Our market research uncovers the most popular flavours and ingredients to include in beverage LTOs
KerryDigest Fast Facts:
- Limited Time Offers (LTOs) are a growing trend for foodservice operators.
- Beverage LTOs offer brands a chance to test new concepts, create buzz, increase traffic and boost revenue.
- We recently conducted market research on spring LTO beverage trends in the UK and Ireland.
- Our findings show that operators are responding to consumer interest in trying innovative ingredients and healthier alternatives.
- Amongst the on-trend offerings: functional ingredients, floral flavours and dairy alternatives.
KerryDigest Full Scoop:
As the out-of-home beverage market becomes increasingly competitive, LTOs can give foodservice operators a clear point of differentiation. These specialty drinks represent an opportunity to introduce new flavours, elevate the consumer experience and generate new footfall in stores. LTOs also give retailers an opportunity to create new revenue streams, engage with potential customers and generate buzz from the socially connected, always-on consumer.
As we see a growing number of leading chain operators extend their LTO promotional windows to include new seasons and celebrations, spring is an exciting time for beverage innovation. Consumers may be thinking about trying new experiences, maintaining their health resolutions and tasting refreshing summer beverages, which makes for a prime opportunity for brands interested in testing out LTOs.
Get KerryDigest articles delivered to your inbox
Kerry Europe’s foodservice marketing team recently identified some of the most in-demand seasonal beverage trends, including leading flavours and ingredients that can provide inspiration and innovation for a lucrative LTO launch. Dubbed the Art of Taste Beverage, this insight-driven report provides new inspiration for brands focusing on spring beverage launches across the UK and Ireland. On tap for success in the LTO beverage space: functionality, refreshing florals, fresh flavours and veganism are all projected to be popular with consumers.
LTO Beverage Trend: Functional Ingredients
Functionality is an increasingly important purchase motivator for consumers, and this demand is fuelling innovation in beverage. Ingredients such as probiotics and protein are on the rise in drinks, as are fruits, vegetables, herbs and other whole foods. For example, nutritionally dense beverages containing ingredients such as turmeric, blueberry, beet, carrot and kale are progressing through the menu cycle, due in part to the perceived health and wellness benefits of these ingredients.
LTO Beverage Trend: Refreshing Florals
As operators seek alternative means to impart flavour—but not extra sugar—into beverages, botanical flavours are gaining traction. Our market analysis identified innovative taste pairings that combine flavours such as rose, ashwagandha and mucuna with more familiar fruit and vegetable profiles. This trend is growing in niche independent beverage brands as well as at mainstream beverage chains. For beverage LTOs, few things say “spring” quite like fresh flowers.
LTO Beverage Trend: Dairy Alternatives
The trend of consumers self-identifying as vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian continues, and this avoidance of animal products has spurred innovation across free-from dairy platforms. The prevalence of dairy alternatives is giving consumers the variety and choice they crave and is inspiring new beverage concepts, such as last year’s runaway spring LTO hit, the “rainbow latte”. Variations on this drink were offered by shops and chains across the UK and Ireland; the drinks got their colour and flavour from ingredients such as matcha, turmeric and beetroot. In beverage builds, these ingredients add a health halo due to their antioxidant content and perceived healing properties.
LTO Beverage Trend: Fresh Flavours
The consumer thirst for natural flavours continues. Some of the season’s most popular ingredients also offer other attributes, such as rich, colourful hues. Here are five trending tastes.
- Apple: The flavour of an apple is fresh and familiar with a subtle balance of both sweet and sour. Green apple flavours deliver a sharp, refreshing taste while red apple profiles offer deeper complexity and roundness.
- Ginger: This popular herb offers a punchy, revitalising burst of spice. When used in larger quantities, it can also deliver a deep, comforting warmth.
- Banana: Often used to add body and thickness to drinks, particularly smoothies, banana is more than just a beverage builder. It is also notable for its nostalgic flavour, which can add a sense of comfort.
- Beetroot: This root vegetable is usually used for its pungent earthy, natural flavour or its stunning deep red colour. This beverage ingredient is on the rise, especially when paired with sweet fruits.
- Matcha: The appealing green colour is one reason matcha has become increasingly popular on drink menus. But the finely ground tea leaves are also said to be loaded with positive health benefits and a distinctive flavour.
To learn more about our spring LTO beverage research on trends in the UK and Ireland, including the findings mentioned above, download our new report, Art of Taste Beverage. To learn more about new trends ripe for summer menus around all of Europe, download our Seize the Summer recipe book.