trending in the beverage aisle

Trending In the Beverage Aisle for 2018

What are the hot (and cold) beverage trends for the new year? Let’s take a peek into the crystal ball and see what floats to the surface.

• The cola wars are over, as more and more people drift away from the big cola makers. Enter Craft soda sporting less sugar, funky labels and fresh flavors. Huckleberry? Lemon Blueberry? Peach-Apricot Razzmatazz? If you can dream it, you’ll probably find it in a soda bottle.

Kombucha. While a few folks are still brewing it up in their kitchens, more and more of us like the convenience of pulling down a bottle from our grocer’s cold case for a little pro-biotic hit on the go. Oh, and Kombucha plus booze is the new vodka and Red Bull. Kom-booza, anyone?

• Sure your grandma said a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar was good for you, but I never heard of anyone clamoring for her to get down the bottle and give you a big slug of it. That was then, this is now. Drinking vinegars and switchels are the new Gatorade, combining thirst-quenching properties with gut-benefitting probiotics.

• Turmeric, ginger and other functional ingredients will remain huge, giving us the cleansing, healthy swig today’s over-scheduled masses are looking for.

• Cold brew will still be a hit, but look for new flavors to spice up the java juice. Old favorites like Madagascar vanilla and Mexican chocolate will be joined by lavender, chamomile and other floral flavors.

• Once thought a marketing problem, touting a beverage made from ugly produce and food waste will become de rigueur. Already gaining popularity on the restaurant scene, “root to stem” eating makes use of every last gram of vegetable matter. This is a no–brainer for veggie and fruit juice makers who already use produce that wouldn’t make the cut in your green grocer’s display. But now they get to tout they use “ugly fruit” as a selling point. Good for you, good for the planet.

Clean label beverages and juices will remain big with consumers who want to avoid long ingredient lists full of things they can’t pronounce.