Consumption habits of consumers are constantly evolving. To guess what their taste buds demand, it’s important to stay on top of the trends. Currently, the beverage industry is changing rapidly. People are becoming adventurous with their food and drink preferences and the menu items consistently proving it. Attempting to analyse trends for the beverage industry is a constant challenge, as popular preferences change with the wind.
For instance, there has been an emergence of floral flavours, herbal hues and earthy notes infused into beverages. Which ones are in and which ones are out? Matcha is one of the flavours that’s booming in the beverage industry at the moment. Matcha lattes and teas are donning café menus all over the globe. This is just an example of a current trend in the beverage industry. Let’s take a closer look at what other trends are shaping the drinks we imbibe.
Herbs and spices
Herbs and spices aren’t just for cooking anymore. Namely travellers are requesting delicious, but healthy drinks that can be consumed on the go. Convenience is key, but people aren’t willing to compromise their health anymore when they are on the move. You will see ethnic flavours, an array of seeds, fragrant spices and popularly coined “superfoods” winding up in liquid form.
Smoothies, tropical summer juices and fizzy drinks are increasingly becoming filled with unique flavours including passionfruit, seaweed, and chilli. Health conscious consumers are interested in plant-based beverages.
Interestingly, as all of these flavours become popular, water is holding its own. Many brands are focused on making water attractive and enjoyable to consume. Sparkling water is making a comeback and there are plenty of options for carbonated water and lightly flavoured fizzy water as well.
The drinking experience
While some are looking to purchase these drinks, others are looking for a DIY experience with their beverages. Kombucha tea brewing and craft beer brewing at home are two DIY drinks consistently on the rise. Luckily, for someone who likes the taste but doesn’t have the time, there is a booming space in retail for artisan, hipster drinks such as kombucha, holistic tonics, herbal teas and of course, any flavour of craft beer under the sun.
Changes in brewery sourcing
Consumers are turning to local shops and producers to source their beverages. While big companies remain key players of mass distribution, smaller companies are showing their place in the beverage industry.
For example, the smaller players in the craft beer brewing industry may have an advantage to provide diverse flavours. Their brewery inventory is much smaller. This means they can have smaller batches in their brewery inventory, constantly serving up new beers that were brewed recently. Sometimes craft breweries can’t afford to have a big brewery inventory, but that plays to their advantage. Currently the trend is that people want to try unique, one-of-a-kind drinks all the time. They don’t try one beer and buy a whole case. Rather, they consistently try different beers and seek to give their taste buds a new experience.
It will be interesting to see what drinks evolve to in the coming years. Until then, bottoms up!
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.