The days when the beverage industry was dominated by soda, juice, milk, coffee and tea are long gone. While those categories remain strong, the overall beverage market has splintered into many smaller niches. It seems there’s a specific drink to meet almost any micro-need, says Karlene Lukovitz, writing for MediaPost.com.
What’s the next wave? According to a new Culinary Trend Mapping Report she cites from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD), cocktails will continue to experience a resurgence, as interest in artisan liquors and retro drinks remains strong.
Here’s to your health
Exotic drinks with functional properties will help keep momentum alive in the coming years, the CCD predicts. Consumers want cocktails and beverages that both taste good and offer health and wellness benefits. â€˜The same consumers who value local foods, artisan products and traditional food preparation methods are finding those values expressed in the new cocktail movement, with its glorification of pre-Prohibition libations, micro-batch spirits and culinary inspiration,â€™ say the CCD’s analysts.
According to the beverage trends report, 53% of American consumers said that they bought a product specifically for its antioxidant content in 2008. And they’ll be getting more in the years ahead, the CCD forecasts. Today’s beverages with pomegranate and blueberry will soon be overtaken by drinks containing goji berry, mangosteen and aÃƒÂ§ai. Next we’ll be consuming aronia and yumberry for their health benefits.
Sweetness and life
Drinks sweetened by cane sugar will gather momentum, as consumers continue to seek alternatives to high-fructose corn syrup. The CCD also expects to see more stevia-sweetened soft drinks and other beverages made sweeter by the stevia plant in the months and years to come.
As the boomers continue their march into senior citizenship, we can expect to see more drinks claiming to promote longevity, such as coconut waterâ€”which is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and electrolytes.
We’ll drink to that.
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