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Clean-label trends boosts spice usage in beverages

In today’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) market, better-for-you trends are impacting a broad swath of products and ultimately ingredient trends. As consumers demand cleaner and more transparent products, specific ingredient markets are seeing increased interest, helping brand owners deliver on the healthy attributes they’re striving to fulfill.

Keera Perumbala, marketing associate of sweet and beverage flavors for Sensient Technologies, Hoffman Estates, Ill., details how spices historical association with at-home remedies has contributed to its recent success.

“Globally, launches in beverages with herbs and spices such as ginger or mint are increasing,” she says. “Spices, in other cultures, have historically been used as a part of herbal remedies to tackle certain medical maladies in a natural way. Consumers are now rediscovering the power that herbs and spices hold. The associated health-halo plays a big role in contributing to spices growing in categories outside of [the] traditional culinary space.”

Harry Park, application technologies for Sensient Natural Ingredients, Turlock, Calif., also notes the influence that transparency is having on the spice market.

“Consumers today are seeking transparency around three key attributes when working with spices: sustainability, processing claims (i.e., USDA Organic, non-GMO) and ingredients,” he says.

Although clean-label and transparency trends are playing a role in the growth of spices in beverages, suppliers note that global flavor trends also have propelled the ingredient faction.

“Flavor exploration and global influence are two crucial drivers for increased demand for varietal chili peppers such as ancho and guajillo,” Park says. “Chili peppers such as organic ancho and organic guajillo provide a unique flavor of fruity, sweet, smoky and earthy that pairs well in beverages such as Bloody Mary, chelada, kombucha and sweet teas.”

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