Calling all you brewers, distillers, and technologists. Our beverage specialist, Briony Rideout, gives you her top tips to stay ahead when developing beverages.
With a sector that is ever expanding and changing, it’s important to make sure you are taking all the right steps to stay ahead.
Briony works closely with our growing base of beverage customers, ensuring their products taste as good as possible and supplying them the right flavourings.
Tip 1) Keep Updated With Trends
It’s never been more important to keep updated with trends, no sector moves as quickly as a beverage, so ensuring you know what is coming next is crucial.
This is an ever-moving ballpark, and one you’ll never totally be able to get ahead of, but you’ve got to be in the game. Everything from constant visits to the supermarket, trips to fancy cocktail bars, trolling the internet and networking within the industry.
Our friends over the pond in the USA often set the scene for us, so it’s always good to see what they are doing.
Tip 2) Natural is Always Best
It’s sometimes tempting to take the easier or cheaper route of traditional synthetic flavourings, but it really pays to go natural. Natural flavourings instantly gives your product a more premium, ethical and healthy appeal.
Artificial is a big “no, no” in the eyes of the customer, so you want to stick with natural flavourings.
Tip 3) Health is No Joke
Sugar reduction is big and it’s not going away. The UK government are cracking down with sugar tax and consumers want to get healthy. Pumping your product with sugar isn’t going to impress anyone.
However, people still like a sweet taste. Play around with our sugar reduction solutions as these are improving all the time and can really pack a punch of sweetness. Natural flavourings offer great results when looking to boost sweetness and can also help mouthfeel too.
Tip 4) Fortune Flavours the Brave
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Just look at the success of the Hard Seltzer market – many breweries and distilleries have opened up new product lines in this exciting new market to great success.
This new and simple innovation is turning a lot of heads in the beverage world, but creating healthier, lower-calorie alcoholic beverages.
Tip 5) Taste Really Matters
Yes, a great brand can get your initial sales rolling in, but marketing and branding can only get you so far. For repeat consumers and real business growth, you’ll need flavours that really stand out. Taste is the most important factor of any product, hands down.
Tip 6) Delicate Balance of Acidity and Taste
Sweetness and acid balance is crucial, you can have a great flavour but if the sweetness or acidity doesn’t match it won’t be working as its best potential.
An example is when a low acid cola loses all cola flavour. Low acid can be caused by high mineral containing water, chemically binding the acid and neutralising it, thereby removing flavour – completely!
Tip 7) Know Your Seasons
This may sound like an obvious one, but it cannot be stated enough how important it is to focus on two crucial seasons in the beverage world. Summer and winter are the pillars of new launches in the drinks sector.
These two times of year really stimulate people’s appetite for new and exciting products. They are both perfect for launching refreshing and premium beverage products.
Tip 8) Experiment with Flavour Profiles
Flavourings can be much more complex and interesting than a straightforward orange flavour. Make sure you try out different styles and profiles. Flavourings are able to adjust to the most minor of subtle flavour notes. For example, it could be a fruity, juicy, peely, oily, zingy, sharp or tart orange – the list goes on.
Trying these more detailed flavour notes helps your product really stand out, bringing provenance and also offer premium positioning on shelf.
Tip 9) Know your Flavourings
It’s important to know your flavourings, natural or non-natural, liquid or powdered and most importantly what application they are suited for.
We tailor-make many of our flavourings for certain applications and styles, so you need to ensure the flavourings you’re using are fit for purpose. Sure, off the shelf solutions are super helpful and we offer these to many customers, but it is important to double-check the flavouring requirements.
Tip 10) Keep it Simple and Have Fun
Having fun is key – the beverage sector is an incredibly exciting and rewarding place to work. Make sure you’re enjoying it and don’t be afraid to fail and try again.
Always try and keep it simple, many people will try to sell you the latest complicated ingredients by baffling you with science. The truth is you just need a strong base, some great flavourings, and the rest will come.
If you want to talk through any of these tips in more detail, or just get your hands on some of our tasty flavourings click here to get in touch.