New study by Symrise explores what the ideal refreshing beverage for US Millennials looks like

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock
Photo: Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage

The ideal refreshing drink to Millennial consumers? Lightly sparkling, light-colored, citrusy, and creates a sound when the bottle or can is opened, the study found.

Flavors and fragrance manufacturer Symrise surveyed Millennial consumers to see what ‘refreshment’ means to them. Around 800 surveys were completed online by Millennial consumers in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas.

“Our research team was able to identify the key drivers of refreshment; understand how refreshment applies to key beverage categories; and uncover opportunities to provide greater refreshment,”​ said Emmanuel Laroche, VP of marketing and consumer insights North America. The full report is available upon request from Symrise​.

What makes a beverage refreshing?

The Symrise research team looked at a wide range of beverage types, including beer, cider, flavored alcoholic beverages, flavored waters, juice drinks, RTD tea, sports drinks and carbonated soft drinks to determine which factors of refreshment were most important to millennials.

The study identified physical and ingredient attributes as the two main categories driving consumer perceptions of whether or not a beverage is refreshing. Temperature, liquid texture, carbonation, liquid color and sound constitute a beverage’s physical attributes, while ingredient attributes are driven by fruits, citrus, herbs and botanicals, and spices.

Fruit and citrus ingredients were perceived as healthy and natural, with the ability to enhance the refreshment quality of any drink. Citrus fruits had the strongest link to refreshment, consistently elevating impressions through their ‘fresh and tangy kick.’

While spices, herbs, and botanicals earned high levels of approval in foods, the survey results revealed they were perceived by some to be overpowering in beverages.

Findings related to carbonation suggested that while bubbles may bring a drink to life, too high carbonation levels have a negative impact. Sparkling and effervescent beverages deliver positive impressions, and underscore the drink’s ‘energy’ credentials.

Millennial respondents believe that color is a key visual indicator of refreshment. Light and natural colors are perceived as healthy, preferred over dark which are viewed as unhealthy and ‘artificial’. Positive references to opening bottles or cans and clicking of ice suggest that sound can enhance the sense of refreshment.

Related topics: Beverage, R&D

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