In July 2019 our Operations and Systems Director, Elliott Sparks, published a 3 part series on innovation in the beverage industry. We are republishing the series as a part of our catalogue on Medium. Here is part 1of that series.
Food and beverage technologists around the world are constantly working to uncover where the next big innovation may come from. They explore things like ingredient macro trends, societal and cultural influences, packaging and storage designs and so on, in hope that they’ll discover the next disruptive change for the industry.
Let’s take a look at 3 of the latest innovations to recently hit the market…
A demand for functional food and beverage options has emerged in recent years, as consumers seek to gain a wider range of health benefits from what they ingest. The term ‘Functional Beverage’ is given to any drink that contains ingredients that may provide health benefits beyond its traditional nutrients. For example, supporting a healthy gut, clear and hydrated skin or supporting your immune system.
Over the last few years, sugar reduction has been a focus for beverage innovation with many brands seeking to replace or eliminate it completely; but Pervida has taken a different approach. Combining Pomegranate Seed Oil with ABA-Enriched Fig Extract to produce a beverage that successfully converts spikes in blood-sugar into energy for your muscles.
This beverage works to pull excess glucose in your bloodstream into your muscles, with its primary purpose to refuel and repair muscle damage; but, does this innovation also spell the beginnings for an effective, drinkable blood sugar balancing function for diabetics?
Beverage innovation comes in all shapes and sizes and Sainsburys is trying to capitalise on a trend it noticed in recent sales, a 31.8% increase in customers purchasing no or low-alcoholic alternatives in the last 3 months. It’s no secret that alcohol consumption is on the decline, it has been for some years now, but development of non-alcoholic alternative has been slow, with many consumers complaining about the range of readily-available options and the taste quality of those alternatives. The ‘Clean Vic’ aims to change all of that.
Every drink served at the Clean Vic will be either entirely alcohol-free or have a maximum alcohol content of 0.5%. The pub will also serve the UK’s first non-alcoholic dark distillate, Celtic Soul and a range of mocktails made with Seedlip.
In a bid to improve knowledge and acceptance of non-alcoholic alternatives the Clean Vic will also host a series of masterclasses designed to teach visitors how to make non-alcoholic beverages. The classes will explore a variety of flavours and ingredients that consumers might like to include in future beverages.
Although the Clean Vic will only serve as a pop up, open for two days from 24th July in Holborn, London, it’s popularity prompts the question should other beverage brands be taking this trend more seriously?
Staying on the subject of good ‘spirits’, Foxhole Spirits recently launched its new Hyke Gin, a beverage made using discarded grapes collected from Tesco Supermarkets. Exclusively available at Tesco, the innovation forms part of their commitment to halving their food waste by 2030 and was born out of the realisation the supermarket chain loses the equivalent of 1.4 million punnets of grapes every year, from damage sustained during the packaging process.
Foxhole takes the discarded grapes, presses the juice from them, fermenting this into a wine that is then distilled to produce the spirit. The spirit is then blended with carefully selected botanicals inspired by the grape’s Africa and South America origins.
As well as cutting down on food waste by sustainably sourcing ingredients, every bottle is made from 100% recycled material. This clever innovation converts what would otherwise be discarded it into a totally new product for consumers, should other beverage brands be thinking about how they can better source their ingredients?
Innovation is never straight-forward, and these cleverly formed beverages didn’t follow conventional means in order to deliver. Consumers are increasingly looking for beverages that can offer them more than just a tasty drink.
This is the first article in our Beverage Innovation series, if you have any suggestions for trends you’d like me to investigate, leave your thoughts in the comments below.