#Trendspotting: Permissible Indulgence

 In Blog, Trendspotting

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


Health and wellness are important to consumers, but it can be challenging to forego all indulgences that provide
a positive experience even if they don’t support high-minded lifestyle goals. Better-for-you indulgences help
consumers feel better about product choices that don't fall into traditional health food categories.

Raising the Bar | CSD Makeover | Plant Power

Raising the Bar

Hard Seltzers are marketed as a low-carb, low-sugar alternative to beer, wine and spirits. They experienced 169% sales growth from 2017 to 2018. White Claw, a leading hard seltzer brand, found there were many motivators for purchasing their product, but a healthy lifestyle was the common thread.


Most brands remove all or most of the alcohol that naturally occurs when making kombucha, but brands like Wild Tonic and Booch Craft offer kombuchas with an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 5% to 7%. Kombucha is also being used as a better-for-you cocktail mixer.


Bars and restaurants are positioning cocktails as better-for-you by enhancing them with functional ingredients. Please in Cincinnati is inspired by health and juice bar culture. Their cocktail “The Valerie” is made of matcha, gin, rhum agricole, yellow chartreuse, orgeat, coconut water, lime & egg white.


High-end mocktails are an emerging trend influenced by health conscious millennials who are “sober curious.” The menu at Gateway in Brooklyn consists entirely of mocktails like the Smallbluff with Seedlip Spice, lemon juice, fennel shrub, and celery bitters.

CSD Makeover

Sodas like Olipop and Live are a better-for-you take on traditional CSDs and enhanced with functional ingredients to aid with digestive health. Olipop is fortified with prebiotics while Live has probiotics.


Koios sodas are suggested to improve hydration and cognitive function. They are enhanced with nootropic ingredients like L-Theanine and Lion’s Mane mushroom, MCTs from coconut oil, electrolytes, and caffeine.


Sprig is a natural, low calorie, and low or no sugar soda infused with 20 mg of hemp-derived CBD per can. The brand aims to bring happiness into the “everyday lives of everyday people,” by aiding with relaxation and improving self-care.

Plant Power

Plant-based meat alternatives are hot in restaurants. Leading fast food chains are jumping on the bandwagon with menu items like the Little Caesars Impossible Sausage Pizza, Burger King Impossible Whopper, and White Castle Impossible Sliders.


More premium options of plant-based cheeses like Spero Foods chevre are launching which is beneficial for cheese-loving consumers with dairy allergies. These products also appeal to consumers who consider plant-based products as better for the body and environment.


Another plant-based innovation are dairy alternative “milkshakes.” Milky Way Shakes in Austin are made with a blend of almond and coconut milks and homemade vegan ice cream, sauces, and syrups. Their premium milkshakes include a blueberry, lavender, meringue and candied flower shake and a strawberry, lemon curd, and meringue shake topped with a glittered strawberry.

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