Mixologists from the Flavour Genius Community reveal what’s new and emerging in beverage flavours in Asia Pacific and Africa
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KerryDigest Fast Facts:
- Increasingly sophisticated consumer tastes and a competitive beverage market are challenging beverage artists to concoct recipes that are creative, excite the senses and meet health and convenience demands.
- Due to the pandemic, there is growing interest among the beverage community for a digital platform that supports independent and foodservice drink artists in nurturing their talent and honing their craft via professional online training and peer collaboration and in sharing industry insights and process efficiencies.
- To learn more about the coffee, tea and mixology trends gaining relevance within the new virtual Flavour Genius Community, we asked three Flavour Geniuses what they see coming up next for beverages in Asia Pacific and Africa.
KerryDigest Full Scoop:
Just as traditional office work has moved to video, mixologists, baristas and charistas (or, tea artists) who want to create preferred beverages are shifting their work online, creating videos about their craft and sharing ideas with a broad beverage community. To aid this effort, the newly launched online Flavour Genius Community by DaVinci Gourmet taps its network of professionally trained drink makers and beverage artists − also known as Flavour Geniuses – to drive beverage innovation and increase beverage efficiencies within foodservice.
To discover more about the rapidly changing world of mixology, including which flavour trends are on the horizon in Asia Pacific and Africa, and how the industry as a whole is evolving, we asked three Flavour Geniuses with diverse experience in mixology, coffee and tea to weigh in.
Tung Tran Minh, a Flavour Genius based in Vietnam and second runner-up at the 2019 Vietnam Taste Master Championship
Satrya Basiru, a Flavour Genius based in Indonesia and a finalist at the 2013 National Barista competition
Edgar Mahlaba, a Flavour Genius based in Sub-Saharan Africa who has attained City & Guilds Level 2 Barista Skills
KerryDigest: Consumer tastes are regionally diverse. How can brands create beverage concepts that appeal to local markets?
Tung: Consumers today want to try new, novel flavours. Whether you’re a coffee brand or a convenience store, there is potential to build on current offerings, for example introducing tea or coffee powder paired with interesting fruit mixes like lychee rose, apple pear or new cherry.
Edgar: Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It’s about breathing new life into familiar, well-loved flavours and distilling all that in a delicious drink.
Satrya: Consumers in Indonesia enjoy sweet, indulgent beverages. So, mixing rich candy flavours like salted caramel or butterscotch with fruity ones such as strawberry will go down well as an indulgent drink.
KerryDigest: What beverage flavour trends can we look forward to in Asia Pacific and Africa?
Tung: Giving a new twist to local flavours is the way to go: you can pair local black sesame, sweet potato or purple potato with a beverage syrup or sauce. You can also create local herb teas − daisy, mint, ginger, hibiscus or rooibos − with alternative milk bases such as corn milk, soya or almond milk.
Edgar: Comfort in nostalgic flavours, with classic tastes returning in more sophisticated forms. For example, I grew up with ginger and lemon, baobab marula and classic flavours like hazelnut, chocolate and caramel. I see these flavours coming back, paired with berry flavours.
Satrya: Definitely traditional flavours given a modern interpretation: pandan, brown sugar and coconut enlivened with fruity lychee, peach and strawberry, all in a coffee mocktail. Consumers in Indonesia love it!
KerryDigest: How is the world of beverages changing?
Tung: We’re seeing healthier drinks across the spectrum – low sugar, lactose-free, added health benefits − and convenient ready-to-drink options. For example, in Vietnam, there’s a new brand called Star Kombucha, a fermented drink with 100% natural ingredients from tea, SCOBY, natural fruits and herbs.
Edgar: When it comes to healthier drink options, low to non-alcoholic beverages such as hard seltzers are popular. Consumers in Africa are also developing a taste for plant-based beverages such as those derived from oats.
Satrya: About just five years ago, people in this region were mainly drinking instant coffee. Today they have learned that there is so much more to coffee, including the different taste profiles and brewing methods. Consumers are now going for light, fruity Arabica and milk-based coffee using freshly brewed espresso.
KerryDigest What possible flavour combinations or innovations excite you?
Tung: I’d like to see a pairing of gold pear with apple and a great hibiscus tea concentrate.
Edgar: There are so many… among them, marula and orange, rooibos and honey, pineapple and coconut.
Satrya: I’d love something that combines chocolate and chili or chocolate and orange.
KerryDigest: What are some of the ways beverage artists can become more knowledgeable about what they do, and how do you plan to elevate your craft?
Tung: Mixologists must be hungry to learn, ready to share knowledge with one other and participate in competitions to grow their skills and knowledge—that is one key way to get more opportunities. Personally, I want to learn more about ingredients and build my knowledge of food and drinks. Inspiration can come from everywhere, even from pastry-making.
Edgar: There is still confusion over the difference between a bartender and a mixologist. Not many understand that a mixologist focuses on developing creative cocktail ideas and crafting truly unique masterpieces. I hope that once people understand what mixology is, attitudes will change and they will see the value of it as a career. Mixology is an untapped market that needs more support and attention. To help me come up with bold new drinks, I look forward to travelling again to discover different cultures and markets and using that experience to get creative.
Satrya: I’d like to see the community expanding across the globe, with wider exchange of ideas around flavours, trends, challenges and new developments—not just around products, but processes involved in every ingredient used. I want to be more innovative by adapting applications and processes, combining new techniques with the best ingredients and learning from others.While the Flavour Genius Community support network helps members stay connected and exchange creative or craft knowledge, insights and best practices, the Flavour Genius Academy is a learning academy designed to develop trainees’ technical and commercial skills and brand knowledge. Our beverage experts are here to help you create on-trend products. To learn more about DaVinci Gourmet and the Flavour Genius Community, visit the DaVinci Gourmet website or contact us.