- Consumers can now find the beverage industry experimenting with exotic flavors ranging from hot sauce and cinnamon to blood orange and grapefruit thanks in large part to millennials' evolving and adventurous taste buds.
- In addition to the rise of the millennial consumer, growing Hispanic and Asian populations are influencing the prevalence of new and exotic beverage flavors as well.
- Some of the most popular flavors include citrus varieties, such as lime, grapefruit, and Asian citrus, as well as ginger in its many forms from ginger beers, ales, and teas to different formulations of the revived mule beverage, comprised of vodka, lime, and ginger beer. Other popular choices include light floral flavors, such as lavender, rose, and jasmine, and sweet-and-spicy cocktail pairings, like Bloody Mary and Michelada.
Consumers are also looking for more local, natural, organic, and non-GMO beverage flavors. However, due to supply limitations and the restrictive nature of high prices, beverage companies may not always be able to deliver such products without the high price tags that often come with such varieties.
Part of the change in consumer tastes are many millennials' tendencies to view the foods and beverages they consume in different ways than past generations, thanks in part to the Internet and social media. This includes a trend toward previously unavailable ethnic foods and beverages, which are gaining popularity in the U.S. as well.
"Millennials want to experiment when it comes to food and beverage choices. They place a lot of importance on experiences and are also driven by the unprecedented access today’s consumers have to global information and cultures," Victoria Ward, marketing and consumer insights manager at David Michael & Co., told Beverage Industry.