Drink Trends November 2023

November 29, 2023

flavoured beer

November has seen the return of a retro classic and the rise of innovative new flavour combinations for cocktails, as some of the latest drinks industry trends.

And recent industry trade fairs like Anuga and the Speciality & Fine Food Fair have offered both inspiration and platforms to create and showcase such drinks.

Low and mid-strength beers tipped for the top

Low and mid-strength beers have edged closer to the top of brewers’ priorities.

Having already succeeded in establishing the popularity and prevalence of alcohol-free alternatives, producers are turning to low and mid strength options.

Ranging from 2% to 3.8% in strength, refined lagers, sours, pale ales and dark beers suit the drinkers keen to cut down on alcohol, but not cut out altogether.

Radlers

Off the back of this growing drinks industry trend, the retro Radler has made a comeback. The Radler typically sees tap beer topped with lemonade for a sweeter, lighter alternative to a traditional pint. The popularity of fruity beers has helped here too, with brewers now adding citrus, watermelon, or tropical fruit flavours into RTD Radlers.

Fruited or flavoured sour beers are particularly well suited to NoLo recreations. Pastore Brewing has combined multiple trends with its 2.5% Blood Orange Sour, while Yonder Brewing has pulled out all the flavour stops with a 3% Strawberry Shortcake, Vanilla & Biscuit Pastry Sour. Simple citrus sours or tropical flavoured sours also allow drinkers to enjoy a range of flavours without the financial or physical expense of traditional beers.

Changes to alcohol duty rates have also made low and mid-strength beers more appealing to producers – since packaged beers with ABVs above 3.5% were hit with a 10.1% price increase earlier this year.

Blood Orange IPA

The variety of new launches of non-alcoholic beers show that this sub-category is still holding strong too, including Loah’s new Blood Orange IPA and Jump Ship Brewery’s new Chuckleberry Sour.

More young people choose to go teetotal

Given the prevalence and popularity of NoLo offerings, it’s perhaps little surprise that drinking alcohol is falling out of fashion amongst young people.

Charity Drinkaware has released a report sharing how one-in-five young adults are teetotal now, and under 25s are less likely to drink alcohol than any other generation. By comparison, just 13% of over 25s abstain from alcohol. However, those that do drink are more likely to binge drink.

New cocktail flavours to savour

As bars work hard to tempt in revellers, mixologists are taking cues from global cuisines and culinary techniques to create enticing new savoury flavoured cocktails.

While the Bloody Mary and Dirty Martini show savoury ingredients aren’t a completely alien concept in cocktails, the latest experimental offerings really push the boundaries.

salted negroni

Salted, spiced and herb infused creations make this drinks industry trend accessible to all, offering familiar flavours.

Salted cocktails have been elevated far beyond salt-rimmed Margaritas, since salt can balance sweet flavours or add complexity – think salt and chocolate flavoured Negronis, or vermouths infused with pomegranate, orange blossom and salt.

cocktails made with herbs

In the same way, things have moved on from minty Mojitos, with herbs like thyme, sage, bay, dill, fennel and basil all elevating tequilas, rums and gins alike.

And spiced cocktails have evolved from simply adding in ginger or chilli. South Asian spices in particular – cumin, cardamon, coriander, and blends like garam masala – are starting to feature heavily in savoury cocktails, fuelled by drinks trends for internationally inspired creations.

Culinary techniques like roasting or toasting foods are also creeping into savoury cocktails. Traditional drink flavours like pumpkin spice are being joined by more unusual creations like burnt cucumber, suited to creating complex bourbon or whiskey-based cocktails.  Read how Simpsons can help you to create your own range of ready to drink cocktails.

Trade fairs forecast 2024 trends

Drinks brands have set out their stall for 2024 trading and trends.

At Anuga 2023 members of the food and beverage industry presented products suited to sustainability and responsible resource usage, under the event’s theme of ‘Sustainable Growth’.

Drinks brands showcased new and market-leading products. Functional drinks were particularly prevalent, demonstrating how additions of natural ingredients like vitamins or use of fruit flavours can align with sustainability goals as well as wider wellness trends.

Bubble tea

Boba tea, or bubble tea, was another notable offering at the show, with DIY and RTD versions showcased. Fruit flavours like lychee and passionfruit have boosted popularity of the Taiwanese tea-based drink.

At the Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023, drinks producers made their mark.

cocktail jellies

CHO26 had everyone talking as they unveiled innovative alcoholic cocktail jellies – able to be enjoyed as edible jellies or added into drinks. Elemental Cornish Gin also showcased RTD G&Ts, while Tios had Margarita and Mojito flavoured hard tea cocktails on offer.

As at Anuga 2023, exhibitors at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023 focussed on sustainability and wellbeing, as much as flavour and innovation, in their offerings and discussions.

Just Fresh Co showcased its turmeric and ginger juice pouches, for drinkers to add to water for gut-boosting goodness. Drinks with extra electrolytes or plant-based ingredients were also popular with attendees.

Work with us

At Simpson’s, we are leaders in the science, art and innovation of drinks flavours. To incorporate the latest drinks industry trends into your new or existing product lines, get in touch today.

Image source: Trendhub The Food People 2023

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