“The non-alcoholic cocktail menu is getting longer and longer so bars are offering more non-alcoholic and more experimental versions,” Bell beverages marketing specialist, Julia Hübner, told BeverageDaily.
“Before you would just have orange juice, grenadine, and bit of soda; now that’s seen as a bit boring. Now they (bartenders) try to experiment with herbs and spicy notes.”
Global alcohol beverage companies have also started to pay attention to the rising tide of non-alcoholic beverages - like Diageo's minority investment in the non-alcoholic spirits brand, Seedlip. Diageo also launched a non-alcoholic drinks accelerator program earlier this year.
Bell developed several beverage concepts presented at drinktec 2017 including “mocktails” and non-alcoholic cider ranges to fit into the consumer shift towards unique flavors.
The company’s non-alcoholic beverage prototypes mimic the taste well known cocktails such as a strawberry mojito and piña colada but are carbonated to enhance its refreshing sensory appeal, the company said.
Bell has also noticed an increase in demand from the UAE for its non-alcoholic versions of various beverages.
“There’s also a rising demand of those type of flavors in the Middle Eastern region where alcohol is actually not popular and not drunken,” Bell marketing specialist, Agneta Hoffman, added.
“They want to have the full taste but not the alcohol and that’s what we’re able to create.”
Cider’s trendy moment
Cider has been the fastest growing segment in terms of flavor innovation and demand for Bell, Hübner said. The company has seen taste profiles of the fermented apple juice beverage depart from traditional sweet, fruity flavors and move more towards floral, herbal, and woody notes.
In addition, consumers are looking for non-alcoholic versions of the cider to deliver on taste while better meeting the health conscious lifestyles.
Bell has developed a selection of “sophisticated” cider flavors, focusing on full taste while still being in line with the consumers’ aspiration to remain healthy.
Those non-alcoholic cider flavors, kolanut and cedar & honey, use various wood-based extracts such as oak and walnut.
“If you can offer unique flavors, special ingredients, alcohol is not as important anymore,” Hübner said. “It’s more about the taste now.”
Malt is another flavor profile that has seeped into the non-alcoholic segment appearing more in mocktails and soft drinks, according to Bell.