Natural Soda Continues to Rise
The natural soda category continues to grow in a big way, and for very good reason. Although sugar content remains an ongoing concern for this category, many are turning to these natural soda products when stocking up on beverages for their home use. And that’s great news for flavorists – natural sodas are a great vehicle for incredible flavor innovation using a wider range of natural ingredients than they might have ever thought imaginable. However, that also means that it is time for flavorists working with natural soda products to start getting really creative.
While there are many different ways to make a natural flavors with ingredients such from our extracts or naturals collections, today’s buyers want a little bit more out of their natural sodas. Novelty and innovative flavors such as cinnamon, lemongrass and paprika when combined with relatively simplistic fruit flavors such as basic cherry, strawberry, or pineapple are meeting the ever-changing palettes of the adventurous consumer. The global brands dominating this category are sparking consumer interest by blurring the lines with other categories creating room for mixers with hints of smoky, spicy, herbal and woody notes.
According to Mintel, 15% of non-soda drinkers in the US would be motivated to drink more soda if it offered natural ingredients. “While carbonated juice blends may not epitomize a health drink, they can appeal to consumers who are seeking refreshing the qualities of bubbles and nutritiousness of fruit, and are avoiding artificial ingredients and sweeteners. Consumer interest in better-for-you products has led to the creation of some truly innovative natural soda flavors. Botanical extracts like juniper, ginger and thyme (to name a few) add authenticity to natural claims. The health benefits associated with these flavors can do much to reduce the guilt associated with soda consumption. Natural sugar alternatives like cane sugar, maple syrup and honey add much appeal to this category.
The call for natural sodas is only expected to increase in the coming years. Consumers are turning away from traditional sodas in droves, and they’re also beginning to realize that even diet sodas come with their own health risks. Natural sodas that utilize natural ingredients – and that may even forego the addition of sugar altogether – are likely to be huge as consumers realize just how great they are for a healthy but fun diet.