The experts at American International Foods, Inc. have unveiled their annual projections for the top beverage trends anticipated in 2024. The AIFI team has conducted a thorough analysis of prominent beverage industry trends in the United States, as well as notable worldwide flavor trends.
About American International Foods, Inc. (AIFI)
American International Foods, Inc. has over 20 years of experience in helping its clients effectively predict and respond to trends in the beverage sector. AIFI provides its customers with unparalleled industry knowledge, personalized supply chain solutions, and a complete product line comprised of more than 2500 food and beverage ingredients.
Top Beverage Trends for 2024
AIFI has recognized several beverage and flavor trends for 2024 that will significantly impact the worldwide beverage industry.
In 2023, functional beverages, such as energy drinks and sports drinks, dominated the beverage industry, growing consistently since 2020. Energy drinks, holding a significant one-third share, have generated $16 billion in sales, followed by sports drinks at just over $12 billion.
The functional beverage industry in the United States continues to see growth due to new and innovative products entering the market. The projected growth of the North America Functional Beverage Market is expected to increase from $50.70 billion in 2023 to approximately $70.78 billion by 2028, marking a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.90% throughout the forecast period from 2023 to 2028.
Source: Euromonitor; Glanbia Nutritionals
What Are Functional Beverages?
Functional beverages are a diverse category of drinks specifically formulated to offer health benefits beyond basic hydration and nutrition. These beverages typically incorporate added nutrients, vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other bioactive compounds known for their potential to enhance physical performance, mental acuity, relaxation, or overall well-being.
According to T. Hasegawa’s 2023 Food and Beverage Flavor Trends Report, 42% of U.S. Adults like their food and drink to contribute to both their mental and physical health. Ranging from energy-boosting concoctions to relaxation aids and immune system supporters, functional beverages aim to address various health concerns while providing a refreshing and convenient way to consume beneficial ingredients.
As consumers increasingly seek ways to integrate wellness into their daily routines, the market for functional beverages continues to expand with an array of innovative and targeted formulations.
AIFI Functional Beverage Ingredients
American International Foods, Inc. is a leading supplier of functional beverage ingredients to manufacturers of soda, juice, energy drinks, tea, coffee, and other beverages. We source and distribute raw materials such as acidulants, fruit juice concentrates, sweeteners, starches, gums, amino acids, and food colorings. We offer bulk distribution of over 2500 food ingredients, including Organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free options, giving you the ability to stabilize and achieve better pricing when sourcing ingredients for your functional beverage formulation.
Trend to Watch: Probiotic Beverages
Probiotic beverages are another type of functional beverage trending going into 2024, primarily with a strong focus on immune system support and gut health. 32% of US respondents highlighted digestive health as the fourth most desired benefit from food, drink, or nutrients, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2023 Food and Health Survey.
Probiotic beverages contain live beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that are believed to promote gut health and support the immune system. Some examples of probiotic beverages include kombucha, kefir, and certain types of yogurt drinks.
Probiotic beverages are often marketed to improve gut health by replenishing and maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria. These drinks may offer various potential health benefits, such as enhancing digestion, bolstering the immune system, and contributing to overall wellness.
AIFI Probiotic Beverage Ingredients
Probiotic beverages contain live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for the digestive system and overall health. American International Foods, Inc. sources and distributes raw materials for probiotic beverages such as sweeteners, fruit juices & purees, flavors, herbs & spices, preservatives & antimicrobials, and acidulants & pH adjusters.
More information on specific probiotic ingredients offered by AIFI can be found below:
- Sugar or Sweeteners: Some probiotic beverages might contain sugar or alternative sweeteners to enhance taste. To minimize added sugars, natural sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, or fruit juices may be added.
- Fruit Juices or Flavors: Probiotic beverages often include fruit juices, purees, or natural flavors to enhance taste and provide desired nutrients. Common choices include apple, berry, pomegranate, or citrus flavors.
- Herbs & Spices: Some probiotic beverages contain herbs or additional spices like ginger, turmeric, or green tea, which can offer health benefits or act as flavor enhancers.
- Acids or pH Adjusters: To maintain the appropriate pH level for the probiotic cultures, ingredients like citric acid or other acidulants may be added.
Clean Label & Natural Ingredient Beverages
Clean label and natural ingredient beverages are drinks that contain simple and easily understandable ingredients. They focus on natural and organic ingredients while avoiding artificial additives or flavors, synthetic chemicals, and preservatives.
Innova Market Insights reports that 26% of consumers in the United States are influenced by claims of “natural” and “made with real ingredients,” whereas 23% find credibility in claims of “no artificial flavors or colors.”
Consumers who seek these types of beverages due to concerns about health and wellness increasingly desire transparency and authenticity in food and drink products.
Clean Label & Natural Ingredient Beverage Advantages
- Natural Ingredients: Ingredients that are derived from natural sources, typically with names that consumers recognize and understand, avoiding artificial additives, sweeteners, flavors, or colors.
- Limited Processing: Manufacturers aim to use minimal processing techniques to retain the natural properties and flavors of the ingredients.
- Organic Emphasis: Some natural ingredient beverages may emphasize the use of organic ingredients, which are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
- Health and Wellness Focus: They are often perceived as healthier alternatives to drinks containing artificial additives and are popular among consumers seeking natural, nutritious options.
Clean Label and Natural Ingredient Beverage Examples
- Fruit juices made from fresh, organic fruits without added sugars or artificial flavors.
- Herbal teas brewed from natural herbs, flowers, and spices without additives.
- Coconut water without added preservatives or artificial sweeteners.
- Cold-pressed vegetable juices without artificial colors or flavors.
- Natural sodas made with real fruit extracts and natural sweeteners like cane sugar, date syrup, and monk fruit instead of acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
AIFI Clean Label & Natural Ingredient Beverage Ingredients
Clean label beverages typically emphasize natural, minimally processed ingredients without synthetic additives or artificial flavors. American International Foods, Inc. sources and distributes raw materials for clean label and natural ingredient beverages such as fruit and vegetable juice concentrates, spices, natural sweeteners, and natural preservatives.
More information on specific clean label and natural ingredients offered by AIFI can be found below:
- Fruit Juices, Concentrates, & Purees: Various fruits and fruit juices are popular in clean label beverages, such as apples, oranges, lemon, lime, berries, and more. They often provide natural sweetness and flavor.
- Vegetable Juice Concentrates & Vegetable Powders: Some beverages incorporate vegetables like carrots, beets, or spinach for added nutrients and unique flavors.
- Herbs and Botanicals: Ingredients like turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and various other herbs and spices are used to enhance taste and provide health benefits.
- Natural Sweeteners: Maple syrup, honey, stevia, agave nectar, and monk fruit extract are examples of natural sweeteners that are sometimes used instead of refined sugars or artificial sweeteners.
- Functional Ingredients: These might include ingredients known for their health benefits, such as probiotics, adaptogens (like ashwagandha or ginseng), or superfoods (like chia seeds, acai berries, or turmeric).
- Natural Preservatives: Ingredients like citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), or certain types of vinegar might be used as natural preservatives to extend shelf life.
Trending Flavors in 2024
Looking ahead into 2024, consumers are seeking new and exciting flavors, but also revisiting some classic and nostalgic flavors. In the design industry, this combination of new and classic is called “newstalgia” and we are seeing this trend in the beverage industry as well.
Let’s dive deeper into some anticipated beverage flavor trends in 2024.
Fusion beverages combine elements from multiple sources or styles to create unique and often innovative flavor profiles. These beverages typically blend ingredients, techniques, or cultural influences from different regions or traditions to produce a new and distinct taste experience.
According to FMCG Gurus’ 2023 Flavor, Color, Texture Global Trends report, 93% of consumers are drawn to sweet flavors, while 82% are drawn to hot and spicy flavors.
“Sweet heat” is one flavor trend to keep an eye on in 2024. “Sweet heat” brings together fruity & sweet profiles with a hot & spicy twist. An example of a sweet heat beverage is the spicy jalapeno margarita, made with tequila, fresh lime juices, orange juice, and slices of jalapeno pepper. This unique twist on the classic margarita adds a new bold flavor for those seeking a refreshing and delicious cocktail.
According to Future Market Insights, the global fusion beverage market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.0% to reach $11.5 billion by 2032.
Global flavors are unique for their ability to allow customers to taste flavors from countries including Asia, South America, Africa, and more, without ever leaving their hometown.
According to Spherical Insights, the global flavors market is expected to grow from $15 billion in 2022 to $23 billion in 2032, a CAGR of 4.3%.
For example, bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea-based drink that originated in the 1980s. It typically consists of a base tea (often black or green tea), milk, sweetener (such as syrup or honey), chewy tapioca pearls, or other toppings like fruit jelly, pudding, or flavored popping boba.
The global bubble tea market size is projected to grow from $2.46 billion in 2023 to $4.08 billion by 2030, a CAGR of 7.51%, according to Fortune Business Insights.
Nostalgic & Classic Flavors
Flavorchem’s 2024 Flavor & Trend Forecast report describes how “classic comforts from childhood, such as PB&Js, s’mores, candy, and breakfast-based flavors, are resurging in elevated new formats.”
According to Flavor Insights, rainbow sherbet, Rocket Pop, and s’mores are among the potential nostalgic & classic flavors to trend in 2024. Mintel Food & Drink reports that 28% of U.S. consumers like flavors that remind them of their childhood.
Milkshakes are poised to make a comeback this year, with coffee being the number one trending milkshake flavor with 73% growth over the past year, according to Tastewise. A viral social media post on TikTok showed a sweet “hack” of a shot of espresso being added to a McDonald’s vanilla milkshake, creating a custom iced coffee milkshake. Expect to see more brands take advantage of this resurgence by bringing back the classic dessert beverage with new flavor options and unique presentations.
Beverage Trends in 2024 and Beyond
Entering 2024, the beverage industry shows a continued trend of consumers seeking beverages with a purpose beyond basic hydration. Whether it’s energy, immune support or simple, easy to understand ingredients, the top beverage trends for 2024 show a desire for clean, high-quality ingredients with functional benefits while avoiding artificial additives, flavors, and sweeteners.
About AIFI – A Leading Food & Beverage Ingredient Supplier & Distributor
At AIFI, we recognize the importance of staying ahead of consumer trends. Consumers crave food and beverage products that include proper nutrition as well as delicious taste. We strive to offer our clients several ingredient options including non-GMO, gluten-free, organic, and fair trade. We maintain complete documentation for each ingredient we offer, allowing our customers transparency and peace of mind.
For more information about beverage trends, ingredient sourcing, pricing or general inquiries, please contact AIFI using the link below: