Consumer preferences have become increasingly complex. This is especially true in the beverage industry, where there is an ample offering of products, each with differing flavor profiles.
Research and development teams work diligently to stay on top of consumer trends. Beverage industry experts have a library of flavors that address cultural preferences. A beverage flavor that is very popular in Japan may not successfully penetrate the U.S. marketplace.
Relying strongly on sensory research, the beverage industry employs teams of scientists, food specialists, and taste testers who experiment with beverage flavors to find those best suited to meet the needs of varying demographics. Taste, smell and texture are some of the more important attributes to analyze and rate.
All ingredients in beverage flavors and formulations must meet FDA guidelines and regulations. Beverage industry experts will be aware of these requirements and will make sure that the product meets these guidelines. Qualified beverage experts will also be aware of international regulations to make ensure that a product complies.
When working with beverage flavors, modifiers enhance the taste of a beverage while other agents mask unpleasant tastes, often found with vitamins, herbs or other ingredients. Using the right complement of beverage flavors, balances a taste profile and health benefits.
Natural and artificial flavorings may be used together to achieve a desirable flavor profile. Natural ingredients are those whose flavoring originated from a natural source such as a vegetable, fruit or animal raw materials. A laboratory synthetically produces artificial flavorings.
Variables such as shelf life affect the formulation of beverage flavors. A shelf stable beverage may not require refrigeration but its ingredients can affect its shelf life. The selection of beverage flavors can also influenced by refrigeration needs of some drinks.
Beverage flavors can be complex with many ingredients combining to produce a product that delivers a favorable sensory experience.