Claire Phoenix is FoodBev Media managing editor – magazines. This is a personal blog and views expressed are her own.
This year has been revelationary in the beverage calendar with the launch of stevia blends in mainstream drinks and new functional launches offering health benefits in the most convenient format possible.
Here’s my top 20 – do let me know if you have any for a New Year’s list – I just love trend sharing!
Drinks offering lower calories thanks to sweetening bends using the natural plant based sweetener Stevia.
Such as Del Monte Naturally Light with 50 per cent less sugar and the three colas introduced this year: Coca-Cola Life, Pepsi True, RC Cola Neo.
Premium packaged water – some in easily recycled packaging such as Green Sheep in alubottles, Perrier Water in cans, SmartWater with added electrolytes and Koa Organic Water – with greater awareness of the PET recycling stream creating bottle to bottle rPET. Good for the soul.
Juicy waters: Combining water with great natural flavour and juice without the calorie load. Take ethical One juiced water for instance or the original ‘This is Juicy Water’.
Vitamin waters: For everyone looking for a healthier drink, if the vitamins can be made to taste great you are on to a winner. But this is far easier said than done. Companies such as Wild, Doehler and DSM are all seeing success here.
High Pressure Processing: the big topic on everyone’s lips this year. Giving excellent taste quality – good enough to differentiate apple variants such as Pink Lady and in the ColdPress range – this was a small batch process up til now things are definitely hotting up in this arena – take Plenish and Garden of Flavor – winners in the World Beverage Innovation Awards this year.
Shapely pouches – see the PaperBoat range – with its slogan ‘Drinks and memories’.
Organic – still growing fast. In a backlash against artificial everything, consumers are opting for organic as a quick way to ensure their drink is additive free.
Antioxidant rich – now a term understood by consumers – indicating the levels of polyphenols in the fruits and vegetables used – this is likely to gain traction in 2015.
Home delivery and personalised nutrition: Now you can have a week of meal replacement juice drinks tailored to your health profile delivered to your home. Take The Juice Cleanse for instance.
Better tasting beetroot: we all know the health benefits of beetroot for heart health but now it is less earthy tasting (Baxter’s blends) and available as sports performance shots.
Cranberry and cherry: Look at Pact from Ocean Spray – the cranberry extract with purified water and pomegranate, passion fruit, raspberry and blood orange.
Coconut Water: so many variants now! Look at OMG Coconut,CocoMojo CocoPassion, CocoZIA, VitaCoco (even for kids) – already available with coffee, chocolate and the classic mango and pineapple medley, look out for more unusual blends – raspberry, blood orange and caramel.
Honey is a honey when it comes to trusted food ingredients so expect to see a whole lot more of it in 2015, both as a natural sweetener and as a flavour in itself.
Artichoke – not a vegetable you expect to see in a drink but Arty Artichoke water is said to be good at reducing joint pain and muscle soreness – a winner for both athletes and seniors.
Protein – hard to believe it is this far down the list but it’s not exactly a new trend – however new moves in beverage concept containing combinations of different types of protein such as whey protein, soy protein, pea protein and algae protein are in development now. You can expect to see higher levels of protein such as 20g and 30g per 500ml bottle take a look at Maxi Nutrition Cyclone Milk for instance. High protein yogurt drinks are growing in popularity – look at Powerful Yogurt protein drinks, IBEx, Greek Style yogurt drinks from Glen Oaks Farms, BioGreen Lassi and Lactose free Kefir style drinks such as Lifeway Veggie Kefir.
Grains, nuts and seeds in drinks – and no they not taste gritty or lumpy – thanks to new advances in technology from companies such as Kerry these can be smooth and deliver a maximum punch of protein. Look at Nuwi Quinoa Snack and Yazoo’s new yogurt smoothie with fruit and oats. Slingshot and Milko Hazlenut Shake are two more underlining the move to indulgent but healthy milkshakes and yogurt drinks.
0 per cent alcohol – sophisticated technology is improving radically the taste of beer style fermented malt beverages – and these are increasingly indemand – look at Bavaria, Bionade, Biryt and Tumult to name a few and note the new Superlight beers with just 0.5 per cent alcohol too.
Matcha and green tea – tap into the new trend with a green tea beverage, a chamomile or a Kombucha tea base. The Rebel tea range in resealable cartons is 100% dairy free and includes Chai Mylk and Matcha Green Tea Mylk.
Beauty drinks – expect to see more of these in 2015 such as Bella Berry and DermaGlo already gaining followers.
Relaxation drinks: After a busy year we are all ready to sit back and chill with drinks such as Noa Relaxation, Purelosophy and 2B Relaxed – all in beautiful packaging.
So it’s been a bumper year and 2015 looks no less exciting with energy from all sorts of natural sources an over-riding trend along with a ‘satiety’ of meal replacement drinks.
If you know of more trends we should be shouting about then do contact me at FoodBev Media’s Beverage Innovation magazine and then have a great time celebrating the start of an awesome New Year.
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