Exciting flavor trends are bubbling up to disrupt the beverage industry

As we emerge from a year like no other in our lifetimes, there is a serious and understandable desire to return to “normal.” There’s also a lot of pent-up demand for change, and that’s what Sensient’s Insights Team recently discussed in a Perfumer & Flavorist article about the coming disruptions in the beverage sector.

For instance, consider the grocery store. Before March 2020, consumers often saw shopping as a chore; now they can’t wait to grab a buggy and prowl the aisles. As they do, they are looking for the new and the unusual, so they are eagerly grabbing up flavored mixers, teas, bottled and seltzer waters.  And that doesn’t even touch what’s going on in the alcoholic beverages section.

Smart manufacturers are capitalizing on this heightened interest in grocery stores and other retail outlets. They’re not only introducing new flavors, but also rotating out sugar — which remains a serious negative in consumers’ eyes — in favor of other sweeteners such as sucralose, sucrose, stevia, monk fruit, aspartame, erythritol and xylitol. According to the Insights Team, those are joined by other “novel” functional ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, chemical preservatives and even some botanically forward flavors. Even coffee is getting in on the act, joining alcoholic and other beverages on the innovative-flavors bandwagon and the “better for you” wellness train. 

There’s a lot going on in beverages, and at Sensient Flavors, we’re dedicated to keeping tabs on all of it — and to planning for the next series of tastes, trends and innovations. That’s why we conducted a 10-week study last year to capture the purchase dynamics of more than 1,000 American consumers 18 and older, including their product preferences and patterns.

Several scenarios the study revealed have already started to become more evident in the ensuing months. Learn more about those by enjoying the full article at Perfumer & Flavorist.