A Sneak Peak to 2016: Natural & Versatile

Nov 5, 2015|

Before you know it, the calendar will be flipping to 2016. It’s never too early to get a head start on seeing what beverage trends might be moving the needle in the coming year.

As we look over the beverage industry’s current landscape, two words seem to bubble up to the top: natural and versatile.

It is not surprising that natural and healthy offerings continue to be a focal point of the industry. An October report from Mintel, an industry research firm, looks ahead to 2016 and called artificial ingredients “Public Enemy No. 1.” They believe consumer demand for natural drinks will continue to force companies to remove artificial ingredients as consumers will demand more natural formulations based on recognizable ingredients.

Technomic, another leader in the beverage research field, is big on bubbles in the coming year. They are predicting the industry will see a continued rise in popularity in both hand crafted sodas and bubble teas.

Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea, is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in the 1980’s. You can read about its origin and recent swift rise to popularity here.

Sodas, on the other hand, are experiencing a reincarnation in the industry. They are whipping, blending and fizzing into new creations with attention to detail and multiple flavor pairings. As the rise of this formerly forgotten culinary art form gains even more traction, a new menu opportunity for food service operators will continue to expand in 2016.

While hand crafted sodas are reemerging in the beverage landscape, coffee continues to be a staple. Its continued ability to reinvent itself into multiple offering options will keep it among the hottest trends in 2016.

From coffee mocktails to dry-hopped coffee on nitro taps and coffee cherry brews, the Sterling-Rice Group’s Culinary Trends for 2016 report believes there’s no end to the creative coffee libations which will be coming our way from inventive baristas and beverage makers.

The upcoming year looks to be another innovative one for the beverage industry and the consumer palate looks to be reaping the benefits. Stay tuned!


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