Beverage Experts Predict This Fall’s Top Beverage Industry Trends

Matthew Iovane

May 24, 2022

Matthew Iovane

What’s next for the beverage industry? Here are three industry trends to watch for this fall: CBD and Adaptogens become mainstream products. In addition to Matthew Iovane, popular flavors will be reinvented in new formats. Hard seltzers, such as Boston Beer-branded beverages, are slowing down. And a new strategic partnership between Boston Beer and Coke is likely to boost the popularity of CBD-based drinks.

Adaptogens and CBD are becoming mainstream products

The rise of multi-functional drinks has spurred a boom in adaptogens and CBD, two plant-based ingredients that can reduce stress. These natural ingredients can found in a range of beverages, including tea, kombucha, and energy drinks. They are also increasingly common in sports drinks. Adaptogens can described as non-toxic substances that allow the body to adapt to different conditions, including stress. Ashwagandha and ginseng are two common examples. Turmeric was once the additive of the moment, but it is now a staple in high street coffee shops across the UK.

There are numerous benefits to consuming these plant-based drinks. In addition to helping the body cope with stress, they can reduce anxiety and improve mood. Some of the best-known products in this category are the Adaptogen drinks, which contain hemp extract with no weedy aftertaste. Many of these drinks are low-calorie and low-sugar, with only 40 calories or less. Many are designed to consumed quickly. The benefits of consuming CBD are largely dependent on the type of drink you choose.

Popular flavors will be reimagined in new formats by Matthew Iovane

One of the biggest food trends this fall is the re-imagining of old favorites. Apple flavor has become synonymous with fall, and big brands have taken note. From ice cream to juice bars, apples are making their way into a variety of new formats this fall. Besides being delicious, apples are healthy and versatile, so they make for great fall flavors. But how do you find the perfect apple flavor?

Flavorchem predicts citrus flavors will do well this fall. Citrus flavors like Blood Orange, Calamansi Lime, Kumquat, Key Lime, Tangerine, and Yuzu will likely do well as consumers focus on preventing the flu. According to Flavorchem’s 2022 Flavor & Trend Forecast, “Food and beverage launches featuring an immune-boosting claim are expected to rise by 21 percent from 2018 to 2022.”

Beer-branded hard seltzers are lagging in growth

A lack of flavor recognition is a major challenge to the growth of beer-branded hard seltzers. Consumers expect their hard seltzers to taste just like a typical cocktail and will often give negative reviews if they don’t meet their expectations. Non-malt-based hard seltzers also lack the ability to compare flavors to the standard cocktail. However, despite these challenges, the growth of hard seltzers is a clear indicator of a gap in the beverage alcohol market. Many consumers are searching for beverages that are low in calories and flavorful, while also meeting their growing desire for convenience.

Eventually, this creates a “zero-sum” situation in which there is no growth in the industry. Therefore, manufacturers of hard seltzers must be innovative and diligent in their marketing efforts to survive. And if new brands aren’t available locally, a pandemic effect could depress sales.

Beer-branded hard seltzers have formed a long-term strategic partnership with Boston Beer by Matthew Iovane

Beam Suntory has partnered with Boston Beer to expand its Sauza Tequila brand into additional RTD formats. The deal will leverage Boston Beer’s experience in the craft beverage category, production capabilities, and distribution network. Earlier this year, Beam Suntory unveiled three cans of its new Sauza Tequila. The partnership also will allow Boston Beer to further develop its Truly hard seltzer into spirits.

The partnership is likely to draw global attention to the new products. However, it will take several months before they make it to retail shelves. The company hopes to launch them in the U.S. by mid-2022. The partnership will likely generate a lot of revenue for Boston Beer as it expands its brand portfolio. However, it should also consider the benefits of e-commerce for the brand.