What new beverage flavors are popular among consumers, and what innovative varieties are emerging as favorites this year? The answers to these questions were revealed in the webinar “Beverage Trends Worth Exploring,” presented by CokeSolutions.
Culinary firm Food IQ leveraged research and analyzed consumer behaviors, industry trends and data, and menus to understand what consumers want—and how certain flavors and varieties impact core drink categories. For example, 60% of consumers say they would try a new restaurant if the menu offered interesting food and drink specials, and 66% of consumers said they like trying new or innovative coffee and tea drinks, according to global research firm Mintel.¹ These insights can guide foodservice owners and operators in creating new menu selections.
What Consumers Want Consumers are looking for house-made elements, better-for-you options, customizable items, and more classic flavors.² While mainstream flavors include almond, citrus, ginger, and maple, there are many up and coming flavors that are proving to be successful, such as blackberry, ginger beer, grapefruit, passion fruit, and pear. ² There are also plenty of new varieties emerging this year, such as adult sodas (root beer/ginger ale+ alcohol), bacon and cotton candy garnishes, and premium waters (cactus water, aloe water).
The overall theme for 2016: consumers are open to trying innovative beverages, so think outside the box and cater to their adventurous tastes.
Flavor Focus There are three flavor themes that have emerged as strong leaders this year.²
The key to leveraging these flavor trends is expanding menu options with new items and combinations to entice consumers. From innovative coffees and teas to interesting cocktails, juices, and waters, today’s flavor trends offer variety, excitement, and abundant opportunities for incremental sales.
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¹ Mintel Dining Out 2016 Report, January 2016
² Food IQ Flavor Forecast: Beverage Trends Worth Exploring, June 2016
³ Food IQ May 2016, Mintel Menu Insights Q1 2016
⁴ Field Agent Flavor Curve Theme Study, May 9, 2016