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Soft Drink Flavor Profile Trends

Posted: May 12, 2008

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As people around the world become more global in their food tastes and preferences, beverages have had to follow suit. Today’s sophisticated drinker may not want to pair a simple cola with his or her exotic, ethnic cuisine. So CSD manufacturers have begun to experiment with exotic flavors and ingredients to capture this market. Germany recently witnessed the launch of Matonade, a new line of organic malt soft drinks. In exotic flavors ranging from mango-chili to holunder (elderberry)-cranberry to kräuter (herb), the soft drinks clearly target a drinker used to experiencing new tastes.

In Mexico, Coordinación Industrial Mexicana S.A. de C.V. is also experimenting with creative flavors. Its Ameyal Refresco Frutal (Fruit Soft Drink) is a blend of strawberry, kiwi, peach, apple, mandarin and tamarind. This CSD combines more common CSD flavors, such as mandarin, with very uncommon flavors, such as tamarind, for a truly unique taste experience.

Because CSDs are such a well-known format around the globe, manufacturers can play around with fun and unusual flavors. Crazy taste combinations help a soft drink stand out from its myriad competitors. As more and more products go premium, CSD manufacturers have begun to tap into more “sophisticated” flavorings such as coffee, tea and cucumber. In Canada, Left Coast Trading uses hemp in its Hemp-C Big Time Lemon Lime Soda. Designed for use on its own or with alcohol, the soft drink contains hemp oil, guarana, damiana, ginseng extracts and vitamin C for a tangy and refreshing experience.

Though carbonated soft drinks can go premium, they can just as easily go goofy, especially as kids and teens are prominent drinkers around the globe. Coca-Cola turns the flavor of its Mystery Fruits Fanta into a game in Japan by encouraging people to guess its two “mystery flavors.” Drinkers can then enter their guesses on the Fanta website and win original cell phone ring tones.

The Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracks new product launches, trends and innovations internationally. For additional information regarding GNPD, visit or call Mintel International at 1-312-932-0600.