The fermented drinks market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.19% over the forecast period to reach a market size of US$3,799.830 million in 2025 from US$1,305.525 million in 2019. Fermented beverages have emerged as one of the most commonly consumed beverages around the world. Over the past few years with gradual improvements in fermenting techniques along with increased investments in research and development in other processing technologies have led to their subsequent implementation not only to ensure the growing demand for fermented beverages are met but also are devoid of synthetic ingredients, chemical and nutritious at the same time. Moreover, regional strategies like that of The Farm to Fork Strategy which as at the core of the European Green Deal that is aimed to make food systems environmentally-friendly, fair, and healthy are also, in part, poised to positively influence the growth of fermented drinks. The present food-and-beverage industry is highly competitive and is subjected to continuous innovation through the refinement of technologies leading to quality enhancement and ultimately new product development derived from a variety of food sources. The year 2020 itself has seen several product launches. For instance, a new drink brand JIN JIN has reportedly launched its cultured fruit and vegetable drink concentrate as it aims at reviving the ancient Asian drink to the UK. The range of beverages is reportedly made out of different kinds of cultures, fruits, mushrooms, and vegetables. Beneficial bacteria are produced through this reportedly ancient process that is known to supporting gut health which helps introduce balance to the body's functions. The products are reportedly dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan as well as it is positioned as an alternative to sugary soft drinks. Moreover, in January, it was reported that the first shelf-stable probiotic hard kombucha which has been produced by employing the patented probiotic encapsulation technology that has been developed in partnership with zümXR was unveiled by Fermented Sciences (FSI) known as Flying Embers in the US. This technology ensures that the kombucha bacteria and the probiotic strain of Bacillus coagulans SNZ 1969 can thrive at room temperature. This product is known to comprise kombucha bacteria and probiotics without the use of pasteurization. Besides, in July 2020, Kombucha Brewers International (KBI), a trade association that is dedicated to safeguard and promote commercial kombucha brewers across the world has reportedly unveiled a Code of Practice which is essentially a standard for food safety and quality for producers engaged in kombucha production which also facilitates in the creation of transparency for consumers enabling them to make informed choices and at the same time foster continuous development. Thus, such an initiative is an example of the need for standardization of a growing industry.
Cultural diversity and varied consumer preferences specific to particular regions around the world form the basis of remarkably diverse fermented beverages around the world. Albeit the emerging trend of product development aimed at lactose intolerant and vegan consumers, the source segment of dairy products is anticipated to hold a significant share of the global fermented beverages market. At the outset, it is pertinent to note the per capita consumption of processed dairy products in milk solids, among others around the world. In the case of the EU, between 2017-19 it was registered within the range of 25 kg/capita/year to 30 kg/capita/year, in the case of India, between 2017-19 it was registered within the range of 20 kg/capita/year to 25 kg/capita/year, however, China registered a consumption limited to 5 kg/capita/year [Source: OECD?FAO Agricultural Outlook 2020?2029]. In view of the above and the growing cognizance of health-promoting attributes of probiotic microbial strains and its growing use in dairy based products have led to new product developments in the fermented drink space as well. For instance, in March 2020, it was reported that the Megmilk Snow Brand which is a Japanese dairy company had reportedly launched the first fermented milk product called Nyu-San-Kin Helve containing Lactobacillus helveticus SBT2171. It is claimed that the product has food with function claim (FFC) properties and is reportedly marketed to relieve discomfort that arises from the allergies caused by nose and eye discomfort. In July 2020, it was reported that US Greek yogurt maker Chobani had launched drink innovations, among others in the American market. The foremost beverage is called Chobani Probiotic which is a plant-based, fermented organic drink that is derived from whole grain oats and fruit juice which are fermented with a blend of probiotic cultures to aid in digestive and immune health. The products are made commercially available in cherry hibiscus tea, lemon ginger, peach mint, and pineapple turmeric. Moreover, in May 2020, Biotiful Dairy Ltd which is known for fermenting milk produced in Britain with live kefir grains and add real fruit to create fruity cultured milk, light, nutritious drink along with gut-friendly bacteria had reportedly announced the launch of two new liquid kefir flavors: ?Kefir ?Blackcurrant and Kefir Mango.These gut-friendly kefir drinks are not rich in calcium and proteins but also are packed with minerals and vitamins. Besides being a good source of vitamin B12 that aid in the normal functioning of the immune system. Further in Jube 2019, Kefir Culture which is an Indian start-up that aims to improve public health by developing a range of kefir milkshakes product that is made out of locally sourced organic cow's milk consequently fermenting it for 24 to 48 hours using a sort of home-grown kefir grains. The product is made commercially available in flavors that include blueberry, honey vanilla, mango, and maple cinnamon.
During the past few years, fermented beverages have been increasingly fortified with nutraceutical ingredients with the rationale of improving human health and wellness. This development stems from colossal contribution from active packaging technologies, and computational intelligence, advancements in the beverage manufacturing technology, application of encapsulation, genetic engineering as well as nonthermal processing for food safety and preservation among others. With a fast pace of life and changing food habits, there is an increased emphasis on health and longevity which have are being increasingly prioritized by consumers. Nutraceutical itself has grown to encompass a wide range of food and beverage products as well as isolated ingredients. In March 2020 it was reported that Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Co had reportedly launched the first fermented drink in Japan with FOSHU claim addressing diarrhea and constipation. It is essentially a non-alcoholic drink called Sarari to Nomu Kome Koj and is known to contain indigestible dextrin. This ingredient is known to form of water-soluble dietary fiber which is known to aid in maintaining a good intestinal environment. Earlier in November 2018, it was reported that researchers South Korea and India have developed functional fermented coconut beverages by employing Lactobacillus casei L4 – bacterial strain. In March 2019, Australia based Remedy Drinks launched a new range of drinks under the name of Remedy Coconut Water Kefir, which is reportedly handcrafted-live-cultured-coconut-water which has been subjected to their traditional fermentation process. Thus, from the aforesaid developments, it can also be discerned that the fermented drinks market in the APAC is poised to grow in the next few years as well.