Top Beverage Trends
What are Americans drinking these days and what will be filling our glasses in the year ahead? To find out, The Food Channel, a website dedicated to trend information, conducted a survey in partnership with International Food Futurists, Mintel International and CultureWaves. Here are the top 10 beverage trends they identified.
- D.I.Y. Flavor. From fruity syrups served on the side to culinary cocktails infused with cucumber, watermelon or basil, to a simple wedge of lemon or lime for water, customizing beverages is hot.
- Beverages for kids is an active category, with options expanding beyond milk, juice and soda
- Consumption of iced coffee has skyrocketed. Restaurants have seen a 20% gain in the last five years, fueled in part by quality upgrades
- Enhanced and flavored waters continue to push health benefits and boast vitamin additions, even making claims for anti-aging, bone health and cardiovascular health
- Mirroring the farm-to-table trend on the food side, seasonal farm-to-glass beverages are in the forefront. A recently published book calls this “Market Fresh Mixology.” Seasonal beers and beer cocktails are concurrent trends.
- In the realm of fast food, fountain drinks still reign supreme, but specialty beverages like strawberry lemonade and mango slushies are fizzing their way onto soft drink lists
- Craft beers are buzzing. Overall beer sales may be flat, but craft beers are seeing double digit increases
- The retro revival of classic cocktails has attributed to a boom in bourbon
- Beverages are seeing more starring roles on restaurant menus
- Thin is in. Skinny cocktails, spa-tinis and reformulated sugar substitutes for diet drinks are helping thirsty consumers keep calories in check.
Source: The Food Channel Top Ten Beverage Trends 2011