Sweets & Snacks Expo

Confectionery brands are blending pink lemonade into the latest launches

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty/Henrik Sorensen
Source: Getty/Henrik Sorensen

Related tags Confectionery Flavors

As consumers seek layered flavors that enhance their snacking experience, the sweet and tart notes of pink lemonade served as a popular confectionery trend during the Sweets & Snacks Expo.

According to historians​, the growth of the ice trade propelled the development of refreshing beverages across the US during the 19th​ century. Some believe that pink lemonade’s origins were rooted in the circus, either from Henry E. Allott of Chicago who accidentally dropped red-colored cinnamon candies into lemonade or Pete Conklin who ran out of water for his lemonade batch and turned to the dirty tub of water used to wring out performers’ pink tights to subsequently dye the beverage its signature pink color.

While the origins of pink lemonade remain hazy at best, its presence in food and beverage has grown  – with social conversations around the flavor growing 34.72% over the last year according to Tastewise data​. While SPINS refers to familiar flavors in new formats as "confectionery adulting.​"

At its most basic level, lemonade is made with sugar, water and lemons. Grenadine, strawberry or raspberry juice are typically added to make pink lemonade. This year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo showcased how brands highlighted the sweetly sour combination into new and existing products.

Leveraging the sweet, tart flavor of pink lemonade into new formats, textures

KIT_KAT®_Pink_Lemonade-optimized (1)
Source: Hershey

Hershey's KitKat is known for being a versatile flavor carrier. The company has offered a wide range of limited-edition flavors in the past, from classic desserts like pumpkin pie to global options like churro. The limited edition launch of the wafer snack in Pink Lemonade is a white crème balanced with notes of strawberry and lemon tart, which will hit shelves in June, Momin Bhatti, associate manager of communications for Hershey, told FoodNavigator-USA.

“We saw that pink lemonade as a flavor … [is] a favorite [among] young fans. And it is well known in sweets, but KitKat is bringing it into the chocolate space now,” he said.

As a permanent addition, the company tapped into the world’s most popular flavor – vanilla – to introduce an indulgent KitKat Vanilla flavored with white crème, which will be available nationwide in standard and king size bars in November.

Image_(43)-optimized (1)
Source: D. Ataman

As the cultural revival of Barbie swept over food and beverage launches, Smart Sweets partnered with Mattel for a Barbie-inspired Pink Lemonade Dream gummy.

The roller-skate shaped candies pay homage to one of Barbie’s signature sporty outfits and the pink lemonade flavor harkens a nostalgic feeling for consumers familiar with the toy’s poppy pink color palette.

The plant-based gummy contains 3 grams of sugar per serving and features a revamped formula. By removing allulose and adding more isomalto-oligosaccharide, the company was able to improve the taste, texture and color of the gummies, Katrina Hahn, the company’s co-CEO told FoodNavigator-USA.

For Bobo’s Stuff’d Oat Bites line, the company launched its Strawberry Lemonade flavor earlier this month and featured it during the Sweets & Snacks Expo.

Bobo’s leveraged its existing favorites, Strawberry Stuff’d and Lemon Poppyseed, after trying “lots of different flavor combinations,” Henry Hughs, the company’s vice president of marketing, previously​ told FoodNavigator-USA.

 

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