• Enhance Experimentation in RTD Tea and Coffee

    By Vikki Nicholson-West August 19, 2016

    Frappe-1.jpgCoffee and tea are popular day-to-day drinks and their desirability is on the rise with recent reports stating more consumers want a nutritious way to stay energized. Something as simple and nutritious as dairy paired with the possibilities in staple beverages can create successful beverages options worth further exploration.

    The rising popularity of ready-to-drink. The convenience, added nutrients and growing amount of flavor offerings reinforce why ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee and teas are on the rise. RTD coffee exceeded $568 million in U.S. retail sales and $1.1 billion in U.S. convenience store sales (as of the 52 weeks ending June 6, 2015). RTD teas surpassed $1.9 billion in U.S. retail sales and $1.6 billion in convenience store sales, reported by Food Product Design in its October 2015 issue.  

    This rise in sales is causing brands to make RTD coffee and teas more readily available. FoodDive reported that RTD coffee was the fastest-growing category in the U.S. liquid refreshment beverage market with a 16.5% volume jump in 2015, while RTD tea had a growth of 6.1%. But being readily available isn’t the only aspect boosting sales of RTD coffee and teas, it’s also the room for innovation.

    New flavors to accommodate broader palates. Coffee and teas are becoming more elaborate and complex as palates diversify. Consumers are shying away from the popular traditional flavors and looking for tastes personalized to their new flavor cravings. Ethnic, botanical, vegetable and dessert are spicing up the category, but before manufacturers follow the trend, parameters must be considered before formulating with added ingredients.

    Different ingredients have their own distinct tastes and can alter flavor profiles, especially protein. U.S. dairy proteins have a clean flavor, reducing the disruption of intended tastes and allowing for optimal flavor innovation. For example, dairy proteins pair well with strong or colorful flavor profiles, as seen in this mango-flavored green tea. This tea contains five grams of protein and has a delicious taste thanks to whey protein and its mild dairy flavor.

    Protein meets caffeine. It is no surprise that more protein-enhanced RTD coffee and teas are launching. Protein is seen as a needed nutrient and gives beverages an added benefit. U.S. dairy proteins are mild flavored, with less disruption to tastes, and provide quality, functionality and natural nutrition attributes.

    U.S. dairy proteins contain all the essential amino acids the body needs, as well as other valuable minerals, to help consumers meet their health and wellness goals. Dairy can add high-quality protein to beverages. For example, the café yogurt frappe made with yogurt and whey protein concentrate (WPC) combines a high percentage of protein with the caffeine equivalent to a cup of coffee. WPC boosts protein content while the yogurt serves as flavor enhancer.

    Explore the functional and nutritional benefits of dairy proteins at ThinkUSAdairy.org. See additional ways to increase the appeal of RTD coffee and teas with U.S. dairy ingredients.

    Dairy Ingredients Yogurt Market Insights Consumer Insights Protein Beverage Global Dairy Proteins Whey Protein Consumer Trends Energy RTD Coffee and Tea
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