4 Beverage Trends to Watch in 2022

They focus on celebrating life’s simple pleasures while striving for balance.

January 11, 2022

Fruity Drinks

LOUISVILLE, KY.—Flavorman has released its 2022 beverage drinks trends to watch this year, the beverage development company said in a blog post.

“Driven by the long-term effects of an ongoing pandemic, this year’s forecast is shaping up to focus on celebrating life’s simple pleasures while striving for balance,” writes Flavorman.

Here are four main trends to look out for this year:

Big and Bold: The seltzer boom of the past few years ushered in subtle flavors to take the stage, but Flavorman says that will change this year. With the seltzer market beginning to saturate, beverage makers are now seeking ways to differentiate from the competition, opting for bigger and bolder profiles, according to Flavorman.

“Client requests have taken a 180-degree turn on flavor, especially where seltzers and sparkling waters are concerned,” said Tom Gibson, Flavorman’s chief flavorist. “Whereas before, clients would be looking for a gentler spritz of nuanced flavors in their drink, we are now seeing more clients ask for loud and proud, single-note flavors.”

In 2022, expect beverage makers to continue emphasizing the presence of familiar flavors in drinks across categories. Childhood favorites like watermelon, strawberry, cherry, apple and grape will see a resurgence as consumers reach for those immediately recognizable and nostalgic profiles.

Guilt-Free Indulgence: Balance is becoming more important to consumers, and consumers are learning to strive for balance in all aspects of their life. Consumers are embracing moments of indulgence with some slight modifications. Ingredients like juice and full sugar are also becoming more popular in beverages marketed as high-end. Consumers indulging in these drinks aren’t as concerned with calorie restrictions or sugar because they recognize that they are treating themselves to a unique experience.

Herbal Shift: Citrus flavors are a constant in the beverage industry, but consumers are now gravitating toward botanical-forward beverages—particularly in the premium sector. Floral profiles like hibiscus, lavender and elderflower are becoming more mainstream and making way for the earthier, more herbal flavors of turmeric, anise and rosemary.

“Many of the ingredients you would find in your kitchen spice cabinet can introduce an extra element to a drink, providing new dimensions of flavor or functionality,” said Katie Clark, Flavorman’s lab manager. “Consumers tend to react to these twists with greater expectations—an insight that brands can leverage in premium beverage offers.”

Return to Simplicity: Quality, simple ingredients are what consumers want in an increasingly complex and chaotic world. The health and wellness mindset of consumers is not going away, and that includes the alcoholic beverage industry.

“Going low- or no-alcohol is a lifestyle choice that some consumers are rallying behind as a way to achieve holistic health goals,” said Clark. “This trend has fueled explosive growth in non-alcoholic spirits and ready-to-drink mocktails—as well as lower ABV wine-based cocktails—that we expect to continue into the New Year.”