2010 Beverage Trends: What Will We Be Drinking?

vitacoWhat’s hot in beverages?

I often write about food trends, but what about drinks?  Here’s a look at several beverage trends — a peek at what we’ll be sipping in 2010.

For starters, there’s no denying that coconut water has become the latest health drink craze.  Coconut water has been moving from inner-city bodegas, selling primarily to immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America, into the world of the “in-the-know” hipster crowd.

You know it’s big when the world’s largest food and beverage companies have decided to dive in.  Coca Cola Inc. bought a minority stake into the Hermosa Beach, Calif. based coconut water company Zico (pronounced Zee Koh).  PepsiCo bought Amacoco, the largest coconut water company in Brazil, and is marketing O.N.E. coconut water.

Another indication of a hot trend is when a major celebrity gets behind it.  Well here you go. Madonna became a major investor in Vita Coco, a drink made from young, green coconuts.   It’s being positioned as a healthy substitute for sports drinks (among other claims).  In fact,  cartons of Vita Coco are stocked in the refrigerated case at my health club and I’ve spotted several people carrying coconut water instead of bottled water into Bikram yoga practice.  Food Navigator says coconut water is poised to redefine the sports drink market in this country.

.photo courtesy of flickr user StewartPhoto courtesy of Flicker user Stewart

Andrew Freeman & Co., hospitality and restaurant consultants, made these drink predictions:

• Iced tea is the new water
• Retro sodas
• Red, white or orange: natural wines
• Hard ciders and cask-aged beers
• Dessert drinks and spiked shakes
• All tapped in: wine on tap
• Beer cocktails
• Flower power: rosewater, crème de violette and hibiscus syrup
• Foam art and branded drinks on cocktails and coffee
• Bitter cocoa and coffee tinctures in cocktails

Sensient Technologies Corporation, a global supplier of flavors and fragrances identified top 10 beverage flavor trends for 2010:

? Baobab—native to Africa and high in antioxidants and vitamin C, the baobab fruit offers a tart lemony profile.

? Caja—native to Brazil, the caja fruit offers a tropical citrus profile and has a high carotenoid content.

? Cape Gooseberry—native to South America, the cape gooseberry has a uniquely sweet and tangy taste.

? Elderflower—found throughout warmer parts of Europe and North America, elderflower offers a lightly sweet flavor.

? Kumquat—originating in China, kumquat offers a plethora of tastes from sweet to sour to salty.

? Lulo—native to South America, the lulo offers a distinctly different citrus taste.avia

? Maqui—found in South America, the maqui is expected to be a next generation superfruit due to its high antioxidant content. [Indeed, this berry may be the next acai.  You can find several superjuices made with maqui that are being sold online. Here we go again.]

? Marula—indigenous to Southern Africa, the marula has a high level of vitamin C with a juicy and tart flavor.

? Mora Berry—found in Colombia, the mora berry offers a sweet and tart flavor similar to that of raspberry and blackberry.

? Umbu—native to Brazil, the umbu offers a sweetly aromatic flavor.

What do you think the hot beverage trends will be this year?

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