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Taste enhancers to give impression of premium for liquor

By Stephen Daniells , 15-Oct-2008

A new range of taste enhancers have been introduced to try to improve the taste of liquor and provide mouth warming sensations that give the impression of a more premium product.

Taste Advantage LLC said its new enhancers are primarily for use in the alcoholic beverage category with the aim of elevating the taste of lower proof alcohol to that of a higher proof alcohol.

The natural and kosher certified ingredients are available globally, said John Buckley, technical manager at Taste Advantage, and they can be applied to high or low proof alcoholic beverages.

The enhancers can elevate the tastes of lower proof alcohol to that of a higher proof alcohol, claims the company. Moreover, the ingredients may also mask fusel oil notes, increase apparent viscosity and add complexity and aging notes, said the company.

Buckley told FoodNavigator-USA.com that the company had already shown the enhancers to a few alcoholic drink manufacturers and the response had been positive.

Brian Byrne of Taste Advantage said that the enhancers were initially created to maintain flavor balance, “which is so important to alcohol brands”.

“This is a simple solution that builds the quality perception of products, increases product satisfaction and in the long run can increase consumer brand loyalty,” said Henry Todd Sr. of Taste Advantage.

“Price-value relationship is especially important in this economy and for consumers to enjoy products that offer premium taste experiences without additional cost is a way for alcoholic beverage manufacturers to remain competitive in the marketplace.”

Premium growth

According to Euromonitor, the US spirits market enjoyed “accelerated volume growth in 2007”.

And premium brands have continued to show growth as consumers trade up for higher quality. According to Euromonitor, “manufacturers are increasingly taking steps to educate consumers on the alcohol production process and the differences in quality, in an effort to make premium priced brands more appealing.”

Consumers in the US view alcohol as an “indulgent pleasure” that they are not willing to give up despite the tight economic environment, according to Mintel.

New research from the firm reveals that despite tighter finances, higher fuel costs and more expensive bar tabs, Americans are not drinking less. Instead, they are increasingly opting to drink at home, it said.

The market researcher places alcohol in the same bracket as chocolate and cigarettes, all of which, it said, “seem relatively recession-proof”. Sales continue to remain strong and steady, following a historic performance from these sectors during times of economic recession, it said.

Mintel’s research reveals that the market for at-home alcohol is expected to reach $77.8bn in 2008, a 32 per cent increase from 2003. Mintel expects both in-home and out-of-home alcohol sales to rise steadily in coming years.

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