Consumers’ beverage tastes seem to be moving beyond sugary, colorful drinks toward more sophisticated, slow-brewed earthy flavors. Bevnet.com recently featured highlights of the comprehensive Think with Google Beverage Trends Report 2017, suggesting that “how a drink is made is just as important as what’s in it.” Simple, hands-on processes like cold brewing and infusing are appealing to more consumers, “whether driven by health, taste or connoisseurship,” according to the report.
Cold brewing coffee requires room-temperature or cold water and can take 12 to 24 hours to complete. The result is a brew with greater intensity of flavor, more of the coffee beans’ oils intact and less acidity. Google sees interest in cold brewing growing across the globe but most significantly in the United States, where cold brew reached a turning point of 158 percent year-over-year growth in summer 2015. Also showing growth are slowly infused water infusions made by soaking plant leaves or herbs in hot or cold water. Long-fermented beverages like kombucha and cold-steeped tea are also gaining favor.
Google analysts note that highlighting the process can drive interest and provide a value add that consumers appreciate and associate with do-it-yourself or artisan crafting. Cold brewing builds credibility, connects to a hands-on process, and shows expertise.
These drinks also offer plant-based ingredients that bring bold new flavor notes and health halos to the beverage equation, according to Google research. Consumers are gravitating toward natural, earthy flavors like ginger, matcha (a full-bodied green tea, made by whisking the finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves with water), and turmeric (a dried rhizome with intense yellow color and peppery flavor). Google recommends reaching new audiences with distinctive, natural flavors and seasonal specialties, such as hot matcha latte and cold ginger lemonade.
- In-store cold brewing and infusing demos and tastings
- Bottled cold brews, natural teas and infused waters for grab-and-go customers
- House-made infused waters for sale or sampling