#Trendspotting: 2021 Trend Predictions Part II: Mood Boosters

 In Blog, Trendspotting

Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging beverage trends.


Consumers are ready to put 2020 behind them and focus on staying happy and healthy in the New Year. In part two of our 2021 trend predictions, we'll explore how brands will deliver mood boosting benefits through functional ingredients as well as comfort foods and flavors.

N Relaxing Elixirs | Permissible Indulgence | Nostalgia

Relaxing Elixirs

Consumers are stressed out which affects mood and overall health. According to Datassential, 16% of consumers are using supplements to manage anxiety and 22% of consumers are using supplements for sleep. As these types of products become more accessible and move towards the mainstream, more consumers will seek out beverages and supplements that promote relaxation, sleep and improved mood


Daydream sparkling water is suggested to reduce stress and anxiety so consumers’ minds can wander into the clouds. The beverage is enhanced with hemp oil and adaptogens like ginseng, Schisandra and moringa. The relaxing elixir is available in three flavors including blackberry chai, cucumber lime and peach ginger.


WellWell’s Dream product is a sweet treat that helps consumers drift off to sleep. The vanilla cardamom flavored beverage is enhanced with valerian root, magnesium and vitamin B6 to induce sleep as well as adaptogens like ashwagandha and l-theanine to promote relaxation throughout the night.


Sun Chaser is designed to be an alternative to drinking alcohol, but it’s not your typical mocktail. It’s enhanced with free-form amino acids, including GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid),  l-theanine and 5-HTP as well as adaptogenic mushrooms.

Permissible Indulgence

Consumers are trying to improve their diet, but they are also craving comfort foods that provide peace of mind. According to the International Food Information Council (IFIC), 75% of Americans are eating more comfort food than ever before. Better-for-you indulgences will be very appealing, so there’s opportunity to renovate a current product line with better-for-you attributes like reduced sugar and calories or introduce a new, delicious health-forward beverage to the market.

Koia keto shakes are a dessert in a bottle, but they only have 1g of sugar and 2g of net carbs as well as 12g of plant-based protein and 9mg of MCT oil. The keto line is available in four nostalgic flavors, including cake batter, caramel creme, chocolate brownie and cookies and cream.


Xoca is soda with a twist. It’s made from naturally fermented cacao juice, an ingredient that is typically discarded when picking seeds for chocolate. The product is rich in prebiotics and also contains theobromine, a powerful antioxidant and a natural stimulant similar to caffeine. Flavors include original (nada), mint and ginger.


Slate offers chocolate milks made for adults (though kids could enjoy most of their products, too). They are made with lactose-free skim milk and have 17g of protein and only 9g of sugar per can. They are also a rich source of calcium and vitamins D and A. Flavors include classic chocolate, dark chocolate and espresso chocolate (which also has 150mg of caffeine).


Another way brands deliver comfort is through use of nostalgic flavors reminiscent of childhood favorites like s’mores, cotton candy, snow cone, and birthday cake. Nostalgic seasonal flavors will also be widespread on LTO menus, such as lemonade in the summer and pumpkin in the fall.


Flavors that mimic some of the most popular cereals on the market (and the leftover cereal milk) are being incorporated into beverages. Fruity, cocoa and cinnamon swirl cereal flavors are especially popular in dairy and protein products, but they’ve also been incorporated into beers and CSDs.


Candy flavors are another emerging flavor trend. Brands are drawing influence from sweet products like cotton candy, gummy bears and Skittles and sour products like Sour Patch Kids and Warheads. These flavors are common in sports nutrition beverages, but are also emerging in categories like sparkling water and CSDs.


Seasonal flavors evoke nostalgic feelings surrounding each season. Fall and winter flavors are expanding beyond pumpkin spice, maple, peppermint and eggnog. Brands are exploring flavor profiles like apple pie, caramel apple, candy corn, sugar plum and gingerbread.

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