The 2020 lockdown gave us quite a bit of insight into our lives; work/life balance, family, general satisfaction, and, perhaps the most significant insight, our personal health. If measured only by social media alone, US News reported Tweets concerning eating healthier rose about 20% during 2020 and 2021, and tweets about fast food and alcohol dropped by 9% and 11%, respectively. Eating healthy has only grown since the early days of the pandemic with more folks preparing and cooking their meals at home, says Supermarket News. Now, gaining popularity in the past few years, a step further into the healthful-eating world, fermented drinks packed with microbes, prebiotics, and probiotics that help our gut health.
A fermented drink contains vitamins, cultures, and certain bacteria that claim to help with everything from blood pressure to cancer, says the Mayo Clinic. According to the article, a popular fermented drink is kombucha, made with tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. Some research on the drink has suggested it aids in supporting a healthy immune system and constipation. However, only a small amount of research has been done to prove the many health benefits supporters claim. This doesn’t make it less popular. Because of COVID-19, the “Kombucha Market” reached new heights and is worth over two million dollars this year, says Globenewswire.
Other fermented drinks stocked in grocery stores, convenience marts, and restaurants around the country include kefir, ginger beer, and kvass. All have health benefits, says Livestrong. Kefir is a probiotic, fermented dairy drink that contains good bacteria that help the gut, says Psychology Today. According to the article, its many health benefits include antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, and cholesterol-lowering agents. Ginger beer and kvass are said to aid in digestion and have anti-inflammatory properties, says Livestrong. You really can’t go wrong with any of them.
Fermented Drinks: A Top Trend in 2022
Further proof of the trend shows fermented drinks making their way onto a list compiled by Hospitality Insights right next to drinks like wine, champagne, and bubble tea. As one of the top seven drink trends of 2022, fermented beverages ranked number three. Increased awareness and popularity in nutrition have made the growth in the fermented drinks segment significant, says the article, with kombucha still ranking number one, with kefir, and Tepache, a fermented Mexican soda, trailing not far behind. Probiotic beverages are estimated to reach over $77 billion in sales by 2025, said Hospitality Insights, and not just in deli refrigerators. In restaurants, bartenders are looking for unique ways to wow their customers besides offering the same alcoholic cocktails as they have in the past, says Food & Wine.
Probiotics, prebiotics, microbes, and cultures are the popular “it” words of the last few years, thanks to the pandemic. Our health has never been more critical, and fermented drinks offer us an easy way to boost our health and are offered in convenient places. With trends like this on the rise, maybe someday soon, we can say that improved health is also on the rise.
More on Beverage Trends
Looking to get in on the latest beverage trends? Take a look at our article on mocktails and non-alcoholic drink trends (with recipes). And if you need to revamp your drink menu, Synergy is here to help.