The pineberry, also referred to as hula berry, looks like a smaller inverted strawberry with a white exterior speckled with red seeds and has a pineapple-like flavor. A produce newcomer, the pineberry entered the US market in 2012, and is becoming increasingly available in different areas of the world. Australia is the newest market that will soon have pineberries available, the company said.
Growing consumer sophistication
As consumers become more interested in trying new flavors, beverage companies are tasked with identifying and developing the next new taste.
“Consumers today are so much more sophisticated and are willing to try different things so you have to constantly keep looking to see what’s new and exciting,” Catherine Armstrong VP of Corporate Communications at Comax Flavors told Beverage Daily.
But will that taste be able to overpower the $2.6 billion strawberry industry? Armstrong says it is not likely but believes there is a possibility for pineberry market growth.
“I certainly do not see pineberries over taking strawberries but it does illustrate how consumers’ palates, especially younger consumers, are expanding and are willing to try different varieties and varied tastes,” Armstrong said.
Strawberry-pineapple taste fusion
The pineberry flavor was developed specifically by Comax Flavors for alcoholic beverages, a market that “allows for fun and fantasy flavors that do not have to be mainstream.”
The nearly two-year R&D process to develop a pineberry flavor that would work well in alcoholic beverages was a scientific endeavor as much as it was a creative one, according to Armstrong.
“The challenge here was to marry a strawberry with pineapple overtones,” Armstrong said.
Where to expect pineberry
According to Armstrong, vodka in particular pairs very well with the pineberry flavor. However, there is currently not a pineberry-flavored alcohol on the market, but Comax Flavors hopes to change that.
“Our pineberry flavor engages consumers by combining expected and unexpected flavors,” Armstrong added.