Kerry: Rise in Moderate Alcohol Consumption Presents Opportunities for Adult Soft Drinks

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16 May 2017 --- As consumers across Europe embrace a healthier lifestyle, a growing trend for more moderate alcohol consumption is emerging. Research conducted by Kerry Taste and Nutrition shows that half of consumers are actively reducing their alcohol intake, with 40 per cent of those surveyed stating that their change in habit comes as a result of health concerns. 

Consumers’ evolving attitudes towards health has led to this reduction in alcohol consumption, causing a demand for both low alcohol drinks and adult soft drinks.

Forty per cent of respondents indicated that they are choosing alcohol with lower ABV (Alcohol by Volume). The same number of people would like to see an increase in the number of lower alcohol options available. However, 3 in 10 respondents equate lower alcohol drinks with poorer taste. This is particularly noteworthy as the most important attribute for consumers when choosing alcoholic products is taste. 

The new health-conscious consumer prefers to see all nutritional information on pack, as many make their beverage choices based on this data. Calorie content influences over 30 per cent of a consumer’s choice of drink, yet 7 out of 10 consumers don’t understand that lower ABV also means lower calories. Kerry’s research has also shown that there is a demand for natural ingredients and botanicals; 1 in 2 consumers would like to see more alcoholic drinks with natural ingredients and are willing to pay more for them, while 4 in 10 consumers indicated that they were interested in botanicals. 

Commenting on the rise in moderate alcohol consumption and subsequent opportunities, Leigh-Anne Vaughan, Kerry’s Marketing Director said: “With the emergence of a much more health-conscious consumer a trend of moderate alcohol Click to Enlargeconsumption has developed right across Europe. This change in habits has created an opportunity for both low alcohol drinks and adult soft drinks. While the demand for these type of drinks has increased in recent years, traditionally there has been a perception that low or no alcohol drinks have poorer taste. As market leaders in brewing ingredients and taste solutions, Kerry has created solutions for the alcohol market which meet the needs of the modern health-conscious consumer; low or no ABV, great taste and lower calories through natural ingredients and botanicals.”

Vaughan spoke with FoodIngredientsFirst: “The interest in natural ingredients has stemmed from consumers desire to understand more about the products that they purchase and consume. They seek end-to-end transparency in all aspects of their products from ingredients to production, sourcing to packaging. They are increasingly looking for clean label, traceable, trusted solution and original storied brands.”

“In beverages, we see this natural trend manifest through the use of botanicals. The rise of botanicals as a natural way to flavor drinks is becoming increasingly popular,” she explains. 

Do you think the trend is here to stay? We see a trend of consumers taking a more balanced, realistic and sustainable approach to their overall health and well-being, an approach that focuses on healthy relationships with food and drink, and better relationships with alcohol consumption. This is intrinsically linked to consumers demand for natural formulations, and I expect the use of botanicals across a variety of beverages to become even more prominent in years to come. In fact, the use of botanicals has now moved into a wide range of categories, from ice-cream to confectionary to savory sauces.”

Vaughan adds: “Consumers and manufacturers alike are beginning to realize that botanicals bring more than just flavor. They bring an element of transparency, sophistication and in some cases, functionality. What’s more, the use of botanical flavors allows for a less sweet product offering – these mature flavors do not rely on sugar to drive taste.”

Are you expecting to see a rise in botanicals for soft drinks and alcoholic drinks? “Consumers are increasingly open to new botanical flavors in their products. Beverage manufacturers can maximize this opportunity by using differentiated and unique botanicals to create a point of differentiation for their product. Whether that be a premium adult soft drink, or a sophisticated low ABV alternative – botanicals can provide great tasting, consumer desired beverages,” notes Vaughan. 

“It’s unlikely that botanical flavors will replace mainstream flavors such as citrus and orchard fruits, however they are absolutely set to remain trending for 2017 and beyond. Particularity in Europe where ‘naturalness’ is key to a products success. Key botanical flavors driving growth in beverages include floral flavors, such as rose and hibiscus, and bitter blends, like the traditional Italian Spritz and Vermouth.”

Kerry is one of the world’s leading brewing ingredient and taste solutions providers to the global brewing and spirits industry, combining a long tradition in brewing and distilling with class-leading expertise in flavorings and ingredients. To showcase our expertise Kerry has to meet the needs of the new moderate alcohol drinker Kerry has created four great concepts to share with our customers; Porter House, Lavender & Blueberry Cider, Caiprinhia and Sparkling Orange Aperol Spritz. 

by Elizabeth Green

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