The latest trends on beverages for manufacturers (2018)

14 May 2018


Consumers today expect more from beverages than just to quench their thirst. Ideally, soft drinks, smoothies and the like offer new drinking experiences and bursts of flavour – while suiting people’s individual lifestyles. Therefore, manufacturers need to think of innovations that satisfy consumers’ thirst for variety. The GNT Group, producer of EXBERRY® Colouring Foods and leading global provider of truly natural colour solutions, has compiled five ways for food and beverage companies to meet this challenge. At drinktec, held in Munich from 11-15 September 2017, GNT’s experts will be on-site at booth B1.512 to give further insights and advice on the following and many more trends.

#1: Offer multi-sensory experiences

Consumers’ growing wish for surprising creations is especially high in the adult soft drinks sector. Alternatives to alcoholic beverages should serve a sophisticated taste and go beyond the typical sweet and fizzy lemonades. This can be done by creating multi-sensory experiences. Since our brain connects certain flavours with certain colours, each flavour usually comes in a designated colour range. Breaking this pattern by mixing up colour and flavour will get customers’ attention.

#2: Rely on plant power

The current high demand for naturalness holds great opportunities for the beverage industry. Plants offer exciting new flavours, for example when mixing fruit based drinks with herbs, grains or even algae. They can replace industrial sweeteners or flavourings, supporting current sugar reduction and clean label trends. And, with colours made from fruits, vegetables and edible plants, manufacturers can replace artificial colours while maintaining a great colour variety in their portfolio.

#3: DIY-sets for creative beverages

People find pleasure in preparing food themselves again – mixing smoothies and pressing juices is only the beginning. DIY-sets with base mixes and matching recipes for cocktails or lemonades are highly popular as they enable consumers to be their own barkeepers. Key elements are powder bases in various colours that make it particularly easy to create customized drinks. With special micronised powders, producers can guarantee homogenous colours for any powder mix.

#4: Deliver the extra benefit

People are constantly striving for self-improvement – mentally and physically. Beverages can contribute to this with dietary supplements in waters, juices or sports drinks: added superfoods like chia or hemp seeds provide extra fibre and guarana or other plant based caffeine substitutes are perfect for the occasional energy boost. A perfectly adjusted colour concept can support the beneficial impression.

#5: Discover the new in the old

Consumers are very loyal to brands or products they know and trust. Plus, familiar things simply evoke positive feelings. But in order to stay competitive, manufacturers need new creations. Mixing well-known drinks of popular brands leverages new aspects in old favours. Launching special flavours or adding new colours also brings a fresh breeze to the supermarket shelves and is likely to attract new customers while pleasing the old ones.