Five refreshing beverage trends

and how color can help

17 juli 2020

Innovation is at the heart of the modern drinks industry, with adventurous consumers seeking out new and exciting beverage experiences.1 To meet these evolving consumer expectations, manufacturers are seeking to ensure they are keeping track of the most important trends and delivering the types of beverages that consumers want. Many of the biggest beverage trends focus on flavor and wellness, but color should not be overlooked. In fact, research shows that products are judged within just 90 seconds – and up to 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.2 With EXBERRY® by GNT, our experts have spent decades developing successful color concepts for the drinks sector. We’ve picked out a selection of beverage trends that we expect to last – with tips on how Coloring Foods can help.

Sweet solutions

There is growing concern about drinks with excessive sugar in countries all over the world, while 53% of consumers globally are also trying to avoid artificial sweeteners.3 4 As a result, natural sweeteners such as stevia are growing in popularity as shoppers seek out sweet-tasting drinks with clean and clear labels.5 Coloring Foods – made from fruit, vegetables and edible plants – provide the ideal coloring solution, maintaining widespread consumer acceptability. In addition, the color of a beverage can influence perceptions of taste, with pinks, reds and purples in particular associated with enhanced sweetness perception.

Botanical flavors booming

Modern consumers are more willing than ever before to experiment – and botanicals are at the forefront of innovation.6 7 Consumers associate botanicals with freshness and health, with basil, rosemary, hibiscus, lavender and other blossoms among the on-trend flavors.8 Plant-based, clean-label Coloring Foods provide a perfect complement to consumer messaging around botanical beverages while delivering strong visual appeal.

Functional refreshment

With consumers seeking to improve their overall health, demand for functional beverages is on the rise.9 The growing interest in gut health means fermented drinks such as kombucha are proving more popular than ever.10 Kefir also remains in demand among dairy consumers, while vegan-friendly water kefir – featuring colorful fruity twists – is providing a new way for consumers to boost their probiotic intake. Coloring Foods can ensure these beverages look great with the added reassurance of clean-label colors from fruits and vegetables.

The plant-based revolution

Plant-based milk alternatives are mainstream in many parts of the world. Asia Pacific still represents the largest market for milk alternatives, while there has been substantial growth in many Western countries in recent years.11 12 Plant milks accounted for 13% of total retail milk sales in the US in 2018 and around 8% in the UK in 2019.13 14 As a result of their recent surge in popularity, plant milks are now increasingly being used in other beverage types, from vegan lattes and milkshakes to smoothies and protein drinks.15 Color is crucial and as this is a health- and ethics-driven category, it’s particularly important to offer a clean and clear label as well as an appealing appearance. Coloring Foods - which are 100% vegan-friendly – enable manufacturers to tick both boxes, meeting even the most demanding consumer expectations.

Making a splash on Instagram

Generation Z consumers are changing the face of soft drinks, and visual impact is a major factor. According to recent research, three-quarters of 18- to 24-year-olds are willing to pay more for Instagrammable drinks.16 17 Beverages such as lattes, horchata and smoothies colored with blue and greens containing spirulina are proving to be popular for eyecatching social media posts. For inspiration on how Coloring Foods can help achieve dazzling drinks, follow gntgroup on Instagram.

1 Innova Market Insights ‘How to create disruption in the beverage aisle’ (October 2019) 2 CCICOLOR - Institute for Color Research 3 Innova Market Insights ‘New Directions in Carbonated Soft Drinks’ (October 2019) 4 Nielsen ‘Reaching for Real Ingredients: Avoiding the Artificial’ (September 2016) 5 Innova Market Insights ‘How to create disruption in the beverage aisle’ (October 2019) 6 thefoodpeople ‘Categorywatching: Soft drinks’ 7 Innova Market Insights ‘How to create disruption in the beverage aisle’ (October 2019) 8 thefoodpeople ‘Categorywatching: Soft drinks’ 9 Mintel ‘Global Food and Drink Trends 2030’ (November 2019) 10 Nutrition Insight 11 Euromonitor ‘Milk Alternatives in Asia Pacific: Finding Opportunities for Growth’ (February 2020) 12 Euromonitor blog ‘The Unstoppable Rise of Plant-Based Alternatives’ (March 2020) 13 Good Food Institute 2018 14 Mintel 2019 15 thefoodpeople ‘Categorywatching: Soft drinks’ 16 thefoodpeople ‘Categorywatching: Soft drinks’ 17 Franklin & Sons survey 2019

Maartje Hendrickx
Market Development Manager