Q&A: Impactful Beverage Innovations with Chaucer Foods

September 2022

When you go to the local store, there are plenty of bright beverages boasting functional health claims. As consumers explore a “sober-curious” lifestyle, we are seeing a sharp increase in the demand for low- and no-alcohol beverages, driving up innovation opportunities across a range of beverage categories1. For beverage innovators, this means they need to incorporate flavorful ingredients to help their offering remain distinctive.

We spoke with Shaby Fisher, Global Marketing Manager at Chaucer Foods, to learn how to utilize consumer demands and ingredient preferences to make a splash within the beverage industry.

Q: What are the top trends and innovations within the beverage industry?

A: Influenced by the pandemic, clean label and immune-boosting beverage trends have skyrocketed in popularity as customers want to trust what they consume. We’re also discovering that people want to drink more recognizable ingredients and boost their nutrition, without having to slow down during their busy lives. That’s where the ready-to-drink product trend comes in. To meet these trends, innovators are learning to add as much clean nutrition into a tasty, shelf stable, RTD formulation for consumers to enjoy. This can be done by adding our all-natural flavorful, vibrant and shelf-stable freeze-dried powders and pieces.

Q: What benefits do consumers look for in their beverages?

A: Consumers are all about getting the most value out of their beverages. They want a plethora of functional benefits, like protein and vitamins, added within their drinks to enhance nutrition. However, today’s consumer isn’t interested in accepting functional claims as-is. More educated than ever, consumers are reading labels and researching ingredients to understand the health and nutritional value associated. Freeze-dried ingredients make the consumer’s job simple due to the recognizable benefits and nutritional boost brought by the fruits and vegetables.

Q: What beverage innovations do freeze-dried ingredients work best in?

A: Freeze-dried ingredients deliver bold flavors and colors, shelf stability, and no added sugars, making for a fantastic pairing with almost any beverage innovation. From frappe and cocktails to herbal tea and sparkling waters, our ingredients quickly flavor and color beverages without the need for additives. One of my favorite beverage creations is the Kale Zinger, a functional beverage made of ginger, lemon, and kale that’s just as vibrant in color as it is health and flavor.

Q: How can brands stay on-top of innovation within the beverage space?

A: You have to know what’s being talked about. Consistently researching consumer interest, learning how to successfully predict upcoming trends based on current demands, and working with an open-minded, innovative team will help keep you on top of beverage innovation and at a competitive advantage. At Chaucer, innovation is one of our core pillars. We have R&D teams, analytical services and application labs in each of our production facilities in the U.K., U.S., France and China. Our resources allow us to work toward what’s next, which generates innovation for both our ingredients and our customers’ products.

Q: How is Chaucer Foods uniquely positioned to meet these beverage innovation trends?

A: Naturally nutritious, long-lasting, flavorful and colorful, Chaucer Foods’ freeze-dried ingredients are an ideal solution to stay ahead of innovative beverage trends. We offer a wide selection of freeze-dried fruit and vegetable powders – from seasonal berries to exotic citrus variations – which can be customized for a range of different applications. In addition, our freeze-dried powders seamlessly blend into both hot and cold formulations, making for endless innovative options.
Looking for new ways to freshen up your beverage offerings, and create consumer interest? Contact us at customer.services@chaucerfoods.com to connect with our team.

1- “Rethinking Refreshments: How Flavor Innovations and Science are Mixing-up the Non-Alcoholic Beverage Category.” Food Navigator-USA. May 2022.

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