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Natural flavor and fragrance ingredients company Teawolf is predicting emerging trends in tea, coffee, cocoa, and extracts in 2013, which include bolder niche brands driving innovation in flavors as well as continued demand for healthier, natural products.
“We’ll definitely see bolder niche beverage brands driving innovation in ingredients and flavors," said Greg Robertson, the company's president and founder.
This includes chai and botanical pairings such as hibiscus black tea and lemongrass tea. Plus, the company sees great potential in green coffee, a segment which is rapidly growing.
Teawolf says another trend is that brands are being launched in the natural channel, but with built-in crossover appeal so they can easily make the transition to mass market, mainstream consumer shelves.
The company is also seeing definite growth in the demand for extracts.
"Natural products are growing and extracts are a key component of that trend," Robertson said. "More and more consumers are focusing on what they are putting in their bodies, and in a time when any consumer can google an ingredient from their smart phone to learn what it is. Clean labels are paramount."
Teawolf says consumer migration from carbonated soft drinks into products perceived as healthy has prompted new product development of products that actually are healthy. Deep and strategic research and development, the company says, is prompting the new generation of healthy ingredients that will propel more healthy beverages.
“There’s been resurgence in the popularity of coffee and tea—most likely because they are familiar, comforting beverage flavors that have a healthy halo," said Robertson. “Therefore, you could say this is a direct result of the wellness trend that is clearly gaining momentum in the United States, and consumers will continue to migrate toward cleaner labels and natural products.”