Consumer Trends

Top Beverage Trends for 2011

What are Americans drinking these days and what will be filling our glasses in the year ahead? To find out, The Food Channel, a website dedicated to trend information, conducted a survey in partnership with International Food Futurists, Mintel International and CultureWaves. Here are the top 10 beverage trends they identified.

  1. D.I.Y. Flavor. From fruity syrups served on the side to culinary cocktails infused with cucumber, watermelon or basil, to a simple wedge of lemon or lime for water, customizing beverages is hot
  2. Beverages for kids is an active category, with options expanding beyond milk, juice and soda
  3. Consumption of iced coffee has skyrocketed. Restaurants have seen a 20% gain in the last five years, fueled in part by quality upgrades
  4. Enhanced and flavored waters continue to push health benefits and boast vitamin additions, even making claims for anti-aging, bone health and cardiovascular health
  5. Mirroring the farm-to-table trend on the food side, seasonal farm-to-glass beverages are in the forefront. A recently published book calls this “Market Fresh Mixology.” Seasonal beers and beer cocktails are concurrent trends
  6. In the realm of fast food, fountain drinks still reign supreme, but specialty beverages like strawberry lemonade and mango slushies are fizzing their way onto soft drink lists
  7. Craft beers are buzzing. Overall beer sales may be flat, but craft beers are seeing double digit increases
  8. The retro revival of classic cocktails has attributed to a boom in bourbon
  9. Beverages are seeing more starring roles on restaurant menus
  10. Thin is in. Skinny cocktails, spa-tinis and reformulated sugar substitutes for diet drinks are helping thirsty consumers keep calories in check


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