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TASTING COLORS & EXPLODING DRINKS: Future beverage trends from New York City Makers

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Beverages have always played a fundamental role in society, from the quintessential “social” tissue, to providing energy and nutrition, to offering plain and simple fun. There is a beverage for every occasion, need, ritual, and generation, and we continue to reimagine what we make, as well as why and how we make them.

Will future beverages be able t o elicit on-demand emotions? Will packaging be zero waste? Will beverages be liquid a t all? These are the questions that Makers in molecular mixology, biolabs, and food-tech startups are asking themselves today. Their answers will no doubt drive our future.

To better understand what’s ahead, sparks & hone y recently partnered with PepsiCo’s Creator team—a catalyst group on a mission to explore the edges of culture & co-create innovative experiences across the cultural landscape—and Toronto-based i&j to create a pop-up lab a t World Maker Faire in New York City. The lab was designed to learn from Makers through moderated discussions, surveys, and hands-on experimentation. This report offers five trends based on our experience with NYC Makers. There is no question that when it comes to the future, we turned to the right community to collaborate and imagine a new world of beverages.

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TASTING COLORS & EXPLODING DRINKS: Future beverage trends from New York City Makers

  1. 1. Future beverage trends from New York City Makers. TASTING COLORS & EXPLODING DRINKS: +
  2. 2. Beverages have always played a fundamental role in society, from the quintessential “social” tissue, to providing energy and nutrition, to offering plain and simple fun. There is a beverage for every occasion, need, ritual, and generation, and we continue to reimagine what we make, as well as why and how we make them. Will future beverages be able to elicit on-demand emotions? Will packaging be zero waste? Will beverages be liquid at all? These are the questions that Makers in molecular mixology, biolabs, and food-tech startups are asking themselves today. Their answers will no doubt drive our future. To better understand what’s ahead, sparks & honey recently partnered with PepsiCo’s Creator team—a catalyst group on a mission to explore the edges of culture & co-create innovative experiences across the cultural landscape—and Toronto-based i&j to create a pop-up lab at World Maker Faire in New York City. The lab was designed to learn from Makers through moderated discussions, surveys, and hands-on experimentation. This report offers five trends based on our experience with NYC Makers. There is no question that when it comes to the future, we turned to the right community to collaborate and imagine a new world of beverages. 2 +
  3. 3. “We’re inviting people from the Maker community to come in and really examine what beverage can be tomorrow. The bar is set higher in terms of their expectations of what they’re going to do...When we start thinking about how the Maker community differs from other communities, people come in and they’re ready to get their hands dirty.” Irwin Eydelnant, i & j ideations 3 +
  4. 4. “The consumer in 2015 is resourceful, highly networked, and literate about their health and the environment – they are simultaneously more conscientious than any prior generation over what they put into their body, while also faced with more options than at any point in human history.” Ashley DuVal, Shoots & Roots Bitters 4 +
  5. 5. FIVE MAKER- APPROVED FUTURE BEVERAGE TRENDS: 1. Technologically Crafted & Beyond Liquid 2. Multicultural & Multisensorial 3. Brain Health 4. Energy Management 5. Edible Packaging 5 +
  6. 6. Makers feel a stronger sense of individual identity – they seek unique drinkable experiences that reflect this sentiment. Makers see a future where beverages cater to unique, disparate, and exploratory palates in ways that address the senses beyond taste. TECHNOLOGICALLY CRAFTED & BEYOND LIQUID 6 +
  7. 7. LAB INSIGHTS • Makers want to control flavor combinations, intensity, and other personalizable beverage characteristics. They experiment with new flavors and beverage forms to create their own “signature” mixed drinks. • When asked, “If you could invent a new type of drink, what would it be?” Makers’ responses identified personalization areas like “glow in the dark” that signal a broader spectrum of sensorial interests. Q: WHAT SENSES WOULD YOU LIKE TO STIMULATE WITH EACH AND EVERY SIP? BEYOND- LIQUID BEVERAGES 36% TASTY 23% GLOW-IN-THE-DARK 18% EXPLODING 14% CLOUD-LIKE 19% CHEWABLE 7 +
  8. 8. “Using technology to amplify flavor is an area where I see a lot of growth. For example, a five percent fermented apple juice in a beverage could not only provide an interesting story for our marketing partners, but the fermented juice could provide a unique, potentially proprietary flavor profile.” Kyle Shadix, Corp Exec Research Chef at PepsiCo Global R&D 8 +
  9. 9. CULTURAL SHIFT • Cognitive Cooking learns from thousands of recipes to select the perfect dish for a food truck customer: IBM.COM • This device regulates atmospheric pressure around food and beverages for the purpose of extracting distinct and customizable flavors: BKONBREW.COM • Bone broth adds savory elements and the sensory experience of eating food to drinking cocktails: ABCNEWS.COM IMPLICATIONS • Makers will come to expect technology to craft the perfect beverage experience specifically for them. Using taste input, biological measures, and personality profiles, subtle (and not-so-subtle) boosts of flavor, flavor combinations, and sensorial elements will be added to beverages of the future. FUTURE • Frictionless, on-demand beverages based on your mood in the moment. Sensors will automatically understand your needs and desires before you become conscious of them. 9 +
  10. 10. Beverages can be associated with specific places, cultures, colors, tastes, textures, sounds, and smells all at once. As consumers grow into engaged synesthetes, they want beverages that ignite multiple senses, often simultaneously. Multisensory beverages will mix global textures, smells, and flavors to spark imagination and transport us to different corners of the world. MULTICULTURAL & MULTISENSORIAL 10 +
  11. 11. “How do we integrate our senses from the signals in our environment and create a beverage experience? My sight, my sound, my smell manipulate how I experience flavor.” Irwin Eydelnant, i & j ideations 11 +
  12. 12. LAB INSIGHTS • Makers mix their senses, associating particular colors or music with beverage taste. One out of seven Makers linked their favorite soda to musical genres. Over 50% want to stimulate their sense of smell with beverages, wanting maximum “mouth feel”. Q: WHAT SENSES WOULD YOU LIKE TO STIMULATE WITH EACH AND EVERY SIP? SENSE STIMULATION WITH BEVERAGES 19% TOUCH 15% SIGHT 13% HEARING 53% SMELL 12 +
  13. 13. “International flavors - Asian and Indian flavors especially. Millennials love to travel abroad more so than any other generation and are curious about trends in other countries, including what flavors and products they are consuming. We want to share global experiences and beverages with multicultural, international flavors in them will be intriguing for the millennial audience (who are the trendsetters, sparking the rest of the generations to follow).” Sam Klein, IBM Millennial Expert 13 +
  14. 14. CULTURAL SHIFT • Designer cookies combine aesthetics of taste and smell: EPICURIOUS.COM • A project that converts data from “musical DNA” into different flavors of meatballs: KICKSTARTER.COM • Wearable technology turns human bones into speakers: BBC.COM • Based on the idea that different colors of coffee impact a consumer’s perception of taste, one researcher correctly hypothesized that coffee mug color also impacts taste perception: COOLHUNTING.COM IMPLICATIONS • Makers will want to transform the entire beverage experience into a multi-sensory symphony that engages anything from multiple senses at once to their sense of place, memory, and their spirit of exploration. FUTURE • Future beverages will be designed on the molecular level to offer layered taste-sensation narratives that unfold over time. Packaging will be provocatively tactile, incorporating additional smells and sounds to compliment the core drink experience. 14 +
  15. 15. “In a world where unique and exotic experiences are the new social currency among young consumers, it is no longer sufficient to provide bland iterations on existing beverage concepts. We’re looking for true innovation – think: synesthetic, or even extrasensory technologies that deliver a richer, more dynamic beverage experience. I truly believe that the global maker community will be a key driver of this innovative future.” Carlos Saavedra, Senior Director, Creator - Culture Strategy & Innovation 15 +
  16. 16. BRAIN HEALTH Beverages are moving toward increasingly complex health and wellness benefits, such as supporting emotional states often associated with creativity and focus. This new level of nourishment promotes a mind + body balance that is equally healthy and indulgent. 16 +
  17. 17. “There are over 70,000 edible and medicinal species of plants in the world, and very few utilized in foods and beverages.” Ashley DuVal, Shoots & Roots Bitters 17 +
  18. 18. BRAIN HEALTH LAB INSIGHTS It’s not surprising that the Maker community is focused on brain health. Makers expressed a genuine need for non-caffeinated beverages with neuro- enhancing benefits such as: • UPLIFTING: Ability to change the mood of everyone around them to infuse more happiness into a situation. • EXCITEMENT: Feeling emotionally ready to take on challenges; focus beverages for sharper concentration on tasks. • PICK-ME-UP (NON-CAFFEINE): Intellectual stimulation, curiosity, and discovery; memory-making beverags to help imprint and recall memories. 18 +
  19. 19. CULTURAL SHIFT • Charcoal has made its way from beauty products to juice, trapping toxins and gases in its pores and eventually removing them from the body: INTOTHEGLOSS.COM • Top neuroscientists have concrete evidence linking the microbiome (gut) to the human brain, especially in early life: NATURE.COM IMPLICATIONS • Besides traditional benefits such as hydration, energy, and taste, Makers are looking for beverages that play a tangible role in the creative process. FUTURE • As the lines blur between pharma and food, instant point-of-purchase scans will tweak microbial mixtures to balance the gut + brain connection. 19 +
  20. 20. The beverage industry already provides drinks that offer a boost of energy to support concentration or physical endurance. However, this paradigm seems to be shifting as Makers imagine benefits elsewhere on the energy spectrum. The market of beverage users is growing more and more stressed, whether it is adults working jobs or students in school. New drinks that enhance positive or calming emotions could help consumers cope with their multifaceted lives. FROM ENERGY TO ENERGY MANAGEMENT 20 +
  21. 21. “I believe that all sodas that are fortified with essential nutrients or super foods with health benefits will the be the norm for the future. It’s a trend that we’ve been seeing for years, but is now in the mainstream and will only continue to gain momentum.” Bryan Janeczko, Chief Executive Officer at The Fresh Diet 21 +
  22. 22. LAB INSIGHTS • Young Makers were particularly interested in stress-relieving beverages that would help them concentrate at school or unwind after a day of studying. • Over 60% of young women chose “Automatic Relaxation” as the top characteristic for a mood-altering drink, due to the stress they feel from school responsibilities, social media, and more. Q: IF YOU COULD CREATE A BEVERAGE WITH MOOD- ALTERING SUPERPOWERS, WHAT WOULD IT DO? 32% AUTOMATIC RELAXATION 12% SOCIAL BUTTERFLY 11% TO BE FUNNY 45% INSTANT HAPPINESS NEW BEVERAGE CHARACTERISTICS FOR MAKERS :) 22 +
  23. 23. CULTURAL SHIFT • While there are foods and drinks that provide endorphins and other everyday mood uplifts, the Maker community and wider audience for which they speak are seeking bolder, stronger mood enhancements: MENSHEALTH.COM • Matcha is a Japanese green tea that enhances energy, alertness, and focus and is making its way into American diets: FREEWILLIAMSBURG.COM • The first Bulletproof Coffee shop opening in Santa Monica will offer toxin-free coffee that boosts energy, focus, and even skin health: WELLANDGOOD.COM IMPLICATIONS • As previously obscure substances become mainstream (mate, matcha, etc.), Makers are looking for much more than caffeine or electrolytes in regard to changing mental states. FUTURE • Look to the complex taste and effect profiles of high-end cocktails, teas, and infusions to understand micro-shifts and ingredients that can preconsciously adjust to fine-tune moods. 23 +
  24. 24. EDIBLE PACKAGING New Age beverages have the potential to be self-recycling ecosystems from creation to consumption. Plant-based and edible forms of packaging could minimize environmental waste, allowing for constant usability and conservation of resources. 24 +
  25. 25. “What can packaging look like tomorrow? How can we create more sustainable packaging systems? How do we have packaging systems that are edible? How can we move away from liquid as the singular phase or format that we experience beverages as today?” Irwin Eydelnant, i & j ideations 25 +
  26. 26. LAB INSIGHTS • Makers talked about a “cycle of energy” which included low-energy access to beverages and self-recycling packaging that can go back into the environment without causing harm. • Makers favored edible packaging to reduce waste and were even willing to pay slightly higher prices for beverages with truly sustainable packaging. Q: SUSTAINABILITY IS IMPORTANT; WHAT SHOULD BE DONE AS WE CONTINUE TO EVOLVE HOW WE PROTECT THE PLANET? 40% EDIBLE PACKAGING 19% REFILLABLE PLASTIC BAGS 21% MADE FROM MUSHROOMS 12% RIDE RECYCLABLE BIKES 8% DRONES TO DELIVER WAYS TO CREATE BEVERAGE SUSTAINABILITY 26 +
  27. 27. CULTURAL SHIFT • Edible packaging is just one method of promoting sustainability: DEFENSEONE.COM • These “frozen yogurt pearls” are sustainable, healthy, and delicious: THEDIELINE.COM • A supermarket in Berlin dispenses with traditional disposable packaging, making shoppers as accountable as producers: CITYLAB.COM IMPLICATIONS • Recyclable packaging, reusable packaging, and systems to encourage such initiatives will be expected by increasingly conscious consumers. • This self-contained beverage delivery system has all the necessary tools and ingredients to brew the perfect coffee in any environment: OXX.COM FUTURE • In a similar way that personal data is now being consciously traded for goods, services, and money – participation in the efficient and waste-free cradle-to- cradle ecosystem will garner points for active users. 27 +
  28. 28. “The narrative around climate change is changing and centering on the impacts it will have upon our everyday routines – focusing upon ‘endangered foods’ rather than endangered species, and posing the question of what climate change will ‘taste’ like.” Ashley DuVal, Shoots & Roots Bitters 28 +
  29. 29. WHAT NOW 29 +
  30. 30. “Innovation is the lifeblood of our business and requires us to continually rethink how we create new products and experiences. And in an era of transparency, our consumers are increasingly savvy in their desire to understand the origin of the products they consume. We look to the maker community, not just as a source of inspiration, but as true collaborators and co-creators in the future of beverages.” Simon Lowden, Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo Americas Beverages 30 +
  31. 31. 1. Beyond Liquid: The future of beverages must be highly intelligent and extend beyond the liquid phase. 2. Multisensory Celebration: Make the beverage experience more than just “a drink.” 3. Focus on Biological Benefits: Growing consumer interest in the relationship between the microbiome and neurological functionality should be a top development priortity. 4. Make it Bold: The Maker community seeks audacious and stronger energy enhancements. 5. Recycle/Reuse/Reimagine: In the world of increasing transparency, consumers will expect and demand accountability in dealing with packaging waste. WHAT NOW 31 +
  32. 32. THANK YOU 32 +

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