Cocktails conjure up creative concepts for beer: WILD Flavors outline flavor innovations

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Cocktails conjure up creative concepts for beer: WILD Flavors outline flavor innovations

Related tags Flavor

Cocktails and popular long drinks are providing the inspiration for flavor innovations in beer, according to WILD Flavors. 

Flavors reminiscent of margaritas, caipirinhas and gin & tonics are developing beers in the European market, as are those with wild herb and citrus notes, says the natural ingredient supplier.

Alternatives to the classic beer taste broadens the market and attracts new consumers, Tanja Krüger, Senior Product Manager at WILD, told

“People are looking for new alternatives to the classic beer taste,” ​she said. “This also broadens the target group, since more consumers will be attracted to alternatives to classic beer.

“Additionally, those new options also extend the consumption situation and stimulate sales.”

Going wild

WILD’s latest concepts include beer-mix drinks with wild herbs, and lemon+X.

The wild herb concept is designed to appeal to a male target group, by enhancing the wheat-beer base with herbal notes reminiscent of herbal liquors.

Meanwhile, lemon-X has 3% juice, blended with juniper, to resemble a gin and tonic. This concept is aimed at people who are not traditional beer consumers, particularly women.

“New beer drinkers are attracted by innovative and trendy flavors that come on top of the classical beer taste,” ​said Krüger. 

“They are demanding non-alcoholic options for everyday consumption situations, which are suitable for a broad target group, but also look for creative alternatives with exotic fruits or unusual combinations such as elderberry and mint, for example.”

Classic beer is expected to show a 2.7% decline in Europe volumes in 2015, compared to the previous year. In contrast, beer-mix drinks (those with a beer base and added flavour, with added juice, or shandy styles) continue to grow, with growth between 4% and 16% a year since 2007. Growth of non-alcoholic beers should be noted, said Krüger, with the identified as an ‘engine of growth.’

Trendy bars to trendy beers

“There is especially high demand right now for beer-mix drinks in innovative flavors, and cocktails have an influence which has made its way to the beer market as well,” ​said Kruger.

“Popular cocktail concepts that have their roots in trendy bars and restaurants are also creating new impetus on the market.”

Krüger also eyes up non-alcoholic beer-mixes as an opportunity in the market.

“These drinks cover a wide range of flavour preferences for both the young and old. They are also ideal for many different, everyday, consumption situations,”​ she added, saying such occasions can range from a lunchtime drink to isotonic thirst-quenching after exercise.

WILD’s non-alcoholic beer-mix selection includes popular classics such as shandies with lemon. But it also extends into cross-category beer blends with flavors imitating popular cocktails such as margaritas and caipirinhas.

Drinks classed as ‘non-alcoholic’ are allowed to contain up to 0.5% alcohol. But Krüger sees another opportunity for product differentiation here: beverages with no alcohol at all.

Producing drinks which are marketed as ‘0.0% alcohol,’ is the ‘perfect response’ to what health-conscious consumers want, she said.  

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