Finding the right match: Synergy Flavours picks no alcohol pairings to complement global cuisine
11 Jan 2023 --- Synergy Flavours is tapping into what it sees as a gap in the low-to-no alcohol market with its new selection of flavor pairings for soft drinks and alcoholic beverages designed to complement popular tastes in the UK.
Synergy hopes to address this market with its new range of flavor pairings, including a mango, lime and mint blend to pair with Indian flavors; a pineapple, coconut and lemongrass mix to go with Thai dishes; a Sicilian lemon and bergamot combination for Italian meals; salted cherry and ginger to match with Chinese foods; a plum, orange and chili combination for British roast dinners, and a green tea, lemon and mint mix to go with Greek fare.
Synergy has distinguished a market gap within consumer groups looking for alternatives to alcohol pairings with their meals. Vicky Berry, senior European business development manager, Synergy Flavours, tells FoodIngredientsFirst more.
“The UK soft drinks market is estimated to reach US$14.5 billion by 2025, so there is definitely an opportunity to create new premium soft drinks which blur the lines between low-and no-alcohol and soft drinks,” explains Berry.
“We have seen from our commissioned research that 55% of adults choose water or sparkling water with a main meal – so there is a real opportunity to capture the attention of the water drinker with more interesting beverages which taste nice on their own, while also enhancing the taste of a dish.”
Berry further notes the generational aspect of this expanding market.
“We have seen Gen Z of drinking age in particular as the generation who are vastly reducing their alcohol intake. They typically don’t find alcohol as appealing as a go-to beverage as previous generations,” continues Berry.
“Gen Z’s decisions have the potential to make a sizable industry impact, having surpassed Millennials as the largest generation and therefore bringing a strong collective voice to the table.”
“We have seen from our commissioned research that 55% of adults choose water or sparkling water with a main – so there is a real opportunity to capture the attention of the water drinker with more interesting beverages which taste nice on their own, while also enhancing the taste of a dish,” she says.
“A Good Sense Research report commissioned by Synergy found 87% of respondents commented that they were interested in purchasing a soft drink which would pair with their chosen cuisine,” explains Synergy.
“This demonstrates a clear need and opportunity for soft and non-alcoholic beverages to add value with more exciting options for mindful consumers. There is the opportunity to create balanced and refreshing drinks with optimized pairings that are more interesting than water but pair better than a sweet cola or lemonade.”
Synergy notes that the beverage market is “primed for innovation,” with room to enhance alcohol alternatives. The company points out that 49% of UK adults report that they don’t drink alcohol or are planning to reduce their consumption, which “translates to 25 million potential consumers of low- and no- alcohol drinks.”
Charlotte Spitzner, flavor research analyst, explains the process. “We approach developing flavors which pair with cuisines by exploring key aroma compounds in a specific cuisine, using a combination of in-house analysis and extraction techniques, alongside our research platforms and databases.”
Berry notes that Synergy Flavours looks toward trending product launches to inspire its premium flavor profiles.
“We continually assess trending flavors across new product launches to inform our work and take into consideration high-end flavor profiles, such as those prevalent in Michelin star restaurants, for example,” continues Berry.
Ongoing flavor trends will focus on premium positioning of citrus profiles.
“We anticipate brands will focus more on provenance in the citrus area to convey premium positioning. Sicilian lemon, Italian blood orange, Mexican lime are just a few examples of provenance citrus which can lead to products being positioned as more sophisticated and desirable,” highlights Berry.
Consumers moving toward wellness
As customers increasingly consider options that offer wellness and ecological benefits, zero percent alcohol offerings are gaining pace, especially in the current Dry January stretch. Synergy’s approach to this market aligns with “Redefining Value” - the frontrunner of Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for 2023, whereby consumers adapt to the cost-of-living crisis by seeking solutions that are good for themselves and the planet.
“Brands can achieve success through actions that combine economic benefits with clear health and sustainability goals,” highlights Innova Market Insights.
Many innovations are bubbling up in the beverage arena, especially mood-enhancing ingredients and classic flavors. According to suppliers, the low-to-no alcohol space is rapidly populated by millennials and Gen Z consumers shifting toward healthier drinking habits. As such, botanical ingredients are rising.
Synergy has explored enhancing the wellness benefits of its offerings in the past, implementing strategies to reduce caloric content without compromising on taste.
By James Davies
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