Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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between healthy and tasty drinks and those who seek beverages with added functional ingredients such as botanical extracts for taste and aroma, improved nutritional value, and an uncompromising and enhanced f lavor profile. "A new wave of alcohol-free mixology is definitely bringing in elements from the functional beverage category using herbs, botani- cals, and adaptogens for some natural mood boosting," says Listen Bar's Bandrovschi. While bitters are well established in the world of mixology, ready-to-drink beverages with a similar profile are quickly gaining traction. According to SPINS, a few RTD beverages have the potential to expand bitters' consumer base with their functional and better- for-you ingredient combinations and natural sweetener profiles. Examples include Bitter Love's line of Sparkling Drinking Bitters that bring together a blend of ashwagandha, artichoke, gentian, gin- ger, and artemisia with fruit juice and no added sugar, and Fruitbelt Sparkling Fruit Tonic, a company that sources tart apples and cher- ries regionally and uses organic honey and monk fruit as sweeteners. "Thanks to the popularity of Aperol, the Italian aperitif made of gentian, and other citrusy herbs and roots, and the low-alcohol Aperol Spritz, bitters already have name recognition with plenty of consumers," says Eddie Simeon, co-founder of Hella Cocktail Co., which recently debuted an RTD alcohol-free line of bitters and spar- kling soda to complement its proprietary line of bitters. Drink & Flavor-Worthy Properties To be worthy of a mocktail or something that satisfies social drinking cravings, alcohol-free beverages should offer an elevated experience and be crafted with a certain palate in mind. "A good mocktail or blended beverage should be crafted like and reminiscent of a cocktail without the alcohol," says Kara Nielsen, VP, trends & marketing, CCD Innovation. Nielsen says f lavor notes that are a combination of sour, bitter, and sweet and have fragrant or f loral notes will be winners. According to BevNet's 2019 Flavor and Ingredient Trend report, consumers are more accepting of drinks containing herbs and botanicals especially those with spicy, bitter, and f loral notes. "Juniper, lavender, rose, ginger, elderf lower, and basil are f lavors to watch," Nielsen adds. Drinks that are low in calories and sugar and are functional are also attractive to the alcohol-free crowd. "Brands building off wine grapes like O.Vine non-alcoholic wine essences water that is created from upcycled grape skins and seeds and touts polyphenols, speak to a consumer who feels like they might be missing out on something," Nielsen notes. "Its low-sugar and -calorie content and the fact that it looks good in a wine glass is also appealing," she adds. Kombucha, too, is coming up a winner. "Unlike alcohol that acts as a diuretic and is dehydrating, mocktails and the like can hydrate; those made with probiotic- rich kombucha can promote healthy gut bacteria—what everyone is seeking these days," notes Kylie Gearhart MS, RD-AP, CDN, CNSC, clinical nutrition manager, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. category spotlight TRENDING FLAVOR FAVORITES Aside from global, floral, and herbal flavors and ingredients, vibrant colored concoctions that pop for Instagram appeal, are on the rise in the alcohol-free beverage scene. Flavors include: • Acai • Butterfly Pea Flower, which has a blue hue • Chinese Five Spice • Cucumber • Elderflower • Ginger • Habanero • Hops • Jackfruit • Juniper • Kumquat • Lavender • Lime • Rose • Sage • Shiso • Yuzu Render Weyla Sparkling Drink in Cranberry Ginger Hibiscus 50 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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