Looking at almost 100 limited time offerings (LTOs) across seven European markets, the research reveals for the 2020 festive season gingerbread comes out on top across the board, with salted caramel jumping up from third to second place.
According to Kerry Taste & Nutrition’s Art of Taste: A complete analysis of in-market festive beverages 2020, the top three festive LTO trends for 2020 are:
Premium Indulgence - Hero beverages, often bakery-inspired, elevate beverages to premium status with richer taste profiles and more complex flavor pairings. In the UK, the three most popular flavors on foodservice menus were: gingerbread, salted caramel and marshmallow.
Sweet Nostalgia - In this time of uncertainty, beverages inspired by traditional flavors bring familiarity and comfort, the report said. Gingerbread is the leading flavor in the festive flavor category in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Sweden. And in the UK and Ireland, eggnog and marshmallow made their top five debut in 2020, highlighting how important nostalgia is as a trend.
Vegan Influencer - Vegan and dairy free indulgence continues to be popular, with many outlets offering plant-based milk alternatives and vegan alternatives to festive beverages.
Karl Buiks, vice president for foodservice, marketing & strategic planning at Kerry Taste & Nutrition, said, “As the foodservice industry goes through a period of momentous change, this market analysis highlights the fantastic opportunities that exist for foodservice operators to unlock consumer demand during this unprecedented season.
Our purpose at Kerry is to inspire food and nourish life and as one of the world’s leading taste & nutrition companies, this is a major focus for us. We’re delighted to be able to share the findings of this in-depth research and make predictions for future development of Festive Beverages for the 2021 festive seasonal period.”
According to Kerry Taste & Nutrition’s Art of Taste, festive beverage trend predictions for the 2021 festive season include:
The Power of Social Media - Getting word out about LTOs on social media not only helps drive sales from existing consumers, but also can attract new consumers through positive word of mouth including comments, likes and shares. And the more ‘Instagrammable’ LTOs are, with decorative toppings, colors and other USPs, the more awareness can be driven.
Brand Partnerships - Leveraging the power of iconic brands help LTOs perform well on taste and have strong pre-existing consumer awareness.
Comfort & Nostalgia - A key trend for 2020 given these times of uncertainty, comfort and nostalgia looks set to continue well into 2021. Delivering familiarity and warmth with flavors such as eggnog, marshmallow and the continued dominance of gingerbread.
Conor Keville, foodservice assistant marketing manager at Kerry Taste & Nutrition, said, “Available from the beginning of November, festive Limited Time Offerings (LTO) beverages appear frequently on menus and they remain popular with consumers around the world.
“Given the opportunity the seasonal festive beverage market continues to deliver for foodservice brands, we really wanted to help our customers understand the favorite festive flavors and growing trends and in turn be able to evolve their businesses to meet consumers’ changing expectations.”