Top Trends from 2023 Coffee Fest NY

On Monday, March 6, our Coffee & Specialty Beverage Applications team attended Coffee Fest in NYC. Beyond connecting suppliers and buyers, the show allows attendees to taste new products, discover & share new coffee trends & connect with passionate members of the specialty coffee and beverage community.

After a day of touring, tasting and talking, our team came back with a lot of exciting insights to fuel our beverage innovation. Top takeaways include:

Functional Finesse: Mushrooms are continuing to gain mainstream popularity as a common adaptogen in functional beverages, and the newest craze is the Chaga Super Mushroom. Studies have found it to benefit cognitive function, relieve stress, increase energy/endurance, have antiaging properties, improve gut help and regulate alkalinity in the body. 

Powered-Up Energy: Utilizing natural caffeine sources in tandem with B vitamins and amino acids are continuing to take the energy segment by storm. We are also seeing an increase in energy beverages introduced at the coffee shop level as an another point of purchase, creating the power to choose and customize beverages to your liking. Capable of making colorful, layered beverages that are social media gold! 

Alt-Milk Expansion: Alternative milk manufacturers are taking coffee house beverages to the next level with newly modified barista formulas that don’t sacrifice taste, mouthfeel or foaming capabilities to create amazing latte art. 

Sip of Refreshment: Brands are making the unknown more approachable by combining progressive flavor trends with the comfort of mainstream fruits for a fun twist. 

Coffee Fest provided a great opportunity for the FFS-Lucta Beverage Team to keep a finger on the pulse of emerging coffeehouse beverage trends. As explorers, pioneers, and innovators, our team is dedicated to boldly exploring beverage flavor frontiers in order to inspire and satisfy consumer expectations. Utilizing real-time, unique marketing data and technical analysis we discover & deliver WHAT’S NEXT in beverage flavor innovations. Discover how we can help you get your ideas to a thirsty market!

Top Lip Care Consumer Trends

Valentine’s Day – a day to celebrate love, friendship, and admiration! What better way to spread love than showering your loved ones with kisses. To celebrate this delightful day filled with affection and smooches, we’ve decided to explore the lip care market and compile some of the top beauty care trends that correspond to the world of lip balm:

1. Grandma Beauty: Consumers continue to seek comfort and meaning in the past, resulting in a rise of products that evoke nostalgia. From floral fragrances to Art-Deco inspired packaging, vintage beauty has been shown to offer reassurance and reduce stress.

Spotlight Ingredients & Flavors: rose, gardenia, lavender

2. Warm Comforts: With the current chaos of the world, consumers are on the hunt for comforting and calming ingredients. With an increased interest in mental health and wellness, more products feature soothing ingredients associated with easing anxiety.

Spotlight Ingredients & Flavors: oat milk, honey, warm spices

3. Fridge to Face: The link between food and beauty is becoming increasingly more evident. Kitchen pantry staples that are considered superfoods are making their way into more and more products, resulting in cleaner labels with recognizable and wholesome ingredients.

Spotlight Ingredients & Flavors: leafy greens, super fruits, olive oil

With these trends and more in mind, the FFS-Lucta team has created a collection of lip balm flavors that are boldly delicious. Reach out to us today to find out more and collaborate in the creation of best-in-class flavor solutions powered by industry knowledge, marketing, and technical expertise.

Bring on the Heat with International Hot & Spicy Day

For one day a year, heat seekers around the world unite and celebrate International Hot & Spicy Day on January 16. Did you know that 62% of consumers agree that most savory foods taste better with some level of spiciness? While most age groups embrace heat, Millennials and Gen Z are driving this spicy obsession. They’re increasingly craving spicy flavors; adventurously exploring unique pepper profiles with nuanced heat levels from across the globe. 

In the past, consumers may have only been familiar with peppers like red bell or jalapenos. This is clearly changing, partly due to COVID. With more people cooking and experimenting at home, we saw a rise in spice-forward, globally inspired flavors.

We’re also seeing consumers reaching for unique condiments that complement their food. Approximately 75% of consumers eat hot sauce with their food. With hot sauce centric shops, hot sauce expos and the rise of YouTube shows like Hot Ones (which has over 55 million views!), consumers are educating themselves on different pepper profiles, heat levels and flavor pairings. Some notable and interesting hot sauces include Yellowbird Bliss & Vinegar, which combines ripe red serrano chiles with the unexpected flavors of strawberries and coconut or Queen Majesty Cocoa Ghost containing ghost peppers, pineapple, ginger, and cocoa powder.

With thousands of varieties of chilis, each pepper brings a unique level of heat, distinct flavor and even color to culinary innovation. From sweet and mild, to “burn your face off” hot, there’s no shortage of bold pepper profiles!

The FFS-Lucta team has compiled a collection of familiar and progressive pepper flavors, ranging in heat levels, that can be used in various applications within food and beverage. Contact us today to find out more and collaborate in the creation of best-in-class flavor solutions powered by industry knowledge, marketing, and technical expertise.

Embrace “Care Culture” in Honor of National Bubble Bath Day

Sunday, January 8, was National Bubble Bath Day – a sudsy pseudo-holiday that invites everyone to indulge in luxurious “me time” in the tub. Don’t let the mention of bubbles fool you, they aren’t just for kids! People of all ages find solace in indulgent bathtime rituals, reflected in the tremendous growth of the bath and shower market. Currently valued at $43 billion, the market is forecasted to reach $63 billion by 2028, with bath products accounting for about 40% of the category.

Driving growth is renewed consumer interest in at-home self-care routines following the pandemic. Before Covid, many consumers embraced “Hustle Culture” – a hamster wheel of working all day every day to pursue professional goals. However, at the onset of lockdown, many quarantined consumers experienced a dramatic slow-down in life. Forced to stay inside, their homes became a sanctuary from the chaotic, unsafe world outside. Unable to go to spas, consumers splurged on elevated spa-type products to replicate some of their favorite experiences in their bathrooms. Products like the Dove Men+Care Relaxing Eucalyptus Oil + Cedar Body Wash and the J.R. Watkins In-Shower Mists empowered such at-home pampering.

While the world has opened back up, consumers continue to indulge in elevated at-home bath time rituals as part of their new “care culture” routines that prioritize self-care and health. Whether they feel unsafe going to spas or want to save money, consumers are clamoring to inundated store shelves to experiment with new bath products. To cut through the clutter, brands are standing out with unique scent combinations while single-noted fragrances continue to lose appeal as the constant need for newness increases the number of exciting, must-try limited editions. Products like Bathing Culture Cathedral Grove Mind & Body Wash and a new collaboration between Truly Beauty and Barbie with the limited edition Barbie Butter Whipped Body Butter are luring customers with their unique scent offerings.

In addition to complex fragrances, brands are experimenting with functional ingredients that provide additional trending benefits and claims. From collagen to probiotics and claims of mood-boosting and soothing, consumers have a wide variety of benefits to choose from. Products like Lush’s new Magnesium-Infused Massage Bars and the Zitsticka Silkshake Probiotic Body Wash allow consumers to go beyond relaxation in the bath and indulge in additional healthful benefits for their body and skin.

Our mission at FFS-Lucta is to create fragrances that elevate the products people use and consume daily. We partner with companies to leverage the power of aroma to make their products irresistible to consumers. This rise in “Care Culture” provides a tremendous opportunity for brands to attract consumers looking for elevated bath time experiences. To this end, we identified macro-trends within the bath market and curated fragrances that target each. Contact us today to find out more and collaborate in the creation of best-in-class fragrance solutions powered by industry knowledge, marketing, and technical expertise.