Exploring the World of Ready-to-Drink Beverages
What do coffee, tea, flavored water, fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, and cocktails all have in common? They were once available only to people who took the time to brew, process, mix, or otherwise prepare the ingredients themselves, but are now available on supermarket and convenience store shelves ready to drink.
Busy schedules and increased interest in healthy foods and drinks drive consumer demand for these convenient treats. No time to brew coffee? Grab a bottle of flavored iced coffee on your way to work. Don’t fancy juicing large bags of apples and carrots and cleaning up the mess? Any number of bottled fruit and vegetable juice combinations are now available. Smoothies come in bottles, full of delicious ingredients, child-friendly, and ready to drink. Even cocktails can be found premixed and ready to enjoy, from pomegranate martinis and cosmopolitans, to mojitos, bloody Mary’s and more.
Needless to say, the world of ready-to-drink beverages is chock full of flavor possibilities. Fruit juice drinks alone comprise dozens of tempting flavors. Besides the classic single flavors such as apple, orange, and grape, there are also lots of other possibilities for combinations, like blueberry-pomegranate, white grape-pear, and orange-pineapple-banana. Carrot juice is a popular addition to fruit juices because of its naturally sweet taste and the ease with which it blends with so many fruit flavors, such as apple-kiwi or berry blends. Often these beverages can benefit from additional flavor ingredients, such as Natural Ionone to enhance berry flavor or Ethyl Levulinate to give apple flavor a kick.
Coffee drinks are another area in which an incredible array of flavors has shown up. Caramel, vanilla, and chocolate are popular flavors, as well as almond, amaretto, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. For the more adventurous, there are even more specialized flavors such as crème brulee, egg nog, Irish cream, peanut butter, salted caramel, and s’mores. There are lots of ways to achieve exciting new flavors in the coffee world by using Natural Flavor Ingredients such as Choclatone, Ethyl Pyruvate, or Vanillin, to name just a few.
From coffee and tea to fruit juices and smoothies to premixed cocktails, there is an entire world of flavor to explore within the ready-to-drink sector of the beverage market. And with consumers always on the lookout for the next new thing, it’s a great time for flavorists to experiment with different and unique flavors for any of their ready-to-drink offerings.