Functional beverage market on the rise as consumer needs evolve

Copyright: Kerry


Kerry, the Taste and Nutrition company, is predicting a rise in demand for functional beverages with two in three consumers influenced by health and wellness when choosing what to eat or drink.

Global product launches with functional claims grew by 19% between 2014 and 2018 as brands introduced more functional additive ingredients to meet rising consumer demand (Mintel GNPD, 2019). This represents a significant opportunity for brands as consumer demand grows.

Functional beverages were previously associated with sports enthusiasts, but a growing number of lifestyle consumers are also entering the category. These include healthy agers, vegans and vegetarians, and millennial women.

Key functional needs sought by consumers include improved immunity and digestive health, with demand for plant-based products also on the rise.

However, a gap exists between what consumers believe is the functional benefit versus the actual science. Now more than ever, it is important for brands to effectively communicate the advantages of products.

“Healthier food and beverage choices have long been on top of consumer’s mind, but in recent years we have seen a huge increase in interest towards holistic wellbeing. Consumers do not only want to consume beverage products that are lower in sugar, they are actively looking for added health-enhancing ingredients. The Covid-19 pandemic has further increased the importance of this trend,” says Janka Reke – Strategic Marketeer for Beverages with Kerry Europe & Russia.

“We are also seeing that consumers are putting a growing emphasis on purchasing sustainable products. Almost 2 in 3 of European consumers would like to see companies to take a position on sustainability. For quality products, responsible and sustainable sourcing is key,” she adds.

However, beverages manufacturers will have to work hard to meet consumer expectations around taste and texture, as well as delivering the functionality they are demanding.

To address this growing need for brands to stand out in the marketplace, Kerry has launched a new eBook which outlines how manufacturers and brand owners can create functional beverages to appeal to consumers in search of premium products.

The guide contains insights on key trends and details on the powerful ingredients that will create premium functional beverages. It includes:

  • Market and consumer trends driving growth
  • Examples of premium beverage innovation across categories
  • How to address taste and texture challenges
  • Powerful functional ingredients and solutions across protein, immunity and gut health

“Lifestyle consumers are looking for quality, backed ingredients that they can trust. They are also looking for products that are living up to their expectations around taste, texture and flavour,” adds Celia Ridet, Senior Technologist with Kerry.

“A key challenge of creating fortified beverage products is the impact on texture and mouthfeel. Creating a tasty flavour profile and making sure that the off-notes from fortification are balanced out are key for the enjoyment of the product.”

“Kerry’s new eBook contains information on key market drivers and powerful functional ingredients to help you create outstanding functional beverages. It will help you discover new trends and technologies that will help your product stand out in the marketplace.”

Download the eBook here.

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