Pomelo, calamansi and yuzu: Citrus in the spotlight in beverage flavour trends

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Pomelo, calamansi, yuzu: Citrus and beverage flavour trends

Related tags Flavours Flavors Citrus

Lemon, orange and grapefruit are citrus staples - but what about pomelo, calamansi and yuzu? Kerry takes a look at where beverage flavours could go in 2019 and beyond.

Kerry’s Taste Charts seek to set out the beverage flavour landscape in 2019, in particular putting the spotlight on up-and-coming and emerging flavours in the category. 

Kerry’s pick of three top beverage flavours to watch are pomelo, turmeric and jasmin and cherry blossom. 

But it also highlights wider beverage flavours on its radar. In cold beverages and waters these includes avocado, match, acai and baobab. 

In hot beverages and dairy examples are carob, wildberry, hyssop and beetroot.

Light, floral notes and ingredients with a health halo are particularly popular. 

So, too, are ingredients that hint towards a taste of something exotic.

Citrus success

A large, thick-rinded pear-shaped citrus fruit, pomelo is native to southeast Asia.

Yuzu is a aromatic citrus fruit that is either green or yellow: it is used in Japanese cuisine and has already found wider fame as a Doritos flavour.

Calamansi, meanwhile, is a small round citrus fruit that is a staple in Filipino cuisine. 

pomelo getty joel t
Pomelo growing in Malaysia

“Regional preferences of citrus continue to be a source of authenticity and excitement for consumers, as citrus profiles inspired by the East come to light throughout the market,” ​said Erika Minaguchi, Senior Marketing Executive – Beverage & Sweet Taste (cold beverages), Kerry Europe & Russia.

“Exotic flavours of citrus add a layer of premium to a beverage, and also offers a new taste experience. These tastes would be most suitable to flavoured waters or carbonated soft drinks.”


turmeric getty alexanderruiz

The use of turmeric in beverages has been increasing, with brands eager to make the most of the ingredient’s ‘superfood’ status. 

“As consumers continue to eat themselves well, part of turmeric’s appeal is that it offers an array of health benefits and is well know for its antioxidant, immune-boosting properties,” ​said Minaguchi.

“This, alongside its distinctive taste, offers consumers new way to enjoy coffee, fruit juices and energy drinks”.

Blooming: Jasmine and cherry blossom

jasmine getty dualfreedom

Floral notes are appearing more frequently in the beverage space, as they offer a fresh, healthy and functional association for consumers.

“Floral notes add a premium perception to alcoholic beverages, and provide a new and fun way to taste beverages,” ​said Minaguchi. “Jasmine and cherry blossom will be seen in juice drinks, iced teas or alcoholic beverages.”

Flavours to watch:

star anise getty unpict

In cold beverages and waters:

Up-and-coming: avocado, matcha, baobab, mint, bergamont, peppercorn, cactus, rhubarb, thyme, rosemary, hops, jasmine, lemon peel, white peach and dragonfruit

Emerging: acai, myrtle, advocaat, orange blossom, prickly pear, rooibos, agave, calamansi, chokeberry, gentian, mangosteen, star anise, woodruff

In hot beverages and dairy: 

Up-and-coming: basil, hemp (seed), beetroot, birch, lemon verbena, cardamon, chokeberry, hawthorn, wildberry, mallow, lemon verbena, nutmeg

Emerging: acai, hyssop, jujube, maqui, carob, milk thistle, moringa, valerian, dragonfruit, chive, brindleberry

Kerry's full flavour charts can be found here.​ 

Pictures top to bottom: getty: oksanakiian, joelt, alexanderruiz, dualfreedom, unpict.

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