What are some of the upcoming trends in the beverage industry for 2024? What should beverage brands and companies – including tea businesses – pay attention to?
Flavorman, a leading custom beverage development company, revealed its annual predictions.
Often accurate with its foresight, Flavorman provides valuable insights into the flavors, ingredients and strategies that will shape the beverage industry in the coming year.
Sweet Heat Fusions in 2024
For 2024, Flavorman predicted a significant surge in the popularity of “sweet heat” fusions, where fruity profiles are artfully blended with spicy twists.
This innovative flavor trend is expected to captivate consumer taste buds throughout the New Year, according to the beverage development company.
Whether it’s a mango habanero pressed juice, a zesty spicy margarita or tea beverage or mocktail, for example, consumers can expect more “sweet heat” fusions in 2024.
Of course, a “sweet heat” tea blend makes sense, or even a “sweet heat” ready-to-drink (RTD) canned tea, boba tea or tea cocktail/mocktail. The possibilities are endless.
Indulgent Flavors and Health-Conscious Formulations in 2024
Additionally, Flavorman noted an increasing demand for indulgent flavors, all while maintaining a focus on health-conscious formulations.
Flavorman pointed out that there will be a growing craving in 2024 for indulgent flavor profiles, such as sugar cookies, brownies, pastries and red velvet, all juxtaposed with a low-cal label. For example, consider how Almost Tea created almost-like-dessert tea blends with U.S. bakers and confectioners.
From formulating enticing functional beverages that cater to sweet cravings with a guilt-free allure to concocting RTD cocktails that won't disrupt one’s caloric balance, 2024 promises to be the year for indulging in self-care with a health-conscious approach, per Flavorman.
A Departure from Artificial Colors and Additives in 2024
In 2024, Flavorman’s beverage architects also anticipate a departure from artificial colors and additives. Specifically, they highlighted the reconsideration of the ingredient “cloud,” an oil emulsion that imparts opacity or haziness to drinks.
Flavorman’s Chief Technical Officer, Kristen Wemer, said, “From a formula standpoint, removing color and cloud is only a positive – they’re not doing anything to stabilize the beverage. Also, since everything these days is going into a can, the way the liquid looks is much less important. Less ingredients – and less cost – is better for everyone involved.”
Net Zero Emissions in the Beverage Industry in 2024
The 2024 trend toward simplicity aligns with the broader shift in the technology sector toward environmental conscientiousness. Flavorman acknowledged major players in the beverage manufacturing sector striving for net-zero emissions and predicts that others in the beverage industry will follow suit.
AI and Beverage Development in 2024
Flavorman also noted the burgeoning role of artificial intelligence (AI) in beverage development, recognizing startups that are leveraging AI to analyze consumer preferences and streamline production processes.
While anticipating the normalization of AI and robotics in the industry, Flavorman emphasized the importance of preserving the “human touch in the craft.”
New Beverage Industry Collaborations, Product Diversification in 2024
In the realm of branding in 2024, Flavorman experts said they envision a landscape where beverage brands venture into new territories through collaborations and product diversification.
Whether it's a non-alcoholic brand (such as tea) forging alliances with an alcohol counterpart or vice versa, or even confectionery companies venturing into the beverage market through strategic collaborations, the Flavorman team said it anticipates a surge in more brand partnerships and market expansions in 2024.
This trend underscores a commitment to innovative strategies aimed at establishing effective market positions, according to Flavorman.
At the forefront of this collaborative branding movement are local craft breweries and coffee/tea shops. Timeless classics – like beer, coffee and tea – are transcending conventional limits, with craft brewers unleashing a cascade of inventive flavored IPAs, ciders, bourbon-barrel ales, stouts and sours.
In this dynamic landscape, coffee/tea shops are seamlessly matching the surge of innovation sip for sip, ushering in a new era of boundary-defying creativity. For example, check out The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's innovative new tea menu that's in a pilot phase.
“Coffee will also continue to expand flavorings and follow-suit of its symbiotic pollinating friends, via botanical and herbal roots,” says Flavorman’s Director of Business Development, Brad Nichols. “Unconventional flavors like rose, pistachio, lavender, and rosemary have made their way into latte[s] and syrup[s].”
Flavorman, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., assists clients of all sizes in bringing custom beverage products to market. From concept to production planning and quality control, Flavorman has played a pivotal role in creating more than 84,000 beverage formulations for diverse brands.
To learn more about Flavorman, visit Flavorman.com.
Plan to Attend or Participate in World Tea Expo, March 18-20, 2024
To learn about other key developments, trends, issues, hot topics and products within the global tea community, plan to attend World Tea Expo, March 18-20, 2024 in Las Vegas, co-located with Bar & Restaurant Expo. Visit WorldTeaExpo.com.
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