31 Mar 2021 — Kerry’s foodservice brand, DaVinci Gourmet, has launched a range of beverage concepts for this spring and summer. Research into consumer trends has shown that this year, consumers will seek beverages that deliver flexitarian indulgence, fruity refreshment and teas with a healthy twist.
“As summer heats up, consumers want to cool down with refreshing fruity flavors. More and more consumers are seeking chilled drinks as an alternative to carbonated soft drinks,” Laure Confrey, senior brand manager at Kerry Foodservice, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“Light, refreshing, flavored iced beverages are widely enjoyed in the US and Asian markets. We are seeing these trends gain more traction in Europe,” she adds.
Confrey flags that immunity has become a hot topic and significantly accelerated in the past year.
“We are predicting to see further growth in this area.” For example, one in three consumers is looking for fortified immune-boosting beverages in foodservice sectors, according to Kerry’s research from October 2020.
“From a fortification perspective, the number one priority is immunity. However, other trends will remain strong, including the drive toward healthy alternatives, plant-based offerings and visually appealing beverages,” Confrey explains.
“This is a fast-changing and very dynamic market. We are predicting a further shift toward functional and healthy halo beverages.”
Commenting on whether the naturality trend is here to stay, Confrey says “more than ever,” adding how holistic approaches around sustainable nutrition are paramount to development.
“We see a continued rise in plant-based alternatives and healthy halo beverages. Consumers like to share products on social media, so visually appealing beverages are becoming more popular. Color is now replacing texture as the most important sensory attribute,” she adds.
Time for tea
With the naturality trend continuing to gather pace, Kerry’s insights show that tea remains an important part of menus. Tea-based drinks can provide a link to naturalness and wellness.
Consumers move away from sugary drinks and perceive flavored teas as a good alternative, the taste and nutrition company notes.
This trend can attract new consumers to the tea and coffee category, with consumers seeking concepts that offer novelty and familiarity.
Indulgent, plant-forward beverages
Meanwhile, plant-based preference is on the rise, with the number of consumers seeking oat bases increasing. However, there is a market gap for indulgent plant-based beverages, with more consumers seeking vegan options for milkshakes, hot chocolate and coffee.
Kerry barista George Doran says the new recipes will boost foodservice business this summer.
“The concepts we have created address these concerns, as they are simple to prepare and deliver, and also offer novelty and variety,” he explains.
According to Doran, simplicity of concept will help to deliver affordable luxury for consumers, as they seek permissible indulgence from their beverages. “Consumers also respond to concepts that can be tailored simply to their taste preference, from hot or cold or dairy or plant-based,” he adds.
The recipe range from DaVinci Gourmet is designed to help foodservice outlets grow business this summer by using the latest insights based on consumer preferences.
According to Confrey, the new range of recipes will keep businesses on top of new trends this summer.
“Operators will be focused on driving customer traffic in-store and boosting menu margin this summer,” she concludes.
Earlier this week, FoodIngredientsFirst published a Special Report on Beverage Trends. In time for spring, beverage innovators spotlighted uplifting flavor profiles including the tropical tonalities of watermelon and guanabana. Italian provenance flavors are also in the spotlight, with new premium-positioned offerings inspired by Calabrian lemon, Italian blood orange and Sicilian chinotto essences.
By Elizabeth Green
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