Innovation is happening across every market segment, and beverages are fitting into more areas of people’s lives than we could have ever imagined. Looking ahead it’s difficult to know exactly what’s in store, but here are some of the trends we’re expecting will play a significant role in the beverage landscape in 2019.

Personalized Functionality
Consumers are increasingly drawn to functional beverages for the health benefits of superfoods and various ingredients like turmeric, activated charcoal, Matcha, melatonin and aloe vera into their drinks. It blends the beverage industry with vitamins and supplements, benefitting convenience and healthy grab-and-go options.
Moving forward, new launches will reflect consumer demand for overall wellness goals. According to market study, improved sleep, energy, cognitive function, beauty, weight loss and gut health will be high on the list.

Plant-based, Non-dairy Beverages
More people are adopting a flexitarian lifestyle, incorporating meat, dairy but also an increasing volume of plant-based products into their diet. Consumers hold the perception that plant-based products are healthier in moderation and more sustainable than their animal-based counterparts.
Plant-based product claims have grown 62% globally (CAGR 2013-2017) according to figures from NDP Group. And while interest in vegetarianism and veganism is increasing, 86% of people buying plant-based products are still meat-eaters.
The coffee space illustrates the plant-based trend, with plant-based creamers and ‘milks’ finding an audience among flexitarians. Dataessential reports that 83% of people who use creamer in their coffee are at least interested in using plant-based creamers or ‘milks’ and 34% already use them often. Almond, soy and coconut-based beverages lead the category with niche options like peanut, oat and flaxseed. We may see a rise in the consumption of certain non-dairy beverages made from flaxseed, hazelnuts, quinoa, macadamia nuts, and pecans.

Cannabinoid Beverages
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of some 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. As of 2018, preliminary clinical research on cannabidiol included studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.
Looking at trends in the US where cannabis are legal sales from hemp beer to CBD cold brew and THC-infused soda, companies are experimenting with different uses and combinations of these compounds depending on their geography and risk tolerance CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages. Meanwhile, CBD is set to become a popular ingredient in products across all beverage sectors. A new launch using CBD have sprung onto the market in 2018, driven perhaps by the novelty value, 2019 will see interest focus on CBD as a functional ingredient.

Nootropic Drinks
The term “nootropics” was first mentioned in 1972 by Romanian chemist and psychologist Corneliu E. Giurgea. Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and other substances that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals. These ingredients-both synthetic and natural-have been creeping into our food and beverage supplies gradually over the past few years, and 2019 is expected to be an especially good year for the introduction of novel nootropic beverages. Synthetic substances such as iodine, theanine, choline, taurine, and magnesium will share containers with natural ingredients such as grapeseed extract, kava, ginseng, Perforate St John’s-wort, lemon balm, artichoke extract, and green tea.

Article published in Food Focus Thailand | Apr 2019