Synergy Flavours leverages “pairing charts” to inspire new spritzers range amid low and no alcohol trends
08 Feb 2022 --- With consumption of low and no-alcohol expected to grow by 31% within two years as more people move toward healthier drinking choices, Synergy Flavours has developed a range of low-and no-alcohol beverages featuring bitters, fermented notes, gin, pink gin, aperitif and rum flavors.
The appetite for low- and non-alcoholic beverages for an indulgent experience without the negative consequences, is gaining traction. The space is ignited with innovations that replicate the same flavor profiles of alcoholic beverages of caliber.
Synergy has layered its flavor profiles with extracts that infuse warmth in the same way that a gin or whisky delivers a burning sensation. More specifically, scotch bonnet, chili and peppercorns are infused to achieve this note.
Analytical pairing charts
The botanical range has also been expanded with new profiles such as sloe, dandelion, passionflower and juniper.
The company has created analytical pairing charts which show how flavors match with key compounds in alcohol. The pairing charts focus on tequila, rum, vodka, whiskey and gin.
“Using our analysis, we can identify esters as key compounds in rum – these pair well with tropical, fruity profiles like guava and passion fruit,” Vicky Berry, European business development manager at Synergy Flavours tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
Spice and coffee work particularly well with whiskey, as those pairings share the compound eugenol flavor. Moreover, tea pairs well with tequila-based on ethyl acetate and isobutanol.
“The pairing charts allow low and no beverage manufacturers to tap into flavors proven to work well in alcohol and bring the same level of innovation to alcohol alternatives,” explains Berry.
Earlier this year, Synergy expanded and advanced its R&D laboratories at its headquarters in Illinois, US, to boost the company’s position in natural flavor creation and evolve clean label criteria.
Health and wellness drives the market growth
The avoidance of alcohol is becoming the norm for a growing minority of global consumers. According to a new report from Innova Market Insights, it is most apparent in Generation Z consumers, with as many as a thirds of consumers aged 18-25 now saying that they never consume alcohol.
The market researcher says this trend creates an entirely new sub-category within the alcoholic drinks market. Younger consumers are reluctant to turn their backs on either the taste or sophistication of beer, wine and spirits in favor of traditional soft drinks. As a result, alcohol-free choices are flooding the shelves, and concepts are becoming more attractive with botanicals in NPD.
An FMCG survey shows 69% of participants claim to be conscious of their health and 57% feel they are drinking too much. Synergy notes that people also want to improve their sleeping patterns related to alcohol consumption.
“There’s this really strong health and wellness movement. It’s not as trendy to drink now, and there’s multiple reasons for that, one of which being the Instagram effect,” explains Berry.
“These drinks have gotten better over time, and I think there’s more choice available. There’s an industry focus on this that’s made these products more acceptable,” she says.
“We’ve seen it normalizing alcohol-free. It’s okay now not to drink. I think previously, even if you look at five years ago – if you said you weren’t drinking, people would have said why aren’t you drinking, whereas now it’s just seen as a choice. You don’t have to drink.”
The majority of the retail value is in non-alcoholic beer with £98 million (US$133 million) and £61 million (US$83 million) for wine alternatives. Spirit alternatives occupy a smaller proportion of £12 million (US$16 million) and are experiencing strong growth margins at present.
“Currently on-trade has a smaller share of the market at around 6%. This is anticipated to increase to 10.5% by 2026. As such, we will really see on-trade focusing on this area and increasing choice for consumers,” Berry explains.
Provenance and premiumization
Drawing on its Italian heritage, Synergy has expanded its Italian provenance citrus extracts with more soluble versions of Sicilian Orange and Sicilian Mandarin.
“Premiumization is key in the low and no alcohol market, and our extracts allow manufacturers to claim provenance while maintaining the desired clarity and flavor impact in their drinks,” says Giorgio Ferluga, technical manager Synergy Flavours Italy.
Natural rhubarb, a strong flavor profile in gin, is a new addition to Synergy’s Inspiring Fruits range. The rhubarb can be paired with the existing flavors of blackcurrant, peach, strawberry, raspberry, pear and sour cherry.
Inspiring Fruits is a collection of fruit essences and natural flavors that offer manufacturers a range of natural solutions to suit various F&B applications, including tapping into the hard seltzer boom and offering added naturalness ready-to-drink alcohol category.
“Taste and natural positioning are key in developing drinks for this market – consumers are becoming more discerning and more demanding, expecting that alcohol alternatives will taste as good and contain natural ingredients,” explains Berry.
By Inga de Jong
To contact our editorial team please email us at email@example.com
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.