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Why herbs could hold the key to Scottish beverage innovation

Why herbs could hold the key to Scottish beverage innovation

More customers expect health drinks to deliver the 'healthy'. Could herbs and spices help the sector give consumers the clean labelling, sugar-free, flavour-packed drinks they’re after?

As manufacturers focus on delivering healthier beverage formulations, herbs are being seen as a viable alternative to other ingredients. With calls for reduced sugar content and clean labelling, the aromatic flavours of herbs, could be just the ticket for the industry to keep up with customer demands, and food and drink trends. 

Herbs take centre stage

Market intelligence from, Kantar Worldpanel, shows total herb sales in the UK, in 2016, were worth around £70 million. According to herb supplier, Vitacress, coriander is the most popular herb, followed by rosemary, basil, parsley, mint and sage.

In the drink sector, herbal teas and herbal-infused spirits and cocktails, have already proven the consumer has the taste buds to appreciate a full range of herb and spice flavours. Now is the time for those who produce healthy beverages in Scotland to start looking at the power of the herb.

The herbal shot takes aim

Ginger, turmeric, basil, fennel, cayenne, ginseng, yerba mate and ginkgo, are just some of the herbs and spices being used in new beverage product lines.

Last year, Berlin start-up, NOURI, launched its highly-concentrated liquid herbal shots. Each shot contains a blend of herbs, such as gingko, maca, guarana, nutmeg and oregano, which the company claims help boost energy levels.

Three shots are currently available - Focus, Boost and Lust. They can be drunk as they are, or mixed into smoothies or cocktails. Currently NOURI are selling their drinks online, at cafes, hotels, and specialist retailers, like yoga studios. Its intention is to enter the UK supplements market shortly.

Scottish growth opportunities

So, there's great potential to develop herb-infused beverages, and Scottish manufacturers are well-equipped to innovate the market further.

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