US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Non-Alcoholic Beverages Market Report 2024
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Any ingredient, functionality, or other innovation must protect a drink's flavor experience to deliver on value. While innovation in the non-alcoholic space is robust, keeping both brands and consumers on…

US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Non-Alcoholic Beverages Market Report 2024

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Report Summary

This report analyzes the US non-alcoholic (NA) beverage industry and consumer with a focus on trending flavors and ingredients. Find out what consumers think and feel when it comes to flavor/ingredient exploration in non-alcoholic beverages, and grow your insight strategy today.

Below, we’ve summarized the key topics analyzed in this report and provided handpicked insights from the full report document.

Key Topics Covered

  • Preferences in new flavor attributes for non-alcoholic (NA) beverages
  • Attitudes about flavors in non-alcoholic beverages.
  • General attitudes about non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Willingness to try new flavors by drink type.
  • Interest in and experience with specific flavors of non-alcoholic beverages.

US Non-Alcoholic Beverage Market Overview

Non-alcoholic drinks’ ultimate function is flavor in 2024. This report finds that only half agree thirst quenching is the main motivation for drinking a non-alcoholic (NA) beverage and ultimately, flavor drives choice among consumers. This means that familiarity becomes a choice driver, especially as budgets remain tight.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks Consumer Insights

  • Non-alcoholic beverage associations: As even sports drinks show a low association with the term “functional”, it may be that consumers find it a tricky term. This indicates a need for brands to reimagine functionality as related to the inherent qualities of beverage types.
  • New flavor preferences in NA beverages: Consumers show a balanced interest in strong/light and unique/familiar, suggesting that balance may be the most important flavor characteristic. In this sense, an imbalance of flavors may negatively impact refreshment which is a top NA beverage preference.
  • NA drink generational attitudes: For Gen Z, function is welcome, but not second to flavor. They’re not under the idea that NA beverages must be fun, instead their focus comes back to the experience of flavor in the drink. In other words, flavor with function, not functional flavors.

Opportunity for NA Beverage Brands

With over a third of consumers agreeing that they like to have several drinks on hand at one time, brands have the opportunity to meet this demand with variety. Heightened engagement brings the potential for boredom, so brands should ensure flavors don’t become repetitive. A diverse range of purposeful beverages can continually engage consumers, who seek refreshment and energy on multiple fronts.

Find a complete analysis of US non-alcoholic beverage market opportunities in the full report. You may also want to browse our other ingredients and flavors market research.

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Expert Analysis

Leading drinks industry analyst Michele Scott provides expert insights with this in-depth report.

Any ingredient, functionality, or other innovation must protect a drink’s flavor experience to deliver on value. While innovation in the non-alcoholic space is robust, keeping both brands and consumers on their toes, successful formulation allows for new tastes without too much mystery.

Michele Scott, Associate Director of Mintel US Food and Drink
Michele Scott
Associate Director, US Research – Food and Drink

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • What you need to know
    • Consumer trends: key takeaways
    • Opportunities
  2. Consumer Insights

    • The non-alcoholic beverage consumer: fast facts
    • Non-alcoholic beverage associations
    • Function and purpose drive key associations
    • Graph 1: associations with non-alcoholic beverage types, 2023
    • New flavor preferences in non-alcoholic beverages
    • Balance other attributes to reach refreshment goals
    • Graph 2: non-alcoholic beverage preferences, 2024
    • Refreshment can boost the profile of other attributes
    • Graph 3: non-alcoholic beverage preferences, by region, 2024
    • Opposittes attract for innovation
    • Graph 4: non-alcoholic beverage preferences, by generation, 2024
    • Consider flavor in the context of format
    • Graph 5: non-alcoholic beverage preferences, by format, 2023
    • Attitudes about non-alcoholic beverages
    • Flavor for the sake of flavor is more than ok
    • Graph 6: attitudes about non-alcoholic beverages, 2023
    • Flavors with function, before functional flavors
    • Graph 7: attitudes about non-alcoholic drinks, by generation, 2023
    • WFHers demand diversity from their beverages
    • Graph 8: attitudes about non-alcoholic drinks, by work type, 2023
    • Willingness to try new flavors by drink type
    • 100% juice hits a sweet spot
    • Graph 9: willingness to try new flavors by drink type, ranked, 2023
    • Familiarity breeds willingness to try new flavors
    • Graph 10: willingness to try new flavors by drink type, ranked, by generation, 2023
    • Gender preferences for beverage type inform trial
    • Graph 11: willingness to try new flavors by drink type, ranked, by gender, 2023
    • Attitudes about flavor and ingredient in non-alcoholic drinks
    • Consumers are not overthinking their non-alcoholic drinking
    • Graph 12: attitudes about flavors and ingredients in non-alcoholic drinks, 2023
    • Nutritional tides make room for sweeter drinks
    • Graph 13: attitudes about flavors and ingredients in non-alcoholic drinks, by generation, 2023
    • Spotlight: attitudes and regions
    • Experience and interest in flavors
    • Refreshing, fruit-forward flavors that lend themselves to sweetness win for trial and enjoyment
    • Graph 14: interest in flavors of non-alcoholic drinks, 2023
    • Celsius uses trendy flavor to boost functional profiles
    • Sour can boost (almost) any flavor for young consumers
    • Graph 15: interest in flavors of non-alcoholic drinks, by generation, 2023
    • Regional differences are minimal, but the Midwest skews towards tradition
    • Graph 16: interest in flavors of non-alcoholic drinks, by region, 2023
    • Drinking vegetables, herbs and florals remain relatively niche
    • Graph 17: interest in flavors and ingredients in non-alcoholic drinks, 2023
    • Millennials are willing to go out on a limb for new flavors
    • Graph 18: interest in flavors of non-alcoholic drinks, by generation, 2023
    • The Midwest will not drink their vegetables
    • Graph 19: interest in flavors of non-alcoholic drinks, by region, 2023
  3. Competitive Strategies

    • Flavorscape AI
    • Launch activity and innovation
    • Product development – Now – What's trending
    • Foodservice co-branding takes flavor innovation to the shelves
    • Protein isn't enough for plant based BFY
    • Fruity flavor pairings bring freshness to BFY soda
    • Viral tart cherry drink brings on the zzz's, builds on mocktail hype and BFY trends
    • Product development – Near – What to watch for
    • As more hop waters hop into the market, brands will need to clarify if ABV-free or not
    • Veggies perform better together, particularly from iconic brand
    • Gimme some (brown) sugar
    • Product development – Next – What's in the pipeline
    • Florals bloom with the right foundation
    • Balance flavors, foundation to win with florals
    • Pucker up for sour fruit flavors of all kinds
    • Opportunities aren't souring with mouth-puckering flavors
    • Ingredients like adaptogens need some positive PR to take advantage of consumer movement away from alcohol.
    • More beverages, more opportunities
    • Vary sweetness and familiarity within product mix(es)
  4. The Market

    • Market context
    • Market drivers
    • Annual inflation unexpectedly rose in December, but still sits at its lowest levels in over two years
    • Graph 20: headline CPI, core CPI, and shelter CPI, 2021-23
    • Sober curiosity drives consumers towards NA beverages
    • Graph 21: sober curious awareness and trial, 2023
    • Graph 22: reasons for sober curiosity, 2023
    • Alcohol alternative selection may depend on availibilty
    • Graph 23: alcohol alternative consumption, 2023
    • Find the function in different drink types
  5. Appendix

    • Market definition
    • Consumer research methodology
    • Generations
    • Abbreviations and terms

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