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2016 Beverage Industry Outlook

Another year approaches the end of the first quarter, and the beverage industry is showing several interesting trends we are seeing. Particularly of note is the shifting consumer base of health drinks.

Health drinks include sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade as well as protein drinks and other beverages that are typically marketed to athletes or people who are looking for something to complement or supplement their workout regimens.

The industry is finding more and more people regularly consuming health drinks, even if those people are not working out before or during consumption of the beverages, which may even lead to a shift in the marketing target.

Protein drinks in particular can have benefits to non-athletes. Vegetarians and vegans use protein beverages to supplement their diets, while some people simply use the drinks instead of eating an actual meal and elderly consumers might regularly consume these drinks to prevent muscle loss.

Sports drinks are permeating markets beyond athletes, too, as people are stocking their refrigerators with their favorite brands and flavors. According to a January report from Mintel’s Bloom titled “Nutritional and Performance Drinks,” 61 percent of adults consume sports drinks.

From an ingredient standpoint, it means food-grade chemicals are likewise increasing in popularity. Health drinks require high-quality ingredients like preservatives, coloring agents, food safe flavors, minerals and more. As we keep up with the industry trends, we make sure to have all the ingredients our customers need on hand.

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Trends for Wineries and Distilleries

Also continuing to trend are ingredients for ever-growing wineries and distilleries that we work with in Michigan. Specifically, whiskey and sparkling wine have both grown significantly over the past year, with whiskey replacing vodka as the top-dollar producer among spirits.

Like with health drinks, food-grade chemicals are essential to wineries and distilleries. Citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid and others create unique flavor profiles and characteristics, with sugars and sweeteners also playing essential roles in wine and spirits.

What other trends are you noticing as we progress into spring and summer? The beverage industry continues to fascinate and we continue to keep our warehouses stocked for everything our customers will need.

Thinking of an ingredient that can enhance your beverages? Let us know how we can help.