Technical

Fresh & Flavourful: Innovative Solutions for Healthier Beverages.

The beverage industry is constantly evolving to meet diverse consumer preferences, including Millennials and Gen Z who are more mindful of alcohol consumption. Companies must focus on introducing new flavours, ingredients, and combinations while maintaining high standards for taste, texture, and shelf-life. Preserving freshness and quality is a critical challenge, with preservatives playing a crucial role in ensuring product safety and shelf life.

The beverage industry is constantly evolving. From the growing popularity of fruit juices and to energy drinks and flavoured waters, the beverage industry continues to evolve, catering to diverse consumer preferences2.

As consumer behaviour is constantly shifting, brands need to be in the loop to avoid losing customers and being overrun by competitors. Nowadays, millennials and Gen Z are drinking alcohol less and more mindfully than previous generations. They’re also much more receptive to new beverage concepts, spurring the development of new niche and hybrid categories3.

Chart 1. Regular cocnsumption of beverages in the United Kingdom 2023, by type and generation8

Prevalent Challenges Encountered in the Beverage Industry.

Consumer preferences can be unpredictable, often swayed by prevailing trends. Currently, health-conscious choices play a significant role in shaping purchasing decisions within the food industry. Nevertheless, consumers are not only prioritizing health but also placing emphasis on the overall sensory experience7.

A trend towards beneficial drinks

Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact of sugar in beverages, leading to a demand for changes in the industry. This includes a preference for low or no-sugar options, a desire for nutrient-rich drinks, and a choice for ‘healthier’ alternatives with reduced sugar, fewer calories, and fewer artificial ingredients4. Additionally, there’s a trend towards using natural colouring agents in drinks. Instead of artificial dyes like yellow5, people are now using natural ingredients like spices. For instance, turmeric is being used to give drinks a natural yellow colour6.

29% of global consumers are willing to pay more for drinks with health/nutritional benefits4.

Source: Finlays Report, 2024

Fostering a growing fascination with a variety of flavours.

Individuals now seek beverages that not only offer healthy but also delectable flavours. Continual exploration of global flavours is ongoing, with an increasing interest in diverse tastes worldwide. According to Trendspotters, consumers are not only embracing new flavours but also seeking deeper cultural connections through food. Beverage companies were focusing on innovation, introducing new flavours, ingredients, and combinations to align with ever-changing consumer preferences2.

This calls for innovative strategies to pinpoint these primary challenges, discover, and implement optimal solutions in product development so that it meets the consumer preferences while maintaining high standards for taste, texture, and shelf-life2.

Preserving freshness and ensuring quality.

One of the most significant challenges the beverage industry faces is maintaining the freshness and quality of products throughout their shelf life. In the beverage industry, the role of preservatives in maintaining the quality, safety, and shelf life of beverages has become a critical component of the industry’s success1,5.

These preservatives aimed to combat spoilage and microbial growth, ensuring that food and beverages could be transported and stored for longer periods. Again, consumer preferences are shifting towards healthier, and are concerned about the potential health risks associated with certain synthetic preservatives, leading to a demand for “clean label”1,5.                           

How Can This Challenge be Tackled?

Hexagon Nutrition, which is headquartered in Mumbai, is committed to delivering creative solutions to the global problem of malnutrition that is prevalent worldwide. A combination of essential micronutrient premixes such as Vitamin A, B-complex Vitamins, Vitamin E, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, and iron is a specially designed premix to fortify your beverages.

From isotonic sports drinks to fizzy water and soft drinks, BENEO’s ingredients offer new ways into nutritionally optimised and highly stable beverages. BENEO’s Palatinose is a smart alternative sugar that is released slowly and in a more balanced way, allowing for lower blood sugar response and related on-pack health claims for blood sugar management. It has a mild, natural sweetness approximately 50% of sucrose, without any aftertaste. It replaces sucrose on a 1:1 scale and can easily be combined with other sweeteners to achieve a unique and tailored sweetness profile.

Collagen Peptides from GELITA® have a typical amino acid and nutritional profile and are free from fat, sugar, cholesterol, purines, and additives (clean nutritional profile). They offer natural, pure, and clean-label opportunities for ingredients to play a key role in good food, healthy living, and technical innovation.

Kerry is constantly innovating in response to market trends, providing inspiring beverage solutions. From a dairy drink, soft drinks, coffee, and tea, Kerry has exceptional capabilities in beverages that can help you develop products that meet consumer needs and deliver exceptional flavour and taste.

Natural Mixed Tocopherol developed at Matrix Life Science is wholly natural and has excellent antioxidant properties. It helps to inhibit oxidation, retain the taste, flavour, and overall quality of the beverages which makes it last longer.

 

Success in a nutshell

Opting for ingredients that offer positive benefits not only elevates the solutions of your products but also meets consumer demands effectively. At DPO International, we collaborate with the world’s leading specialized food ingredient producers, Hexagon Nutrition, Beneo, Gelita, Kerry and Matrix Life Science. Equipped to help you transform these trends into innovative brand concepts, from ideation to the manufacturing stage, providing solutions and support throughout each phase.

References

  1. A. (2023). Preservatives in the Beverage Industry: Balancing Freshness and Safety. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/preservatives-beverage-industry-balancing-freshness-safety-ahsan-aziz/
  2. EHL Insight. (20233). What’s trending in the food and beverage industry in 2024? Retrieved from https://hospitalityinsights.ehl.edu/food-and-beverage-industry-trends
  3. (2023). Global Beverage Trends 2023. Industry Report.
  4. (2024). Finlays Global Beverage Industry Trends Report 2024. Industry Report.
  5. Matrix Life Science. (2023). Global food waste solution Natural Antioxidants – Matrix Life Science. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/global-food-waste-solution-natural-antioxidants-matrix/
  6. (2018). Obstacles Facing the Beverage Industry. Retrieved from https://www.unleashedsoftware.com/blog/obstacles-facing-beverage-industry
  7. Šostar, M., & Ristanović, V. (2023). Assessment of influencing factors on consumer behavior using the AHP model. Sustainability, 15(13), 10341. https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310341