Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2018

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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Up-and-coming flavors and ingredients. Many combinations vie for shelf space. Producers are innovating by pairing a familiar flavor with a lesser-known option, using juice to cut back on sugar, and finding a superfood ingredient that offers some type of functionality. "Fair Trade cocoa, coconut oil, matcha, turmeric, and alternative sweeteners such as monk fruit, stevia, and coconut sugar are some of the latest healthful ingredients being added to functional RTD coffee and teas," says Katie Strohbeck, executive director of Growth Solutions, KeHE Distributors. At Synergy, turmeric and white tea is "definitely trending up," in the tea category, notes Lantman. She says familiar and popular f lavors like peach, lemon, raspberry, and strawberry are strong but are being paired with herbals like basil to elevate f lavor profiles and give more variety. In the coffee space, especially cold brews, Craig says requests have been coming in for the addition of whey, pea, and rice protein. But f lavorwise, while mocha, vanilla, and hazelnut remain popular, those wanting an edge in the market are adding more specialty f lavors like whiskey, oak, f lorals, and cardamom. What's Next? More varietal teas, bottled turmeric lattes possibly originating from coffee houses dabbling in the RTD space, and more blurring of category lines (think more juiced-up teas and protein-fueled cold brews) are all in store for the RTD coffee and tea category. "Consumers will keep trading up as they seek new variety and products that fit their needs," Lantman notes. Yet, while it might seem more cost effective to purchase a RTD beverage than going to a niche coffee house, some retailers say prices for both tea and coffee could pigeonhole future sales. "Future expansion honestly relies on pricing," says Woodstock 's Bunnell-Jewett. "RTD coffees and teas have expensive ingredients (usually between $4 and $5 for a 16-ounce bottle). If prices could get below $4 it would open up the category to younger generations and older generations who aren't as willing to spend money on a drink." And, with cold brew becoming a quality marker for other applications (it already can be seen morphing into a f lavor profile characterizing everything from chocolate and ice cream to protein bars), Kara Nielsen, vice president, trends and marketing at CCD Innovation, says we could see some dilution within the category. "Consumers might be more concerned with getting their cold brew fix in other places than the RTD aisle, raising the question, 'could too much choice be a bad thing?" she says. Nicole Potenza Denis is a contributing editor to Specialty Food Magazine. category spotlight More varietal teas, blurring of category lines, and functional ingredients await RTD coffees and teas. 88 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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