Kerry’s research reveals the art of balancing indulgence and nutrition in festive beverages

Kerry has introduced its winter 2023 Art of Taste & Nutrition: Festive Edition research report that details key trends in new seasonal beverage flavours and formats across 14 key European markets.

The report provides inspiration for foodservice operators considering their seasonal beverage formulations, and how to get these indulgent offerings just right for the 2024 festive season.

Along with the emerging trends and influences unveiled in the report are approaches to reduce sugar content, improve sustainable nutrition metrics, and innovate cost-effectively. Applied strategically, these insights can provide a winning formula for product innovators that will lead to a 2024 festive beverage line-up that draws in customers and inspires repeat purchases.

The Art of Taste & Nutrition: Festive Edition also shines a light on rising public health pressure to regulate and reduce sugar content in consumer products. In response to a range of ambitious new health mandates, companies are actively considering how to best reformulate without compromising on the indulgent experiences consumers have come to demand in their festive beverages.

Foodservice product developers wanting to fully capitalise on exploding consumer demand for tasty treats will need to concurrently address growing public-health concerns about sugar intake. With the race in full swing already, there is no time to lose.

Art of Taste & Nutrition: Festive Edition delivers perspectives on a number of key trends found in the 2023 festive season, identifying how beverage creators are evolving familiar offerings to give consumers safe options to explore new, more sophisticated flavours.

For something more adventurous, the addition of warming winter spices, such as cardamon and gingerbread, as well as cinnamon, has become much more apparent. And of course, seasonal indulgences remain a fixture, with plenty of flavoured hot chocolates, mochas and frappés appearing on the menu — topped with additional treats.

Despite the usual need for winter warming, an interesting development has been the year-over-year increase of 7% in launches of iced beverages — now accounting for 23% of all festive new-product launches — with hot beverages comprising the balance.

The Benelux and German markets led the way in iced beverages, with 50% and 45%, respectively, of launches in those regions. Cold beverages are quickly becoming a year-round menu item.

Daniel Sjogren, vice president of food service for Kerry Europe, noted the research shows that the shift toward simultaneously enhancing both indulgence and nutrition has influenced menus across Europe this festive season.

“With many foodservice operators still searching for ways to translate these trending recipe advances into their menus, for the time being this trend is being driven predominantly by leading innovators,” Sjogren said.

The VP said the big challenge for foodservice beverage product developers going forward is maintaining appealing, indulgent beverage flavours while also reducing sugar and calorie content.

“This is particularly helpful in reaching the mainly younger consumers who prioritise sustainability as a key purchase driver,” he added. “Kerry’s experts in beverage formulation, flavour and sugar reduction are available to assist foodservice operators as they strive to make their products more sustainable while enhancing taste and quality. Kerry’s unmatched TasteSense Sweet flavour-modulating technology should be of particular interest to any foodservice operator wishing to stay ahead of the curve.”

To download the 2023 Art of Taste & Nutrition: Festive Edition report, please click here.


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