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Beverage Trends

Texture and color to deliver share-worthy experiences.

In 2018, the sound, feel, and satisfaction that texture provides will become more important to companies and consumers alike. Food and drink products have used a variety of ingredients, such as turmeric, matcha, and activated charcoal, to create vibrantly hued drinks, snacks, and  other food that attracts attention, especially on Instagram, Pinterest, and other image-centric media. Colour will continue to be important, but texture is the next facet of formulation that can be leveraged to provide consumers with interactive— and documentation-worthy— experiences.

“Instagrammable” food is becoming more and more vital to millennials, so the time for foods with vibrant colors has arrived. (NovoTaste)


Nutritional Affirmations

The often contradictory advice on what to avoid finds many consumers more interested in what food and drink offers instead of what it lacks. This affirmational approach maintains the importance of formulating with the natural and often nutritional ingredients of fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, herbs, spices, botanicals, and other plant-based ingredients as noted in ‘Power to the Plants,’ one of Mintel’s 2017 Global Food & Drink Trends.



Many consumers more interested in what food and drink offers instead of what it lacks.

When it comes to stress relief, ‘Power to the Plants’ is once again relevant because herbs, spices and botanicals can be leveraged for their traditional connections with relaxation. Chamomile, lavender and lemon balm are the leading herbs and spices used in global food and drink with relaxation properties launched from September 2016-August 2017. Plant-based ingredients also can be consumed as treats unto themselves as shown by the 57% of US fruit consumers who eat fruit to satisfy cravings.


DAIRY WHO? Plant-based milks continue to surge!


According to Dairy and Dairy Alternative Beverage Trends in the U.S., 4th Edition, the market for dairy and dairy alternative beverages will reach a projected $28 billion by 2021. Spurring the segment’s growth will be plant-based dairy alternatives, which are expected to reach 40% of the combined total of dairy and dairy alternative beverages. This figure is up from 25 percent in 2016 when dairy alternative beverages accounted for only $6 billion in retail sales.

The shift away from traditional dairy products such as cow’s milk toward plant-based alternatives revolves around health concerns with a growing number of consumers coming to believe that plant-based foods are healthier than animal-based foods.


Plant-based milks are expected to reach 40% of the combined total of milk beverages

Further, there is a growing consumer base that is motivated by animal welfare concerns, leading them to choose plant-based beverages, as well as other plant-based foods over animal-based products, the market research firm stated.

“Vegetarians and vegans together account for less than 15 percent of all consumers and their numbers do not grow very rapidly, but a growing number of consumers identify themselves as flexitarian or lessitarian, meaning that they’ve cut back on their consumption of animal-based foods and beverages. It is this group that is most responsible for the significant and ongoing shift from dairy milk to plant-based milk,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.

(NovoTaste R&D, CS News)