Adult soft drinks: What flavors appeal to consumers?

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Adult soft drinks are gaining in popularity: but what flavors appeal to this audience? From the beer cues of brewed soda to the sour tang of vinegar, natural ingredient company Döhler explores the tastes that are appealing to today’s consumers. 

With consumers increasingly conscious of their alcohol intake, adult soft drinks aim to provide a sophisticated alternative to those wanting to cut down on alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile, the category also provides a premium alternative to regular soft drinks as consumers look for new and different flavors.   

“In general we see there’s a huge trend towards adult soft drinks; alcoholic drinks are slightly decreasing,”​ explains Sarah Dorschner, product manager at Döhler. “So we have developed a lot of different concepts responding to this adult soft drink trend.”

Döhler outlined some of the concepts and ingredients that can appeal to today’s adult consumers (targeted at those aged 25 and over) at drinktec in Munich this month. These include:

  • Brewed soda: references the beer brewing process and provides an adult flavor profile through the fermentation notes.
  • Bitter flavors: a move away from sweet
  • Vinegar soda: appeals to consumers as an ‘authentic, reliable and believable ingredient’, providing an interesting sourness to products
  • Cold brew: a smooth coffee taste 

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