A recent beverage trend report from Kerry states that beverages associated with health benefits, sustainability and better nutrition are gaining popularity among foodservice consumers. Kerry’s latest research into food service beverages shows consumers are seeking flavors that they link with health and nutrition benefits, such as strawberry, lemon and mango, but are also seeking excitement and a sensory experience through newer formats like frappuccino and bubble tea.
Examining nearly 400 limited-time offerings (LTOs) across 12 regions in Europe, the new Art of Taste and Nutrition 2022 summer analysis categorizes the top beverage platforms and flavors, while examining future trends and influences worldwide. According to the research, the top three LTO trends are as follows:
- Travel through taste: Moving beyond just a beverage, LTOs can also deliver an experience. Many outlets this year launched beverages with flavors, such as mango, pineapple, passion fruit and coconut, to create a tropical island experience for the senses.
- Natural refreshment: Consumers are craving a cool, refreshing beverage, with many now focusing on flavors they consider natural and local to the different European regions, such as lemon and strawberry.
- Health and nutrition focus: Consumers are looking to food service outlets for healthier options. Nutrition-focused LTO ranges need to deliver great taste and health benefits through fortification and healthy halo ingredients.
According to the report, sustainable nutrition will continue to gain traction with consumers more concerned with both their physical and mental health post-pandemic, as well as the health of the planet. Consumers are also more interested in unique menu items, with food service operators now having to consider not only taste but look, texture and smell to create a complete sensorial experience.
Commenting on the new report, Daniel Sjogren, vice president and general manager for Foodservice in Kerry Europe, said, “With markets in Europe fully re-opened this summer, foodservice operators find themselves once again competing for consumers attention. LTOs have come back with a vengeance and are more popular than ever. We have found that consumers are looking for exciting sensory experiences, with the rise of bubble tea and drinks that are a visual experience and shareable on social media.”
He continued, “Fruit flavors continue to be the core flavor offering for summer LTOs across Europe but with two clear distinctions. Firstly, exotic flavors have become more prominent in consumers' minds as they remind themselves of their favorite holiday destinations. However, consumers are also becoming more conscious of their own health and are seeking out flavors aligned to their personal nutrition needs.”
Sjogren concluded, “Our prediction for the future is that sustainability along with nutrition will continue to become more important as consumers look for great tasting beverages that are better for them and better for the planet. However, many operators find it challenging to deliver on these evolved trends while also being able to communicate them to their consumers in a meaningful way. At Kerry, we look forward to partnering with customers to bring our insights to life and deliver exciting new concepts for summer 2023.”