Over the past five years, around one in 10 global beer launches have contained fruit flavours, with beer brands primarily imparting fruit flavours by using “from concentrate” juice, fruit flavour extracts and fruit peel, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
The fruit beer trend began to accelerate in Europe around 2012, mainly in the form of radlers/shandies (usually half beer and half fruit juice or lemonade), but also in beer launches with added fruit flavouring. Since then, major brewers such as Heineken, Carlsberg and Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) successfully revived such fruit beer traditions as they sought to offset a decline in mainstream beer sales.
Fruit-flavoured beer launches doubled in North America 2014-17
However, the European fruit beer trend is losing momentum as just 7% of all European beer launches used fruit flavouring in the first half of 2017 versus a peak of 12% in 2014. In contrast, 16% of North American beer launches in the first half of 2017 were fruit flavoured, double the proportion of launches in 2014. Latin America is also seeing the growth of fruit beers, led by Brazil.