“Tradition with a twist” will lead in festive beverages this winter | Food Ingredients First

47 percent of consumers will be seeking a twist on traditional festive offerings. In response to this, a new range of beverage concepts, which include on-trend and botanical ingredients such as cardamom, cinnamon and rhubarb, designed to boost NPD this winter.

Following the restrictions around COVID-19, consumers are looking forward to going back out and enjoying simple pleasures that they have not experienced in the past few months. “Festive beverages are all about indulgence, and the category is always innovating in this space. Consumers are waiting to see what operators will have for them this year. “For consumers who are warier, the advantage of the beverage category is that they can still get the treats they like in a takeaway version, allowing them to indulge while still feeling at ease.”

During this challenging time for global businesses, latest concepts will keep them on top of new trends and drive sales this winter, the company remarks.

Caramel, vanilla, hazelnut are among the most popular festive beverage flavor profiles from the past three years.Festivity meets tradition
Confrey remarks that festive drinks are always based around traditional flavors, with a “bit of a twist” expected to reinvigorate the classics this year. With the situation around COVID-19, we expect that consumers will look for the comfort of flavors they are familiar with.”

A range of recipes has been designed following an in-depth analysis of consumer trends. Our proprietary research shows that consumers are looking for beverages that fulfill the following criteria:

•    Twist on traditional festive offerings

•    Healthy balance

•    Premium indulgence

With caramel, vanilla and hazelnut forming the leading festive beverage flavor profiles in the last three years, we have created concepts that pair familiar tastes with ingredients that are on the rise. “The result is a range of exciting beverages for both operators and consumers, hence our focus on these core flavors,” Confrey notes. Meanwhile, she adds that “classic flavors with spices and other seasonal flavors such as pumpkin and maple,” are pegged for success.

Moreover, rhubarb and hibiscus were launched as summer flavors this year.

Premiumization at the fore 
With dessert-inspired recipes using richer taste profiles, indulgent toppings and spices that consumers are willing to pay more for.

“Simplicity and versatility are the key drivers at the moment. Every concept we have created consists of three steps – making it easier and quicker to deliver these drinks and minimize waiting times for customers,” says George Doran.

These nine recipes have been developed following an in-depth analysis of consumer taste trends.

“Taking versatility into account, we have zoned into our core range of flavors – caramel, vanilla and hazelnut – which are firm favorites with consumers. We kept these flavor profiles in mind when developing this latest range of concepts,” he notes.

“However, with our research showing that customers are looking for elevated products, we have looked at the use of different spices and flavors. This includes cardamom and turmeric, which have associated health benefits that consumers are also demanding. Plus, we have provided tips on how operators can create premium products through the use of simple additions and toppings. Concepts can become ultra-premium through dessert-inspired and richer taste profiles, with more complex flavor pairings,” Doran explains.

“This winter is going to be all about driving customer traffic in-store and boosting menu margins. However, it’s very challenging for our customers to constantly renew their offering to attract more customers and grow their business. Our nine winter concepts, based on our taste trend research, can help you bring to life the hottest seasonal beverages for your customers,” Confrey affirms.

Sugar loaded?
The high sugar content of festive beverages has hit the headlines in recent years, and its selection of beverages takes this into consideration. DaVinci products are lower in sugar than other syrups on the market. “Our winter drinks menu also includes concepts using its sugar-free syrups, such as the caramel and cardamom latte,” the company notes.

“We were already lower in sugar than our competitors but renovated our top three flavors [caramel, vanilla and hazelnut] in 2019, and we are now 25 percent lower in sugar than our competition,” continues Confrey. “The 2019 renovation will remove 164 tons (over 1.6 million teaspoons) of sugar from the EU market. This work was all done without a compromise on the taste delivery as our syrups’ taste is preferred versus our competitors,” she concludes.

Source: Kerry says “tradition with a twist” will lead in festive beverages this winter