Top Drink Trends Predicted for 2022

In recent times, the demands of modern life have taken their toll on daily life. Statistics indicate that Americans have turned to unhealthy beverage options, including increased alcohol consumption. This trend has continued or worsened during the global Coronavirus pandemic and its associated lockdowns, isolations, and stresses.
At the same time, greater introspection and growing consciousness among specific segments coupled with increased immunity concerns have sparked greater interest in healthier eating and drinking options, ready-to-drink mixes, low or no alcohol choices, and demand for multi-functional beverages.
With the growth of ‘sober curious’ and mindful drinking movements among younger populations, an emphasis on ‘cleaner’ consumption is driving industry trends. This focus demands quality over quantity, respect for the environment, and products that take personal enjoyment and the community and planet’s wellbeing into account.
The Option to Teetotal
Arising from this increasing health consciousness and sober mindfulness is a proliferation of low or no-alcohol beverage choices across most categories.
Consumers are looking for indulgent new or familiar taste sensations without the potential health knock. At the same time, expectations are for traditional non-alcoholic and functional beverages to provide a healthy mood boost and relaxing ‘kick’. In response, brewers can rely on natural, certified fermentation flavor ingredients from reputable suppliers to recreate authentic tastes and aromas.
Functional Thirst-Quenching
The established category of functional energy and recovery beverages is expanding to embrace wellness benefits, including health-promoting nutraceuticals to replace supplements, and emerging calming and relaxing options.
Featuring prominently in 2022 are CBD-infused drinks, unsurprising given the phenomenal growth of this widely versatile hemp-based extract across various categories.
Beyond safely integrating unregulated adaptogens and botanicals such as CBD, functional segment drivers include converting mainstream consumers and boosting organic, GMO-free, and plant-based functionality.
High-End Cans
The pandemic has created an opportunity for a canned cocktail renaissance, although this time around, offering premium bartender quality.
The ready-to-go category caters to convenience and health safety, providing serious flavors and healthier low-alcohol, low-sugar, and low-calorie options. Nielsen panel data measured a 171 percent category sales explosion in 2020 as the population sheltered in place, with continued exponential growth expected.
Moreover, in line with low or no alcohol trends, we can also look forward to canned mocktails on shelves and on-premises.
Sanitary, Sustainable Boxes
Boxed wine has strengthened during the health crisis based on better hygiene and preservation qualities, easier storage, and superior sustainability compared to glass. Cartons are also more environmentally friendly, generating half the carbon dioxide emissions of glass bottles, less expensive to transport, and more efficient to stock.
Predictions are that global boxed wine sales will continue burgeoning in 2022 after becoming the preferred pandemic option in supermarkets. Premium wineries and connoisseurs, take note.
Fermented Health Options
Recent discoveries have highlighted a link between gut health and immunity, disease prevention, and brain, heart, mental, digestive, and sleep health.
The focus on traditional probiotic-based beverages has increased as a result. With kombucha historically dominating this segment, competitive new retail entrants include milk and water kefir and fermented pineapple-based Mexican Tepache. Innovations include flavor options and additional ingredient infusions.
Business expects the segment to achieve sales of over US$77 billion in 2025. In response, craft and commercial manufacturers can optimize their offerings with dependable and accessible fermentation flavor ingredients. Watch this space.
Fun, Fizzy, Fruity Bubbles
Invented in Asia during the 80s, bubble tea is experiencing a resurgence. This drink-snack hybrid is especially appealing among the youth, offering various flavors and flavor blends, textures, and colors.
The original Taiwanese recipe combines tea with fruit, fruit juice, or milk, plus its signature chewy tapioca or fruit pearls or ‘bubbles’. The beverage is customizable and offers mindful young consumers organic, plant-based, green tea, and low sugar variants.
The category provides a unique taste, texture, and gluten-free experience, rapidly expanding globally with a value of over US$4 billion anticipated by 2027.
Exciting Single-Notes, a Hint of Nostalgia, and a Taste of Adventure
The global pandemic has dulled taste buds, separated loved ones, and prevented travel.
In response, consumers are looking for bold single-note flavors and the familiar and comforting tastes of home, family, and friends. Also yearned for are the exotic ingredients of far-flung cultures to satisfy unfulfilled wanderlust. With functional flavor paramount, earthy and exotic ethnic tastes will often rely on unique fermentation flavor ingredients.
While high-quality fermentation flavor ingredients are readily available to future-forward producers, continuing worldwide shortages and supply chain issues may yet pose product, ingredient, and packaging challenges in 2022.
However, although sales of certain spirits and celebrity-driven beverages and brands are diminishing, products such as American whiskey, cognac, and tequila show no sign of decline. In addition, with low alcohol and alcohol alternatives, innovative functional benefits, and novel products such as Chinese grain-based baijiu showing significant growth potential, creative and resilient players in the drinks industry can breathe a collective 2022 sigh of relief.
Advanced Biotech supplies an extensive range of premium food and beverage flavorings, including the top flavors for 2022. Please contact us for more information.