To your health: Lighter beverage enjoyment
In the first of a two-part series on healthy beverage innovation, we look at the rise of urban and adult soft drinks and themes such as sugar reduction.
The beverages arena has always been a fertile ground for product and flavor experimentation. But while the overall market has been stable in growth and new product development (NPD) in recent years, certain segments stand out as health consciousness drives consumer demand for “lighter enjoyment.”
The more traditional carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) juices & and nectars brands have generally seen their market shares decrease, amid a proliferation of flavored waters, energy drinks, and premium adult soft drinks. Various health platforms have surged, including:
In the first of this two-part feature we will speak about sugar reduction and flavor creativity in beverages within the EMEA region. The second part will go into more detail around fortification and addressing needs such as immune health, now even more significant in light of the Covid19 situation.
It all means that product developers can expect a wave of reformulation projects going forward. Stéphanie Pretesacque, Technology Director, Brenntag F&N EMEA stresses that it cannot be a case of one size fits all when it comes to sugar reduction. While sugar replacement solutions are well established nowadays, with various high intensity sweeteners available from both natural and synthetic sources, great formulation strategies are needed to obtain the best profile in the final product.
“Consumers are increasingly demanding around the authentic taste and clean label credentials of the products they are consuming, so you really have to adapt each formulation,” she notes.
Brenntag F&N has the ability to support customers in developing specific sugar-reduced formulations that work in their product. With a complete portfolio of nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners, flavors and taste-masking agents as well as formulated blends, it is uniquely positioned to support customers in the reformulation or development of sugar-reduced products.
“Since we can combine different sweeteners and bulking agents, we can really help customers to achieve the best taste and flavor. That is the advantage of having both a global presence and local teams in every country,” Stéphanie adds.
There is creativity across the EMEA adult soft drinks space. “We have a lot of requests from customers to switch to more exotic flavors, including herbs and spices. Many of these experimental flavors are now coming into the mainstream and are very easily combined with more well-known flavors,” Thomas notes.
He points to the success of a “Strawberry Pepper” flavored water brand in Austria as an example of developing new flavors with an extra surprise kick. Other trending flavors in EMEA right now include hemp, which is trending in NPD, albeit without the presence of active cannabidiol (CBD) compounds. Innova Market Insights highlights jasmine (+84 percent), hibiscus (+45 percent), and rose (+35 percent), as just some of the other fast-growing botanical for health and flavor globally, when looking at 2015-2019 growth in new product launches.
Jerzy Baczewski points to the opening up of a wide variety of different alcohol-related flavors for the non-alcoholic beverages segment as a key trend. While people may have reduced the amount of alcohol they are consuming, they will still be looking for that memorable pina colada, mojito or champagne taste. “There are a lot of mocktails out there and strong creativity. For example, we’ve seen champagne flavored energy drinks and the creation of alcohol-free gins,” he notes.
Get in touch.
Reach out to the Brenntag F&N EMEA development teams today to discuss how they can support you in your next beverage project. The team is interested in creating the new generation of beverages with you.