Emphasizing that health and wellness benefits need not only be physical (or nutritional), the company believes that the emotional influence of foods and drinks is a key trend.
Hans-Juergen Sachs, general manager, Sensient Flavors Beverage Europe, said that stressful modern lifestyles had created a need for ‘mood balancing’ foods and drinks. Growth in the tea sector showed the potential that this market offered, he added.
But aren't the mood effects of drinks well known? Chamomile tea is widely regarded as a means to help you relax, colas can energize with caffeine, black tea with milk can lift mood, etc.
"We think it is about serving customers with innovative and appealing concepts that fit with the lifestyle of consumers," Sachs told BeverageDaily.com.
Hops for a 'modern twist' or colorful berry flavors
"Using common knowledge and adding a modern twist like hops in a non-alcoholic beverage or adding a colorful berry flavor to chamomile offers an interesting way to tap into the health and wellness trend," he added.
Taking what it calls a ‘soft’ approach, Sensient has developed holistic beverage concepts that use the power of berries and are based upon "common knowledge" in regard to how color influences our moods.
The company has four new concept lines – ‘relaxing green’, ‘calming blue’, ‘uplifting yellow’ and ‘energizing red’ – that it says can be adjusted to create unique products.
Three of these concepts contain tea - black, white and rooibos.
A calming drink concept combines the ‘juicy, ripe’ flavour of blueberry with a hop extract; a relaxing version includes gooseberry and hop extract.
An uplifting drink has fruity sea buckthorn (pictured above) and ripe apricots (see left), while an ‘energizing’ beverage is formulated with redcurrant, strawberry and ginger.
"Next to the flavors and extracts we provide compounds depending on the customers’ needs," Sachs said, when asked about more precise details of the base formulations.
Premium positioning and sea buckthorn
"Fruit or vegetable juices as well as natural alternative to sugar or stevia glycosides can be used," he added.
"The dosage of the extracts depends on the customer request."
Does Sensient Flavors consider the concepts 'premium', or are they simply an approach to creating drinks that customers can use when they work with the company?
"The concepts are highly suitable to be positioned in the premium segment, and the flavors and extracts can certainly be part of premium beverage concepts," Sachs said.
"The berry flavors we have created and that we focus on in this concept are well balanced. Sea buckthorn for example is traditionally more known in the northern countries. It adds an interesting twist to a wellness beverage that could be of interest for the Southern European beverage market."