The feeling and taste of a flavor significantly influence buying behavior. The flavoring industry, thus, is transcending to new heights with time. Gone are the days when herbs and spices were used for taste and flavoring purposes. Presently, a wide range of flavors is available, not just for domestic purposes, but particularly in food and beverage production at an industrial scale.
Flavor has the biggest impact on acceptability and desire for repeat consumption. Flavors are divided into five essential tastes, namely sweet, harsh, salty, severe, and umami. On the other hand, based on the manufacturing process and source, flavors are primarily classified into two types — organic and artificial or synthetic. Synthetic flavor products constitute one of the fastest-growing segments in the beverage flavors industry.
In ancient times, herbs and spices were utilized to enhance food’s taste. Over time, salt and spices were used to preserve meats, preceding the advent of refrigeration. Early Egyptians seasoned food with marjoram, dill, honey, cumin, coriander, and thyme, among others. Researchers in Europe and the Middle East pioneered how to distill and extract resins and essential oils.
Harking back, the historical flavoring system finds the origin in 1990, where the flavoring aspect was not treated as a whole segment in the food and beverage sector. After the emergence of food giants, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kellogg’s, and Campbell Soup, among others, a massive demand for commercial flavoring sprang up. Advanced technologies, such as high-pressure processing (HPP) and pulsed electric field processing (PEF), oiled the wheels of new trends in the flavorings industry, further extending to several artificial flavors. Ever-increasing population, growing disposable income, and various food processing firms across the globe are continually engendering abundant market opportunities.
One of the popular flavor patterns gaining traction lately is floral flavors. Herbal flavors are often paired with fruitlet flavors to offer creative notes and complex tastes, establishing new magnitudes in the food and beverage sector. With time, floral flavors have been developed from a niche division to a promising one. Demand for products featuring floral flavors has grown remarkably, especially in the past three years.
Smoke flavors are making a rebound through smoke-free substitutes. Smokeless smoke flavors are foreseen to become a flourishing trend shortly. These flavors imitate the taste of a wood fire without the fire. Smoke-type flavors are these days found in packed snacks food, meats, sauces, cheeses, honey, and salt. However, this trend is anticipated to cement its position in dessert, drink, soups, ice cream parlor, and other sweet and appetizing applications.
New food processing technologies are coming into play continuously. Upgradation and developments in several existing technologies, including high-pressure processing (HPP) and pulsed electric field processing (PEF), are establishing a new dimension in the food and beverage industry. High-pressure processing is a non-thermal technology that has been developed intending to retain natural flavors and colors of the food products. It also avoids undesirable microbiological changes, ensuring food safety.
Pulsed electric field processing is another non-thermal technology used to enhance mass flow, cell disintegration, and inactive microbes. Research on PEF was initiated during the 1960s; however, the first commercial set up of the PEF system was installed in 2006. PEF is a preferred technology used in fruit processing for several applications, including juice preservation and flavor extraction. Research activities underway on both of the technologies will lead to the development of additional applications of food processing.
Appearance and colors appeal to customers and increase the chances of impulse purchases. A buyer assesses the appearance before concluding to the purchasing decision. Moreover, flavors provide unique characteristics to the product. A variety of flavors lead to a comprehensive product portfolio that positively impacts the company’s sales. Various food and beverage companies are coming up with beverages of different flavors across the globe. Perrier, a French mineral water brand, announced the launch of new pine with three flavors in July 2019. These three flavors are Strawberry and Kiwi, Pineapple and Mango, and peach and cherry. Recently, Coca-Cola introduced Fanta Juicy+, which contains real orange juice as a part of a circular economy initiative.
The food consumption rate is primarily accelerated by three factors, namely per capita disposable income, size of the population, and the degree of urbanization. All these three factors in the Asia-Pacific are rising at an exceptional pace, making it the most potential market for the food and beverage industry.
Consumers are reluctant to settle on the taste and health factors; the trend for new and global flavors is expanding in the market, urging the players to develop and introduce innovative and natural flavors. The Indian subcontinent possesses massive demand for local and traditional flavors. Organic flavors and synthetically manufactured flavors have equivalent significance in the market. The dairy industry is one of the primary consumers of flavors and enhancers on account of the rising demand for flavored milk, particularly in the urban zones. As urbanization, disposable income, and spendings on food and beverages continue to rise in emerging economies, the need for a healthier and fuller variety of tastes and scents is gaining momentum.
India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Thailand are the prominent consumers of beverage flavoring systems in the Asia-Pacific market. Regardless of the economic slowdown in some of these countries, the food and beverage sector has shown considerable growth during the last financial year. Currently, Asia’s population is around 4.4 billion, which is expected to grow by about 5 billion by 2030. This burgeoning population indicates the tremendous potential for the food and beverage sector. As a consequence, many companies are investing in Asia-Pacific to strengthen their position in the global beverage flavoring systems market. For instance, Heineken acquired a Carlsberg’s brewery in Vietnam to capitalize on growth in the Asia-Pacific market.
Active lifestyle, demand for unusual ingredients, small economical packaging, and a rising number of food processing companies are some of the crucial drivers for the Asia-Pacific’s beverage flavoring systems market growth.
Millennials nowadays are increasingly growing concerned with health and wellness. Thus, manufacturers are compelled to offer healthier drinks. Appalachia introduced an apple cider drinks range with healthier ingredients, including yuzu, to boost the immune system.
Consumers seek innovative and new flavors and ingredients and are willing to pay more for higher quality and premium products. As a result, India-based beverage company Zago introduced iced masala tea, which is a ready-to-drink product with a traditional blend of ginger and cardamom.
Though disposable income is favoring, Asia consumers are price sensitive. Besides cost, demand for single-serve pack sizes and the on-the-go consumption trend are some of the factors urging manufacturers to launch products in small packaging sizes. Locally Merci Buco launched organic coconut water in a 330 ml packaging unit, which gained immense popularity in the Philippines.
Some of the notable players in the beverage flavoring systems market are Döhler (Germany), Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) (US), Takasago (Japan), International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) (US), Givaudan (Switzerland), Tate and Lyle (UK), Sensient Technologies (US), Firmenich (Switzerland), Cargill(US), Kerry (Ireland), MANE (France), Flavorchem Corporation (US), and Frutarom (Israel).