Botanic Flavors Take Over Soft Drinks

Many consumers have a love-hate relationship with sodas. The carbonated drinks are refreshing and sweet, but the nutritional value and high-sugar content provide reasons to avoid them. Brands are listening to a more health-conscious population and making adjustments to the benefit of all. Botanic flavors, natural sweeteners, and added nutritional value are all points of sale manufacturers are using to better position their products for health-conscious consumers.


Sugar Content


Sugar content remains a concern for consumers, and companies are taking various paths to reformulate sodas to meet the growing need to reduce processed sugar. Artificial sweeteners aren’t the answer since many consumers want clean and natural ingredients. Replacing processed sugars with natural sugars such as honey or cane sugar may offset some guilt, but the quantity of sugar remains essential. Denmark recently introduced a beverage sweetened with white grape juice, and it is free from added sugar.


Consumers are proactively reviewing labels before they purchase, and when the information is clear and transparent with legitimate advantages, they are more likely to buy. A soda described as sweetened with natural cane sugar and natural flavors build trust.


One brand is advertising an all-natural soda lightly sweetened with honey and flavored with lemon and rosemary. Enhancing a beverage with agave provides another alternative to processed sugars, as is using a superfood such as maple sugar, which has vitamins, minerals, and 54 antioxidants in it.


Making Sodas Better-for-You


Healthy consumers may happily reach for beverages labeled with ingredients rich in nutritional value, and drinks that include vitamins and carotenoids. One company introduced a ginger-lemon tonic containing juice, prebiotics, botanicals, and plant fiber. Improving digestive health makes the beverage enticing to the better-for-you crowd.


Botanical ingredients will help position carbonated sodas as a permissible indulgence. Sweetening a carbonated drink with lemon, limes, and apple juice will interest those consumers focused on a plant-based diet. The UK introduced a tonic noted to revive and refresh made with seven plants, including mushroom, Gotu kola, and rosemary.


Alcohol Alternatives


Brands can borrow from other in-demand beverage categories as young adults abstain from alcohol at twice the amount of older generations. One brewery is tapping into alcohol moderation with plant-inspired alcohol-free beer. Its IPA hoppy flavor is a sparkling alcohol-free refreshment. Another brewery from Europe introduced a beer with lower alcohol content and mixed it with grapefruit juice. It captures the desire for healthier alternatives by using plant-based products.


Consumers will continue to enjoy carbonated sodas, but having beverages that meet the demands of a healthier population will help increase market share for brands that want to stay at the forefront of the CSD market.