Wild identifies key three beverage trends

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Glycaemic index, Glycemic index, Nutrition

The growth rate for beverages following trends towards healthy,
natural and single portion drinks is set to continue, claims Wild.

The German firm said that market share for new beverage developments has grown to 13.2 per cent in Europe, and looks set to continue.

Furthermore, the trends driving the non-alcoholic drinks sector are, specifically, healthy nutrition, naturalness and single portions.

"The use of juices from superfruits like pomegranate, mangosteen, cranberry and bilberry and their naturally high content of antioxidants fit in very well with the concept of healthy nutrition,"​ said Fabiana Matucci, senior vice president of the German firm's strategic business unit for beverages, who outlined future beverage opportunities to mark the company's 75th anniversary.

"In addition, consumer desire for natural products has pushed the industry to use natural ingredients, including natural flavours and colours."

Finally, Matucci said that the trend towards small packaging units started years ago within the dairy industry and is now conquering the beverage industry.

"One-shot natural fruit drinks are the ideal healthy drink between meals for the young modern consumer at home or on the go,"​ she said.

Following on from these three key trends are number of identifiable sub-trends. One of these is the established move towards low sugar concepts and fruit sweeteners.

"Product developers will be required to look even more closely at the issue of sweetening drinks in the future, as European governments are actively concerned with the topic of healthy nutrition and corresponding laws containing restrictions for trade and industry,"​ said Matucci.

Fruit sweeteners such as in Fruit Up developed by Wild and a low glycaemic sugar developed by New Zealand firm Horizon Science are designed to help in the development of low glycaemic index beverages. Wild claims that Fruit Up guarantees a GI of 34 for a beverage.

Some analysts believe that the growing popularity of the Glycaemic Index (GI) diet has also boosted demand in other food sectors, such as for oat-based products, which have a naturally low GI.

The interest in the GI of foods and the digestibility of carbohydrates has increased considerably in recent years. A number of studies suggest that a low GI and slowly digestible carbohydrates can contribute to the prevention of obesity and diabetes.

The glycaemic index measures how quickly certain foods release carbohydrates into the body, which then raise consumers' blood glucose levels. High GI foods cause blood sugar levels to rise more rapidly.

In addition, Dr Erik T Donhowe, vice president of Wild Flavours beverage & flavour business unit in the US, recently identified five trends as the key growth engines in the USA.

These were health & wellness concepts, organic products, healthy kids concepts, energy drinks as well as alcoholic beverages that have a healthy appeal by including fruit juices.

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