A tropical, retro cocktail, a fresh new fruit drink, and products working to improve health, the green agenda, and even student’s grades – these are the latest beverage trends to be returning, emerging or changing in our new report – Drink Trends October 2022.
If you like Pina Colada…
Another retro classic has come back into fashion – the pina colada.
Blending rum with creamy coconut and tangy pineapple served over ice, the pina colada is a truly tropical drink. It’s these roots, coupled with consumers’ love of retro drinks and the increasing popularity of rum, that have elevated the drink.
Hailing from Puerto Rico – the world’s leading producer of rum – pina coladas are naturally associated with warmth, fun and sunshine.
The classic pina colada hasn’t been safe from reinvention, though. Other tropical fruits like mango, melon and papaya have been used to create new twists, replacing the pineapple and working just as well with the rum.
Such is its popularity that the pina colada has become a flavour of its own. The cocktail has inspired a pina colada seltzer, and even pina colada beers, suiting sour beers and pale ales best.
If you like pina coladas without getting caught with a headache, the pina colada mocktail is for you. These simply replace the rum with rich brown sugar, ideally muscovado, to balance the coconut and pineapple. This sweetened pina colada mocktail has even been seen on children’s menus.
Typically served over ice, the pina colada was an obvious choice to combine with beverage trends for slushies, to create a boozy slushie for grown-ups. Taking these one step further, food bloggers and a handful of retailers created ‘pina pops’ – pina colada inspired frozen lollies – over the summer months.
Fresh and fashionable – agua fresca
Another North American drink that’s made its way across the pond is the refreshing agua fresca. This fruity drink’s name translates to ‘fresh water‘ from its native Mexican.
The popularity of Mexico’s cuisine and culture has largely escalated the status of the agua fresca globally. But its simple ingredients – it is made using fresh fruit blended with water and sugar – mean it also taps into all-natural, alcohol-free beverage trends.
In its traditional form an agua fresca boasts vitamins and minerals alongside high water content, offering a ‘cleaner’ alternative to sugar-rich juices and smoothies.
US brands Minute Maid and Bawi have each created ranges of ready-to-drink agua frescas, including hibiscus, passionfruit, pineapple and mango flavours.
Watermelon has proven to be one of the most popular flavours for agua frescas, either as a simple refreshing drink, or with added spicy seasonings and a shot of tequila or rum to give the drink a kick. Read more about agua frescas.
Autumn spice and all things nice
As winter draws in, drinkers are falling for classic Autumn flavours.
Pumpkin is always most popular across a variety of categories, from a healthy pumpkin chai to an indulgent pumpkin mocha. Coffee syrups are helping cafés and bars to easily create these tasty options for coffee lovers, as well as allowing seasonal flavours to be enjoyed at home – or year-round.
Pumpkin isn’t the only flavour for Autumn though. Apple spice, cinnamon and caramel are all favourites at this time of year. Costa Coffee has launched a Maple Hazel range this Autumn while Wendy’s – still relatively new and novel in England – has introduced a Caramel Apple Frosty.
Other beverage trends revolve around how or where drinks are enjoyed, as much as what the drinks are.
Sustainable spirits – SmartKiosk
SmartKiosk has been launched in Asia, giving drinkers a sustainable solution for buying spirits by serving easy refills for vodka, gin, agave and whisky. Proof & Company, the business behind SmartKiosk, says each refill negates the need for at least 700g of single-use packaging, preventing around 550g of carbon emissions.
Drying out – student bar switches up
This kind of conscious consumption has changed beverage trends in other areas too. As young people increasingly avoid alcohol, one student union bar has gone dry. University of Aberdeen has switched from serving pints and spirits to opening a coffee shop to cater to health-conscious students focused on their studies.
Drink Trends October 2022 – New product launches
Accessibility of drinks has fuelled the rise of ready-to-drink cocktails in recent years. Pre-made drinks give consumers cocktails on-the-go, and the category shows no sign of slowing. A pre-mixed Margarita and ‘dram in a can’ whisky are the latest releases.
For those seeking to counter the effects of these, newly launched functional drinks help to improve drinkers’ health. Hausboom has created a sports drink infused with extra vitamins, while Ribena, Schweppes and Yerbae have each launched a new zero sugar sparkling water, soda and energy drink, respectively.
Start setting the trends
Simpsons Beverages have a wealth of experience in drink development and formulation. Drawing on our expertise, our customers are first movers in their categories.
Check out our other blogs for more industry insights or ideas.
Images: The Food People, TrendHub 2022