"In addition to a clean list of ingredients, consumers are increasingly expecting a little more from their beverages in the form of functional benefits, such as helping them to manage stress," Leslie Lannebere, global marketing manager, function & nutritional ingredients at Givaudan, told FoodNavigator-USA.
According to recent research from Mintel, 39% of adults aged 16-24 would ideally like their diet to improve their mood and help them to relax. As a result, interest in botanicals and adaptogens has skyrocketed, she said.
The number of launches in herbal brewed tea -- which typically features 'calming' botanicals such as elderflower, lavender, and hibiscus -- has grown by 23% CAGR over the last five years, according to Mintel data.
Beverage categories to benefit from botanicals and adaptogens
However, botanicals and adaptogen ingredients are extending well beyond traditional beverage categories such as herbal tea, noted Lannebere.
"Over the last five years, brand manufacturers invested heavily in recipes with botanical and adaptogens to position their traditional soft drinks as functional, further blurring the lines between energy drinks and other soft drinks. Botanical ingredients in soft drinks keep gaining traction in NPDs from new brands but also established market leaders who are starting to invest," Lannebere noted.
"Other categories will benefit from this trend since they convey a healthier image: functional bottled water will continue to grow with smaller actors innovating with superstar ingredients (like turmeric) and targeting new reasons for consumption (i.e. improving skin health, better digestive support, giving an energy boost)."
TurmiPure turmeric extract, a key beverage priority
Taking note of these evolving consumer trends, Givaudan has invested heavily in the botanicals and adaptogen ingredients space with the acquisition of plant extraction and natural ingredients developer, Naturex in September 2018.
"We’re now able to leverage the Naturex portfolio to provide a complete solution that includes natural colors for the perfect visual appeal, botanical ingredients for intuitive and functional benefits, and natural preservatives that guarantee taste and color stability throughout shelf life," said Nathalie Pauleau, global product manager natural color at Givaudan.
One of the core ingredients in the Naturex portfolio is TurmiPure Gold, a bioavailable natural turmeric extract and a key priority for the company. Last month, TurmiPure Gold obtained Self-Affirmed GRAS (generally recognized as safe) designation for use as a food and beverage ingredient.
"Beverages are certainly a key priority for our Turmipure Gold extract," commented Alexis Manfre, global product manager for Turmipure Gold. "Its instant water-dispersibility, micro-granulation and neutral taste make it an ideal ingredient for functional beverage applications. Since only 300 mg is needed for an effective dose, beverage manufacturers can easily incorporate it into their applications, passing along the benefits of an effective dose of curcuminoids to their customers in a format that’s easy to consume."
Interested in learning more about the market of functional beverages and the major consumer trends impacting this space? Tune into FoodNavigator-USA's LIVE, FREE-TO-ATTEND Beverage Trends webinar on Thursday, March 19th.