The Latest Trends in 2019

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Sustainability, digital disruption, transparency and wellness are four macro trends that continue to dominate innovation in food and drink today. Consumers want to optimise personal health, both physically and mentally as well as act on environmental concerns in their increasingly busy lifestyles. We uncover how these macro trends will be influencing flavours and processes in the beverage category and look at some of the trends that are here to stay.

Digital Disrupters

Innovation in technology and digital dependency is making it even easier for consumers to order food and beverages, wherever they may be. The customer journey is being simplified as well as the delivery process from robots to drone deliveries. From food ordering apps to voice controlled devices, it has never been easier to order a takeaway at the touch of a button or by calling “Alexa.”

Technology is changing up consumer drinking and eating habits, providing opportunities at different time-points. From desk-drinking to sleep-enhancing, the time of day has become an important element in new product development marketing, to fit consumer needs and their increasingly busy lifestyles. This trend is only set to expand with more consumption scenarios uncovered and more technology available.

Quick service retail outlets are competing with own brand options, attracting consumers who seek convenience and better value for money, without compromising on taste. “Delivery kitchens” are cutting queues and high coffee-house prices attracting new consumers and improving the customer journey experience. Today consumers can order via a mobile app, where their beverage can be directly picked up via their chosen destination, “delivery-kitchen” or simply it can be delivered straight to their desk.

Alternative Selling Points

As lifestyles become more hectic, fewer consumers are entering the retail space. Instead retailers are taking retail to them. From pop up shops to permanent spaces, retailers are looking to simplify consumer shopping habits, integrating retail opportunities in smart homes to leisure facilities. E-commerce and M-commerce continue to grow too driven by consumer desire for convenience, transparency and personalisation.

The rise in private labels is also growing, competing with major brands in the premium space, where they sit as a suitable alternative to premium labels. This is very much apparent in health and wellness products where these products are more likely to display the location of manufacture, appealing to consumers who want transparency in the products they buy. As reported by Nielsen, a global average of 67% consumers believe private label products are usually extremely good value for money.

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Botanical Mixes

With the shift towards clean label, herb, spice and floral ingredients are being used more inventively in beverages as holistic health merges into a mainstream health trend. These ingredients are particularly apparent in non-alcoholic beverage sector adding sophistication and complexity to a range of beverages such as distilled non-alcoholic spirits and tea-based beverages.

Health and sugar reduction have sparked growth in this area, as consumers view ingredients more for their medicinal purposes, seeking products that will resolve issues such as fatigue with energy-boosting drinks containing maca or drinks to relive stress with calming ingredients such as chamomile and lavender.

Personalised Nutrition

Diets were once considered to have a goal post, now they have become much more of an integral part of consumer lifestyles. Consumers are becoming more conscious and aware of the impacts on our health, choosing restrictive regimes to improve their quality of life.

The high-fat low carb, keto diet has gained a lot of attention in recent years, receiving a 96% positive impact on social media posts according to Fona Insights. This diet encourages consumers to calculate their macronutrient intake of carbohydrates, protein and fat. As a result, consumers have to frequently check labels opting for lower carbohydrate options including diet sodas, flavoured waters as well as tea and coffee-based drinks to meet their macronutrient goals. Fona Insights says, products releases mentioning keto increased 680% between 2017 and 2018, which shows the popularity of the trend.

Personalised solutions designed to consumer’s individual needs, whether it is mood balancing, calming, energy boosting, immunity support or sleep enhancers are becoming popular. Probiotic-rich and vitamin-enhanced are a couple of claims which are seen across an array of innovative beverages with ingredients such as activated charcoal, collagen and adaptogenic mushrooms formulated in line with the health and wellness trend.

The emergence of cross-category beverages is appealing to those consumers who seek functionality. For example, combining tea and gin is one example of hybridisation across categories. The recognisability of familiar ingredients but in unusual applications appeals to the adventurous of consumer who are keen to take one step outside their comfort zone.
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