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Formulating beverages for optimal nutrition and consumer experience

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Formulating beverages for optimal nutrition while delivering on the consumer experience

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In recent years, the landscape of consumer preferences regarding beverages has undergone a significant transformation.

From seeking products that align with specific nutritional needs to demanding exceptional taste experiences, beverage formulation is a series of complex challenges. Many beverage manufacturers lack internal Research & Development (R&D) teams and rely on external companies for expertise.

Without dedicated resources, manufacturers can struggle to innovate and meet evolving consumer demands. Partnering with specialized firms grants access to technical knowledge, formulation expertise, and industry insights, accelerating product development and ensuring compliance with regulations. Collaboration with external R&D teams enables beverage manufacturers to remain competitive and relevant in the marketplace.

This article delves into the complexities of creating beverages that meet both nutritional standards and consumer expectations, while sharing the insights provided by Jenn Adams, IFPC’s Director of Ingredient Technology & Applications. Adams’s team stands ready to support manufacturers in formulating beverages that meet specific nutrition requirements while providing excellent consumer experiences.

Leveraging its expertise, the team offers guidance on market trends, regulatory compliance, and ingredient functionality. With IFPC's support, manufacturers can create innovative, transparent, and nutritionally balanced beverages that resonate with health-conscious consumers, ensuring long-term success in the marketplace.

Anticipating consumer preferences

Innova's forecast for the ‘Top 10 Trends of 2024’ places ingredients at the forefront, with protein, fiber, omega-3, herbal ingredients, and collagen emerging as the top five.1​ As beverage formulators navigate this landscape, they can strategically incorporate these key elements into their formulations to meet consumer needs. With these ingredients taking center stage, collaboration with a knowledgeable partner proficient in crafting beverages with these components becomes imperative.


Adams emphasizes that many consumer preferences are evolving towards viewing food as medicine. People now seek beverages that not only fulfill their daily nutritional requirements but also address individual health goals and even emotional wellbeing. Adaptogen and botanical ingredients, such as ashwagandha, are gaining traction for their stress-relieving properties, reflecting the broader trend of holistic health.

Beverage formulators can rely on IFPC for expertise and insights to effortlessly incorporate trending ingredients into their product lines. This ensures they appeal to health-conscious consumers seeking functional, nutritious beverages that taste exceptional.

Challenges in formulation

Creating beverages that meet specific nutritional requirements while satisfying consumer expectations poses several challenges. Cost implications arise when incorporating natural ingredients, as they can limit ingredient choices and shelf life. Achieving the delicate balance between stability and health benefits becomes crucial, often requiring compromises in certain areas to meet consumer demands. Adams’s team collaborates closely with beverage formulators to recommend ingredients that enhance taste, texture, and nutritional profiles, while aligning with dietary restrictions and sustainability goals.


“With our deep understanding of market trends and regulatory requirements, we provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the formulation process. By leveraging our extensive experience and resources, we empower beverage manufacturers to create innovative and satisfying products that resonate with consumers and drive brand success,” says Adams.

Importance of transparency

In the dynamic landscape of the beverage industry, transparency reigns supreme. Today's consumers desire to know more about all aspects of their beverages, from the nutritional goodness packed into each bottle to the ethical origins of the ingredients. Regulatory standards act as guardians, ensuring accuracy and fostering consumer trust. Transparent communication forms the cornerstone, empowering consumers with the knowledge to make informed choices.

Clear labeling honors dietary preferences, addresses safety concerns, and enhances overall satisfaction. Beyond mere transactions, transparency builds deep connections. Brands sharing company values can inspire loyalty and create delightful experiences that drive long-term success in the bustling marketplace.


Adams explains, “We recognize the importance of consumer trust in the beverage industry and strive to support beverage formulators in demonstrating transparency throughout their product development process.

“We provide detailed information about the origins, quality, and attributes of our ingredients, empowering formulators to make informed choices that align with their brand values and consumer expectations. Additionally, we offer comprehensive documentation and support to help formulators navigate regulatory requirements and ensure compliance with labeling standards.”

Addressing diverse dietary preferences

In the beverage formulation industry, catering to diverse dietary preferences has become paramount. With an increasing focus on health and wellness, consumers are seeking beverages that not only quench their thirst but also align with their nutritional goals. Formulators are rising to the challenge by integrating ingredients that address specific dietary preferences, such as increased protein, fiber, and reduced sugar content.

By incorporating protein-rich sources like pea protein or whey isolate, beverages can promote muscle support and satiety, appealing to fitness enthusiasts and individuals seeking a more filling option. Fiber-rich ingredients such as chicory root fiber contribute to digestive health and provide a sense of fullness, catering to consumers looking for products that promote gut health and weight management. Furthermore, reducing sugar content by using non-artificial sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit extract allows formulators to create beverages that satisfy sweet cravings without compromising on taste.


“By harnessing the power of these ingredients, beverage formulators can craft innovative products that not only meet dietary preferences but also offer functional benefits, meeting the evolving demands of today's health-conscious consumers,” Adams explains.

The beverage industry is rapidly evolving due to shifting consumer preferences, emerging trends, and technological advancements. Adams emphasizes that beverage formulators face numerous challenges, including meeting nutritional requirements, delivering exceptional taste experiences, navigating regulatory complexities, and managing costs.

However, with the right partnerships, expertise, and commitment to transparency, these challenges can be overcome. IFPC supports beverage makers throughout the formulation process by offering insights, innovative ingredients, and guidance to create beverages that meet consumer demands, inspire trust, and ensure long-term success in the marketplace. As the industry continues to evolve, collaboration and transparency remain essential pillars for driving innovation and meeting the diverse needs of today's discerning consumers.


1.​ Innova Market Insights. Top 10 Trends for 2024.