of household staples and iconic brands that have defined generations – and changed what the world is drinking. For more information, visit flavorman.com
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