Imbibe VP of Flavor Innovation Looks for Innovative Twists in this Year’s World Beverage Innovation Submissions

 In Blog, Food & Beverage Trends, FoodBev

Aparna OakAs Vice President of Flavor Innovation & Regulatory at Imbibe, Aparna Oak is passionate about making products come to life. She supports innovation at both the flavor bench and in the development labs, with a first-hand view into the journey of creating food and beverages nine to eighteen months before they hit the shelves. From the hundreds of projects launched annually at Imbibe, Aparna knows what it takes to design and deliver compelling products for entrepreneurs to market leaders alike.

As a returning participant in judging the World Beverage Innovation Awards, Aparna brings forth her aptitude for tasting and her breadth of knowledge about flavor compounds, which has allowed her to master the art and science of flavor creation. Her work includes cross-functional collaboration that has allowed the technical-savvy judge to help identify marketplace gaps, which will support her vision for the products that set out to be recognized on a global scale as a result of this yearly event. Imbibe is excited to have one of our experts provide guidance and a keen eye for true product differentiation at this esteemed competition.   

These are the boxes you’ll want to check to impress Aparna:

  • Innovation despite adversity – The pandemic has had a massive impact on the global supply chain. In the wake of disruption and delays, find ways to use ingredients that have a robust supply chain in place in a unique way. Utilizing upcycled ingredients like whey waste, cascara, okara, and aquafaba can certainly help in this area.
  • In tune with immune – We might be over two years into the pandemic, but immunity remains front and center in consumers’ minds. Infusing cleaner immune-boosting ingredients into beverages to avoid unwanted aftertastes will likely intrigue Ms. Oak.
  • Sustainability – Does this product consider its role in resource utilization and environmental strain? The most successful products will have little to no negative impact on the environment.
  • Packaging – Building a story around your product through packaging can set you apart from competitors, but it is important to not be misleading with the claims and marketing methods you choose. Consumers should be able to easily grasp the benefits and attributes of your product.
  • Flavors with flair – Unique flavor combinations and global inspiration are on the map. When trying to create a compelling narrative around your beverage, don’t be afraid to think bigger – try botanicals, spice, and unique fruit flavor profiles.

Learn more about the World Beverage Innovation Awards and other judges.