Due to the wave of reduced soda consumption, the beverage world is taking a turn to the hot, cold and very bold. Suppliers and operators are thinking outside the box in order to satisfy the growing desire of trendy beverage consumers.
Hot & Cold Asian Inspo
There has been a rise in interest for authentic Asian food, which has led to an influx of Asian-style drinks becoming the rage. Drinks like colorful Taiwanese-style Taro milk teas are popular not only because of their exotic visual appeal and Insta-worthy aesthetic, but also because they are perceived as being a healthier option.
For the more adventurous consumer, the Chinese concoction of cheese teas –essentially a whipped milk and cream cheese foam– has quickly become an absolute must-try in East and Southeast Asia.
And due to their anti-inflammatory properties, hot or cold beverages featuring tinges of turmeric, ginger or spices with a pan-Asian origin are what’s happening in mainstream chain cafés and bespoke mom-and-pop locations.
The Milkshake Shakeup
The dessert-style beverage has been a diner favorite for decades. Now, it has taken an over-the-top turn, with twisted flavors and obscene garnishes in the form of what is currently called
; Cereal Super Shakes. Some establishments feature flavors like Trix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. For operators looking to further mix up the classic milkshake, incorporating Philadelphia Cheesecake Batter is another delicious option.
The classic Horchata has also been revamped and brought back at Denny’s as a milkshake, featuring Horchata-flavored ice cream and a cinnamon sugar topping. Ay caramba!
Majestic Shakes is another name for the monstrosities at places like Marble Slab Creamery, featuring peanut butter mashups and cotton candy collaborations.
Alas, where would this decade be without vegan and dairy-free options? These popular better-for-you bevies feature vegan ice cream, almond, cashew and other nut milks, as well as the über-healthy hemp milk. Now that’s a shake up!
Bold & Fruity
It’s not just berries, coconut and mangoes anymore. The rise of other fruits, including pomegranate, passion fruit, blood orange, black cherry, grape and pear are having a moment in the refreshment world. Taking drinks on the go doesn’t mean you miss on these growing flavors, as Crystal Light On-the-Go packets offer up pomegranate, strawberry-kiwi, and passionfruit options. Floral and herbal components are increasingly being used to accent fruity flavors. You may notice notes of basil, lavender, hibiscus, rose and even things like lemongrass in your juicy concoctions.
That’s not all—have a look out for beet, carrot, celery and cucumber in your cup, because it isn’t just herbs and fruits that are taking the stage. Vegetables are providing specialty beverages with a fresh new flavor profile in the seasonal beverage blend trend.
Boasting bolder, spicier flavor profiles, slushies are now infused with spicy red hot cinnamon candies or mixed with sweet-and-sour pickle juice, and creamy mochas are infused with hot Buffalo seasoning.
As consumers become more adventurous with their palettes, the beverage scene will rapidly become a space to watch. With these upcoming refreshment trends from cheese teas to pickle flavored slushies, there’s lots of reasons to celebrate and so many more drinks to raise a glass and toast to.
Technomic Inc., Beverage Consumer Trend Report 2018