According to research data from Innova Market Insights, healthy flavours and a growing interest in 'superfruits' will dictate the next round of flavour developments in the soft drink industry.
Herbs and spices, honey and 'new generation superfruits' (with pomegranate leading the way) will be the next big flavour trends in the global beverage market.
Innova Market Insights will present on the latest soft drink trends at its Taste the Trend pavilion at the upcoming IFT Food Expo in Chicago.
From June 2008 to May 2013, pomegranate has accounted for over 40 percent of Innova's tracked beverage launches featuring superfuit flavours, ahead of acai (12.5 percent) and lychee (12 percent), and other emerging flavours such as prickly pear and soursop.
Lu Ann Williams, head of research at Innova Market Insights, said "US launches over the past year including Cactus Juice and Cactus Tea from Nopal and Prickly Pear Cactus Tea from Hunter & Hilsberg, as well as Martinelli’s Prickly Passion Lemonade juice drink, featuring prickly pear puree."
Vegetable flavours are also featuring strongly in juices, smoothies and teas, Williams reports, often in combination with fruit flavours. The number of beverage launches featuring celery rose six-fold in 2012, while those featuring cucumber and beets doubled. Kale also started to feature in the beverages market in 2012.
In the US, beverage companies are also integrating hot and spicy elements in their products, such as black pepper and chillies.
Learn more about upcoming beverage trends by watching this video.