Hybrid Beverages - The Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid beverages have been around for a few years now, and the popularity of these types of drinks continues to increase, especially among younger consumers. Tennille Aron looked at how the hybrid drink industry is faring and the trends it seems to follow.

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it certainly is doing wonders for the hybrid drinks industry. Curious consumers are constantly looking to try new combinations of drinks and expand their taste experience. And this is allowing beverage manufacturers to try new combinations of drinks to create successful and delicious new hybrid beverages.

In January 2021, Coca-Cola released Coca-Cola with Coffee in the US – a hybrid drink that fuses the familiar, authentic taste of Coca-Cola with the rich flavour of 100% Brazilian coffee. Earlier in the year, Pura introduced their range of Pura Buzz hard seltzer, which consists of rum-infused seltzer, to the South African market. Every month there are new hybrid drinks being released onto the market and the popularity of these drinks only seem to be increasing.

Why are hybrid beverages so popular?

Hybrid beverages, which are a blend of two or more items from traditional beverage categories to create a completely new beverage, are becoming increasingly popular globally, particularly among the younger generation who are always looking to try something new and fresh. These beverages have become the drink of choice because they are often the healthier alternative to regular drinks. Hybrid drinks are often low in calories and sugar, and higher in antioxidants and vitamins, making them the smart choice for the health conscious. Hybrid drinks also offer consumers the best of both worlds. PepsiCo recently released Frutly to the international market, which is a simple combination of juice and water to create a hydrating juice with no added sugars or flavourings, but which is high in vitamins and electrolytes – thus offering the drinker the health benefits of water and juice.

Examples of hybrid beverages

Some of the hybrid beverages on the market include:

  • Coffee-tea blends
  • Dairy-based sports drinks
  • Carbonated juices
  • Coffee-based energy drinks
  • Tea-juice blends
  • Water juices

While these are just some types, there are new combinations of beverages being formulated on a daily basis to meet the current beverage trends. So, what are some of the trends for hybrid drinks?

Current trends for hybrid drinks

Health is everything

Staying in good health has become a top priority for consumers around the world. FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights 2021 found that 60% of global consumers would like to improve their general health and wellness over the next 12 months. Therefore, one of the biggest trends in the beverage industry currently is creating healthier drinks with more nutritional value. For the hybrid beverage industry that would mean finding drink combinations that have more natural ingredients and contain no added sugars or calories.

Experience a taste innovation

Another trend that is on the rise in the beverage industry is the need for flavour innovation. Research from FMCG Gurus found that 74% of global consumers said they like products with new and unusual flavours. Experimenting with new flavours and exotic flavour combinations is essential for those in the hybrid drinks industry. Retro and nostalgic flavours were also found to be popular among consumers, possibly as it helps to bring about a sense of familiarity and comfort in these uncertain times.

Hybrid drinks are ever-evolving and changing to suit consumers’ needs and lifestyle. One thing that is certain is that they have become extremely popular across the globe and it is a beverage category that is here to stay.

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za