Symrise study reveals US millennials see positive authenticity in craft beverages

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08 Nov 2017 --- Symrise Flavors’ Marketing and Consumer Insights group recently conducted a study addressing what is driving the growing acceptance of craft products among US millennials, with a focus on craft beverages. 

Building and expanding on previous studies that support the millennial influence on new product concepts, Symrise worked with 40 millennial consumers in New York, Chicago, San Diego and Austin to determine what is driving the demographics’ concept of craft products in general and craft beverages specifically. The study revealed multiple opportunities in craft beverage product development when healthful ingredients, interesting and bold flavors, unique combinations of flavors, and captivating packaging come together for a strong connection to the brand. 

When millennials were asked about soda products, they reported that they see craft soda as a healthier option when compared to its mainstream counterparts – decidedly, a healthier alternative to alcohol. When these subjects were asked to identify the key soda product differentiators, they cited ingredients and flavors as having the greatest relevance. The group sees soda as providing a joyful, exciting and social experience. Moreover, they conclude that to qualify as a bonafide craft beverage product, it should have a “hand-made” image.

General agreement was noted in the ways millennials define craft products, seeing them as communicating an honest message and displaying distinctive personality. Millennial consumers also tend to see craft products as edgy, capable of transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary by adding a twist to traditional recipes and methods. They believe that craft beverages should be disassociated from beverages that are perceived as sugary and loaded with preservatives.

When millennials described the meaning of “craft,” they used adjectives that convey human characteristics – words such as honest, original, passionate and creative. They also associated the craft process with human-like descriptors, using terms that included man-made, authentic, high end and real, noting artistic, honest, exclusive, bold and better-for-you attributes. 

Symrise AG

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Symrise develops, produces and sells fragrances and flavorings, cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials as well as functional ingredients and solutions that enhance the sensory properties and nutrition of various products. The company’s nearly 30,000 products are mainly produced on the basis of natural raw materials like vanilla, citrus fruits, onions, fish, meat, blossoms and plant materials. The flavors, substances, perfume oils and sensory solutions are often central functional components for its customers’ end products. These customers include manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics and foods, the pharmaceutical industry and producers of nutritional supplements, pet food and baby food.

With sales of more than € 2.9 billion in 2016, Symrise is among the global leaders in the market for flavors and fragrances. Headquartered in Holzminden, Germany, the Group is represented in over 40 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Latin America.

Symrise works with its clients to develop new ideas and market-ready concepts for products that form an indispensable part of everyday life. Economic success and corporate responsibility are inextricably linked as part of this process.

The company’s origins go back to the year 1874. Symrise has since grown to achieve a market share of currently 11 % – making it one of the leading suppliers of flavors and fragrances on the global market. A high level of innovation and creativity, an exact knowledge of customer needs and various regional consumer preferences as well as targeted expansion into new and promising market segments contribute to our company’s above-average growth rate. Today, Symrise has about 9,000 employees working at sites in more than 40 countries, serving over 6,000 customers in roughly 160 countries.

Since October 2016, the operating activities of the Symrise Group have been broken down into three segments: Flavor, Nutrition and Scent & Care. The divisions within these segments are organized according to business units and regions.

Each segment has its own research and development, purchasing, production, quality control, marketing and sales departments. This system allows internal processes to be accelerated. Symrise aims to simplify procedures while making them customer-oriented and pragmatic. It places great value on fast and flexible decision-making.

The Flavor segment contains the Beverages, Savory and Sweet business units. Flavor’s range of products consists of approximately 13,000 items, which are sold in 145 countries. The flavorings Symrise produces are used by customers to make foods and beverages and give the various products their individual tastes. Symrise supplies individual flavorings used in end products as well as complete solutions, which, apart from the actual flavor, can contain additional functional ingredients, food coloring or microencapsulated components. The segment has sites in more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America and Africa.

The Nutrition segment markets its nearly 2,000 products in 89 countries via four business units: Food, Pet Food Aqua and Probi. They deliver natural sensory product solutions for taste, texture, color and functionality in foods, beverages, and baby food based on backward integration processes for vegetables, fruit, meat and seafood. It also supplies natural-taste and acceptance- enhancing products for pet foods and sustainable marine ingredients for aquacultures. And there are also probiotics for foods, beverages and nutritional supplements with health-promoting benefits.

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