Douglas Rash, group VP of global sales at Treatt, tells BeverageDaily.com: “Vegetable-based drinks in the US in particular are no longer a burgeoning trend and have now moved into the mainstream.”
He was speaking as Treatt launched a range of 100% natural vegetable distillates paired with herbal speciality ingredients including basil, sage and ginger, and Rash insisted that due to low usage levels the increased cost-in-use for his firm’s clients would be minimal.
Continuing to discuss the vegetable trend, Rash said: “If you take high pressure process (HPP) juices as an example, which tend to be at the forefront of the juice market segment, it is clear to see that vegetable-based beverages are well established in the marketplace.”
Cucumber works well, with basil, thyme, sage
“Vegetables now also increasingly form part of alcoholic beverages – including spirits and beer,” he added, noting that Treatt was working with beverage brands from outside the juice segment on such drinks.
Quizzed as to what combinations of herbs and vegetables work particularly well, Rash said that cucumber was one of the most popular and versatile base flavors for vegetable drinks.
“It provides a fresh, green character that works well with basil, thyme and sage to offer a herbal twist that will entice consumers,” he said.
“Watermelon is another popular, yet unexpected base flavour for vegetable drinks, which combines very well with ginger,” Rash added.
Health is important, but don’t forget flavor!
Rash denied the suggestion that, by definition, herbal infusions made up for rather disappointing tastes in standard vegetable-based drinks.
“The addition of herbal infusions is an additional point of differentiation,” he said. “The vegetable-based beverage space is starting to get crowded, and manufacturers are looking for something to make their product stand out on packed shelves.”
Treatt’s vegetable infusions form part of its ‘From The Named Food’ (FTNF) vegetable-based ingredients range, and the new concept combines herbal essential oils with Cucumber Treattarome 100% natural distillate.
“Often, vegetable beverages are marketed on a health platform but the importance of flavour should not be under-estimated. No matter how healthy the product, the majority of consumers will not purchase…if it does not taste delicious,” Rash said.