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The Beverage Category: What’s New?

As a food and beverage consultancy, at FIS we keep up to date with the latest F&B trends in the UK and beyond to inform and ignite our innovation and to ensure that we stay current.  

US innovation is generally considered to be around 2 to 3 years ahead of that in the UK, which can provide valuable insight into trend that are set to hit UK markets in the future. Although not everything that hypes in the US is guaranteed to succeed in the UK, looking at our neighbours across the pond can prove useful in making forward-thinking choices.

We have taken a look at the current beverage market in the UK and beyond and come up with a few of the trends in circulation that are worth watching:

‘Hard’ Seltzer

Hard seltzer proved to be a lucrative drinks category in the US where is spread dramatically as brands competed with bestseller, White Claw. The drink, known as hard seltzer, spiked seltzer or hard sparkling alcohol water is a type of highball drink containing carbonated water, alcohol, and often fruit flavouring. In the US the alcohol is usually made by fermenting cane sugar; sometimes malted barley is used. With beer sales flat in the UK, many beer companies are immersed in new product development and moving into other categories, hard seltzer being one of them. Budweiser and Barefoot Wines are amongst the brands currently exploring this category.

Low and No

Tesco has recently hailed its ‘biggest ever dry January’ with a boost in low and no alcohol sales. The low and no trend is not entirely new to the UK; consumer interest in these products has been gaining pace over the past few years, especially as part of the larger health and wellness movement. While this market is seeing increased investment and consolidation, it has not quite hit widespread adoption yet with low and no-alcohol beer accounting for just 2% of the total beer market. However, this is currently the fastest growing segment in the UK, and product innovation is propelling interest. The real potential lies with on-premise drinking. Food service operators should look to expand their low and no ranges and menus once doors re-open.

Flavoured Gins

The gin craze shows no sign of stopping. Across the world, the alcohol industry has experienced a ‘ginnaissance,’ with a significant increase in gin sales over the last few years. The industry continues to grow too. In fact, it is believed that gin sales will increase by 37% by 2021. Like with every growing industry, the landscape of gin is always evolving, with new trends emerging every year. While we saw an influence of gins from faraway lands last year Unusual flavours are set to become even more popular over the next year or two. From parma violet to Christmas pudding flavours, keep your eyes out for new and uncommon gins. While some might be a little gimmicky, we’re sure that there will be plenty of hidden gems.

Hydrate +

As the world grapples with a global pandemic, consumers are increasingly looking for ways to manage their health and wellness. Beverages that offer immunity, cognitive, and mood-boosting benefits will therefore prove significant. Those delivering on taste, hydration as well as functional health benefits can be expected to success. Expect fragrant flavours like hibiscus, elderflower and orange blossom to be combined with other berry, botanical and citrus elements to emphasize functional ingredient blends in naturally positioned teas, enhanced waters, flavoured kombucha and more.

Are you struggling to prioritise through the maze of latest beverage trends? Unsure which trends to capitalise on? FIS could provide external insight and expertise to your beverage business.

Find out more about our services in beverage consultancy here:

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