Foodservice outlets innovating in beverages to create value this winter, according to Kerry report

Consumers are craving festive beverages that meet multiple needs, with innovation becoming more important than ever for operators as they try to stand out from the competition, according to an analysis published by Kerry, a world leader in taste and nutrition.

Kerry’s latest research into foodservice beverages shows consumers are seeking traditional Christmas flavours with chocolate, gingerbread, caramel, hazelnut and cinnamon coming out on top this year. Operators are also finding ways to do more with less, focusing on flavours that they can launch across multiple new formats.

Examining over 250 limited time offerings (LTOs) across 13 countries in Europe, the new Art of Taste and Nutrition 2022 festive analysis categorises the top beverage platforms and flavours, while looking at future trends and influences across the world. According to the research, the top three LTO trends are as follows:

  • Added value: Consumers are now being discerning when choosing where and when they purchase out of home, with LTOs being used as a strategy to differentiate and stand out from the competition.
  • Indulgence versus health: Indulgence is crucial during the festive period, but there is a growing trend of healthier ‘better-for-you’ beverages as consumers look for both treat and nutritious options. ​
  • Format innovation: Outlets are innovating and keeping costs down by launching one or two flavours across multiple formats.

Commenting on the new report, Daniel Sjogren, vice president of Europe Foodservice in Kerry, said: “In a rapidly changing market with inflation impacting consumers’ spending power, LTOs need to drive menu exploration based on latest consumer drivers while also being conscious of cost. Therefore, in 2023 we will see more classics with a twist instead of completely new creative solutions dominating LTO programmes.”

The taste and nutrition expert said operators who can offer solutions that balance better nutrition with great tasting beverages will win amongst consumers, as sugar content overtakes fat and salt as a key concern in the foodservice channel across Europe.

“For operators to stand out next year, there is an opportunity to innovate from the core menu by optimising nutrition and lowering sugar. We will also see more work around menu designs to include communication around sustainability efforts, which we know increase consumers’ propensity to purchase. At Kerry, we have a team of beverage experts who work with brand owners to deliver cost effective and sustainable solutions with less sugar, leveraging our leading technology portfolio. All this, delivered through a great tasting drink,” added Mr Sjogren.

The Art of Taste and Nutrition beverage analysis for winter 2022 can be downloaded here.

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