•Consumer trends shifted from sugary formulations to functional beverages as proactive wellness and healthcare actions.
•Non-alcoholic beverages are convenient delivery systems for functional ingredients.
•Consumers will look for functional products improving mood and boosting brain health more in the future.
•Cannabidiol, adaptogens, nootropics and allergen-free plant proteins are expected to be future functional ingredients.
•Innovative functional beverage development requires emulsions to make functional ingredients compatible to beverages.
Packed ready-to drink non-alcoholic beverages are grouped mainly as carbonated soft drinks, still drinks, juices and bottled waters. This industry has a considerable effect on global economy with a revenue of 1038054 million US $ and average volume per person of 109.5 L in 2020. Volume of this market is expected to be 935758.3 million liters by 2025.
Although there is a pressure of global trends such as sugar reduction on this business, beverages will stay in market as they provide people hydration with enjoyment; however, product development has started to move from standard sugary formulations to the functional ones with added functional ingredients and/or reduction/removal of undesirable ingredients with satisfying tastes and prices.
Actions of addition and/or reduction/removals in formulations are not easy tasks due to the possible losses in desired sensorial properties especially taste and mouthfeel, possible quality and stability problems during storage and difficulties in ensuring efficacy of the claimed function till the end of shelf-life. To solve these issues and be successful in this consumer-led industry, it is important to know the technical fundamentals of beverages for future opportunities shaped by global consumer and product trends.
As packed non-alcoholic beverages are one of the biggest and most preferred product categories for refreshment, hydration, enjoyment, recently functional properties and for other reasons. We generally see the effects of trends in beverage product development much earlier than other food product categories when new product introductions to the market are analysed.
In this review, important points in production and emulsion technology for incorporating functional ingredients in beverage body were included with the objective to indicate future ingredients and product development areas and points that should be watched out to both academia and industrial professionals since the studies are scarce. Classification of non-alcoholic beverages, production, ingredients, trends, challenges and future opportunities were given with a special emphasis on the functional product development in a compact way.
Global outbreak of Covid-19 has caused variations in the path but not the contents of the global consumer trends in food industry. Functional beverages have started to be placed in the modern medicine cabinet of today’s people and consumer interest for functional products is predicted to persist in long-term.
Hence, it is important for food companies and technologists, especially who are working in research and development area, to catch up with trends shaping their future product development agendas. Sweetspot of sensory, cost, sustainability and trends pillars should also be considered for innovation achievements in these agendas.
Moreover, innovative functional beverage development generally requires emulsion production to incorporate functional ingredients into beverages as they are non-soluble in water. Emulsification is a complicated process and requires technical knowledge. Usage of high quality emulsion in a beverage ensures stability and consequently consumer satisfaction. Thus, food scientists and technologists should give importance to this special topic to develop their technical background and skills.