Atthe start of each year we enjoy looking ahead and predicting what we feel willmake an impact in food and drink over the forthcoming 12 months, not just herein the UK but across the globe. Aiming to inform clients and followers of keytrends and evolving consumer shifts, our insights are based upon a collaborationof research, advancements within our business, findings from industry reports,information from suppliers and worldwide developments. This year’s predictionsinclude the growth of some existing trends as well as emerging new ones.
Providingus all in the industry with varied opportunities to satisfy ever-evolvingconsumer demands, we’d value the opportunity to discuss the potential impactthese trends might have on your business. Continued Passion forNew Taste Experiences Asconsumers we’ve never before had so much choice and been so informed when itcomes to eating and drinking and many of us remain hungry for new, exciting andinspired taste experiences. At the start of 2017 we predicted how consumers wouldchoose ‘experiences’ over ‘things’. Making memorable new drinking and eatingexperiences that provide a different sensation, as well as delivering ampleopportunity for sharing on social media, continues to be increasingly importantand offer moments of enjoyment or escape from our daily routines. This trend willcontinue to manifest itself in many ways from innovative new flavour experiences,to a focus on ingredients and textures in both food and drink, inspired byvarying cultures. FlavourExperimentation in Soft Drinks Modernconsumers are craving innovation throughout all food and beverage categoriesand are willing to experiment with flavours.
According to GlobalData reportedby Frutarom, curiosity is the clear main driver for flavour experimentationwith 62% of global carbonated drinks consumers experimenting with new andunusual food and drink flavours at least occasionally. Coupled with the rising share ofnon-drinkers and mindful-drinkers seeking alternatives to alcohol, specialitysoft drinks are changing an experience from something mediocre to one that’sfresh, innovative and memorable. We’re choosing soft drinks with varied anddistinctive flavours, intense and zesty aromas and moreish, fresh or healthy combinations.Many bars, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets are now presenting a moreinspired soft drink offering as a result of us all being more adventurous withflavour. Alongsidethe boom we’ve seen in adult soft drinks throughout 2017, we’re expecting tosee more sophisticated flavours emerge this year that appeal to a morediscerning palate. Savory, salty and spicy flavours such as chilli, ginger,cinnamon and turmeric appeal to those looking for an exciting taste whilst alsooffering an alternative to those avoiding sugary drinks too. Lemongrass, greentea and guava are seen as exclusive and healthy ingredients.
Whilst traditionalingredients such as orange, lemon, grape, pineapple and peach will still remainpopular, especially when combined with other flavours such as herbs, flowers orberries; again offering a more memorable drinks experience. Alcohol-InspiredFlavours There’salso a trend for alcohol inspired flavours in non-alcoholic drinks too. Oneexample of this is the Seedlip brand, now served worldwide in cocktail bars andluxury hotels, it’s the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit made to “solvethe dilemma of what to drink when you’re not drinking”. Seedlip also offersmany options for mixologists to create exciting cocktails that are novel andexperiential. Caleb Simpson, Managing Director of Simpsons Beverages commented “Withmore and more people choosing to drink less alcohol the adult soft drinksmarket offers so much opportunity for further innovations in 2018, both in flavoursand production methods.” Tonic O’Clock Alongsidethe gin boom of recent years there’s also been a huge rise in tonic water andit now occupies its own niche worldwide.
With a focus on health and manyavoiding sugar and high calories, tonic is also being increasingly drunk alone. According to DrinksInternational in 2015, it was Fever-Tree that “fizzed up the category” doingwell across Europe and in the US. Transparency Market Research predicts the global tonic watermarket to rise from 2017 to 2025 to become worth US$2.45 billion bythe end of 2025 from US$1.
52 billion. And there’s plenty of diverseflavours to cater to different palates and further drive demand. In theNetherlands, South Feel Ginger Cardamom Premium Tonic Water is a popular choice.Described as a bartender’s favourite in Belgium is Syndrome Velvet PremiumTonic, containing bitter orange, thyme and natural quinine. Whilst here in theUK the Peter Spanton Tonic range uses flavours such as lemongrass, cardamom andeven chocolate. At Simpsons we can create bespoke tonic ranges for clients aswell as supplying our own brand of quintessentially British range of boutiqueFlair Tonics.
Exciting Textures inFood and Drink InMintel’s latest Food & Drinks Trends Report, they state “In 2018, thesound, feel and satisfaction that texture provides will become more importantto companies and consumers alike.” Detailing that texture is “the latest tool”in alluring the senses, following on from colour, it will showcase food anddrinks that “are perceived as fresh, functional, filling or simply fun.”Concepts include the pulp or chunks of fruits and vegetables in juices, “chewybeverages” and foods with extra layers offering an additional crispy crunch.Mintel’s report details consumers will buy into the trend as “Asia is a model for the potential of unexpectedapplications of texture in food and drink becausethe region hosts a range ofbeverages with pulp, tapioca pearls, and extra carbonation along with food thatalso boasts innovative textures that might be unheard of in other parts of theworld.” We’ll be looking out for unexpected textures and combinations oftextures in food and drinks designed to delight and excite.
The Power of Plants TheDrinks Business predict 2018 will be the year “when veggie and vegan cuisinegoes mainstream”. Ditching meat, or eating less of it, was a key food trend in2017 and this will continue into 2018 as we aspire for healthier lifestyles andwe further embrace the nutritional benefits associated with plant based foodsand drinks. According to restaurant consultancy groupBaum & Whiteman in New York, who named “plant-based” the foodtrend of 2018, plant-based foods will become the new organic. Spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans, grains, nutmilks and botanicals are being leveraged for their fresh, pure and traditionalconnections with wellbeing. The rise of the ‘flexitarian’ lifestyle seesconsumers experiment with slight changes to their diets, whether it’s anoccasional meal or drink, or a switch to coconut or almond milk.
It’s becoming more commonplace to see the vegantrademark on drinks including soft drinks, ciders, beers and wines. Premiumisation According to CGA’s Going Premium Report,premiumisation is still evolving with 43% of consumers likely to pay extra toupgrade to a higher quality premium or super-premium drink. And it’s not justthe mature market. They continue to report that 54% of 18-34 year are likely tochoose a high-quality drink. As we continue to seek out new experiences, we seepremiumisation continue across spirits, beers, soft drinks and mixers.
CGA alsoreport on the rise of ‘super-premium’ spirits as more small-batch and artisan brandsemerge across gin, vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila and more. Itsclear we increasingly care about what ingredients are in our drinks and seekfresh new natural, authentic and diverse experiences from both our foods anddrinks. Using the world’s finest ingredients, at Simpsons Beverages we can helpyou to create unique, bespoke drinks from inception to delivery. We can assistyour entire project to your design and budget requirements. Whatever your idea for a new drink may be,we’re here to help. Get in touch to discuss your requirements today.