Increase in Social Media Sharing Driving Shift in Beverage Trends, according to new Kerry Foodservice researchWritten by Anjali Dattani
Social media has changed the way we eat and drink with consumers expecting every dish and beverage to be #Instaworthy. As part of its identification of future beverage trends, Kerry Foodservice has commissioned proprietary research to understand the evolution of beverage trends globally. The study, launched at the Sirha 2019 tradeshow today, shows that social sharing is now impacting the progression of beverage trends through menus, and these insights can help the industry identify future beverage trends.
The research, conducted by Initiative on behalf of Kerry Foodservice, includes a study of key beverage influencers and analysis of trending keywords. The research reveals the trends which are expected to influence the beverage market in the coming year. Furthermore, it demonstrates that not only is the beverage market highly competitive, but consumers are also increasingly educated, interested and adventurous, driving a need for operators to constantly innovate and create stand-out products.
The coffee market is constantly evolving and in 2010 as coffee fans looked for new ways to enjoy their caffeine hit, the espresso tonic began to gain traction originating in Australia, where many beverage trends begin. Since then the trend has moved westward and has seen a peak of activity in the last twelve months. Research shows 30% of coffee consumers now seek chilled coffee drinks as an alternative to carbonated soft drinks. Online searches for Espresso Tonic have been steadily growing over recent years and nearly 9,000 social posts have been shared showing the growth in popularity of the beverage, at a time when a significant number of consumers are searching for an alternative to soft drinks.
With many consumers looking to cut back their caffeine consumption and 25% of consumers interested in caffeine-free alternatives a trend has emerged of coffee alternatives such as beetroot latte, matcha latte, and turmeric latte. With 33% of UK coffee consumers interested in purchasing hot drinks with health-boosting benefits these caffeine-free alternatives tap into the growing trend for natural ingredients with added health benefits. Analysis of online keywords shows Matcha Latte has seen significant and sustained growth since originating in Singapore with a steady increase in searches for Beetroot, Turmeric and Charcoal Latte also, all of which originated in Australia. As well as great taste, consumers are now looking for foods and beverages that looks good too - #colourfullattes such as beetroot, matcha, turmeric and charcoal have seen over 200,000 Instagram posts worldwide in the last 12 months, and this has grown by 24% in the last 6 months.
Healthier lifestyles is a growing trend which sees no sign of slowing down and aspirations for healthy lifestyles are driving consumers towards more natural ingredients. Plant-based diets have become increasingly popular with the trend for veganism quadrupling in the 5 years between 2012 and 2017. Research shows 29% of UK adults also showed concerns for the high levels of sugar in bottled ready-to-drink cold teas; botanical beverages can help provide a healthier alternative to sugar-laden iced-teas whilst delivering the nutrients and functional benefits of plant-based ingredients. Analysis of Google Trends shows that while interest in botanical beverages is growing it is much slower than other beverage trends.
Karl Buiks, VP of Marketing, Foodservice & Strategic Planning, Kerry Europe & Russia comments, “Our research and analysis of social sharing has shown a number of elements are impacting the progression of beverage trends. In an era where consumers are constantly sharing their content with the world it is important that products look as good as they taste, so the visual appeal of products is now more important than ever. Consumers also expect added benefits from their drinks, they want beverages that deliver benefits beyond hydration, and caffeine or alcohol-free alternatives. Beverage is becoming an increasingly integral part of all foodservice outlets and Kerry’s in-depth understanding of beverage trends means we have the expertise to work with customers on solutions that cater to a variety of lifestyles and need-states.”
As social sharing is the driving force behind many beverage trends, analysis of influencers and keywords can help predict these trends as they progress across geographic regions. Addressing this ever-changing market is an opportunity but also a challenge in the foodservice industry. Kerry Foodservice offers solutions for foodservice operators across channels, leading with insights to help customers create innovative, stand-out products that respond to changing consumer demands in the fast-paced food and beverage market.
Visit the Kerry Foodservice at Sirha hub for more information on Kerry’s market insights.
 Mintel, Coffee UK, September 2018
 Mintel Coffee Shops UK December 2018
 Mintel, Tea and Other Hot Drinks, UK, July 2018