EUROPE – Strawberry beverages have topped the Art of Taste & Nutrition’ summer beverage market trends survey from Kerry after the European coffee shop market bounced back.

The company’s research into food service beverages shows consumers are seeking flavors that they link with health and nutrition benefits, such as strawberry, lemon, and mango, but are also seeking excitement and a sensory experience through newer formats like Frappuccino and bubble tea.

Surveying over 300 limited-time offerings (LTOs) across 12 regions in Europe, the new Art of Taste and Nutrition 2022 summer analysis categorizes the top beverage platforms and flavors while examining future trends and influences worldwide.

Travel through taste: Moving beyond just a beverage, LTOs can also deliver an experience. Many outlets this year launched beverages with flavors such as mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and coconut to create a tropical island experience for the senses.

Moreover, consumers are looking for comfort and indulgence, and LTOs, particularly decadent blended ice style beverages, tap into this by providing a treat to inject fun and excitement into consumers’ days.

Natural refreshment: Consumers are craving a cool, refreshing beverage, with many now focusing on flavors they consider natural and local to the different European regions, such as lemon and strawberry. 

Strawberry and mango had a strong performance as preferred flavors for summer LTOs in popular iced teas and lemonade platforms, as well as in the addition of real fruit pieces and flavors in coffees.

Additionally, the survey revealed that beverage consumers had the opinion that using seasonal fruits at their freshest adds a premium touch to LTO offerings.

Health and nutrition focus: Consumers are looking to food service outlets for Nutrition-focused LTO ranges that need to deliver great taste and health benefits through fortification and healthy halo ingredients.

Kerry says tapping into the health and wellness trend, citrus flavors not only offer the ultimate refreshment during hotter months but also benefit from their association with healthy, immune-boosting properties.

Using the trend, Kerry is planning to leverage the power of Kerry’s proprietary AI intelligence tool, ‘Kerry Trendspotter’, to uncover emerging summer beverage flavor trends, blood orange and grapefruit are poised to become more mainstream in the future both tapping into the health and wellness trend.

Daniel Sjogren, VP, and general manager for Foodservice in Kerry Europe predict that sustainability along with nutrition will continue to become more important as consumers look for great-tasting beverages that are better for them and the planet in the future.

In turn, the survey highlights that in 2023, it is clear that sustainable nutrition will continue to gain traction with consumers more concerned with both their physical and mental health post-pandemic and the health of the planet.

However, Kerry adds that many operators will find it challenging to deliver on these evolved trends while also not being able to communicate them to their consumers in a meaningful way.

Looking at that outlook, Kerry looks forward to partnering with customers to bring the insights to life and deliver exciting new concepts for summer 2023.

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