Hot Beverages And The Social Narrative

Social media influences consumer trends within the hot beverage category giving rise to cosy, “comfort” flavours. Nostalgic tastes, dessert and alcohol-inspired mashups, and functional benefits make a splash in tea, coffee, and hot chocolate.

Kévin Bangratz, the marketing researcher at Prova, has noted that social networks are increasingly impacting consumer trends in beverages. Remember the Dalgona coffee craze that went viral across Instagram and Twitter during pandemic lockdowns in 2020. Videos for Hot Chocolate Bomb, Espresso Bomb, and Tea Bomb preparations have also spiked.


Teas and Infusions

Ever-popular flavoured teas are proliferating within the hot beverage social media space. With the lingering summer season, these hot beverage trends can transition to the iced beverage menu. 

According to Innova Market Insights, top flavours in teas include ginger, lemon, chamomile and orange. Other popular flavours include eucalyptus, anise, cloves, cherry, rosehip, apple cinnamon, and passion fruit.

Infusions are very popular with consumers, particularly in the pandemic context. They are seen as natural and “feel good” beverages. Regarding tea, spice blends are on-trend, following the influence of chai tea. Many launches combine tea with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom or turmeric flavours.

Indulgent Post-COVID Coffee

Coffee flavours are also experiencing innovation, as the world’s most-consumed hot beverage continues to diversify within a highly saturated market.

Innova Market Insights said that top flavours for coffee include staples such as hazelnut and caramel, vanilla, milk chocolate and chicory bean. But along with these traditional flavours, others are growing in popularity, including toffee, nuts, French vanilla, amaretto nut and peppermint.

Bangratz noted that recent launches have also used innovative combinations that key into the indulgence trend such as vanilla crème brûlée and caramel cookies.

Beneficial Beverages

Immunity is globally the number one reason consumers buy into health and wellness food and beverage products. These are becoming more in demand by consumers. In addition, flexitarian indulgence has exploded this year, and we see more and more plant-based beverages in the marketplace.

In the context of the pandemic, there are more consumers seeking immunity support through their consumption of hot beverages. In recent months, there has been a plethora of launches, including teas with nutrients such as vitamins A, C and D, noted Bangratz.

‘Gramable’ Guest Experiences

Consumers also use social media to critique the brands they interact with, as well as share Instagram-worthy experiences. Word of mouth (or word of post) is still the primary way customers choose where to spend their money.

Creating engaging social media posts and brand advertising is a great way to spread the word about your brand. n