Taste and Health: Key Consumer Drivers Behind the Growth of Plant-Based Fermented Beverages

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Title: Taste and Health: Key Consumer Drivers Behind the Growth of Plant-Based Fermented Beverages

2-Sentence Summary: Interest in plant-based fermented beverages continues to rise. Merging consumer attitudes and usage with food science expertise can help shape new introductions that overcome sensory challenges while delivering on nutrition. This session will explore how consumption of these products may influence health, including the microbiome, and address gaps in existing dietary patterns.


Interest in selecting foods that support optimal health continues to rise, especially as we face a global pandemic. In this interactive panel discussion, three experts will lead a conversation focusing on fermented plant-based beverages including consumer insights, health benefits, as demonstrated by existing literature, and product development learnings to help manufacturers navigate today’s market.

Understanding consumer motivations that drive both trial and repeat purchase of plant-based fermented beverages is paramount for companies actively marketing products or exploring entry into the category. A leader in the field of computational linguistics will share insights gleaned from the analysis of anonymous online conversations about fermented plant-based beverages including problems people are looking to solve, what they like/dislike and why, and unmet needs yet to be addressed.

There are recognized food components that modify gut bacteria. Long and short-term studies provide insights on the impact of diet on gut microbial profiles in humans, which are distinct across the lifespan, geographies, and living conditions (i.e., rural and urban settings). Microbial diversity, which is greater in those who consumer a more plant-rich diet, is an indicator of microbiome health. But does microbial diversity improve the health of the host? A nutrition expert will explore the science behind digestive health, the gut microbiota, and fermented foods.

Fermentation is a tool in the food scientist’s toolbox. It can play a key role on developing new textures/mouthfeels and flavors in beverages. Developing fermented plant-based beverages has inherent challenges and opportunities. An experienced food scientist will review how fermentation can empower food producers to overcome sensory challenges on certain type of drinks such as protein fortified beverages.

The integration of clinical science, foods science, and consumer science will be necessary to successfully develop great tasting, efficacious products for digestive health that fit into the modern consumer’s lifestyle.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Identify the drivers of consumer preference for plant-based fermented beverages, as it exists today, and what is being discussed to shape offerings for the future.
  2. Recognize the evidence that exists to support the efficacy of fermented plant-based beverages for health.
  3. Distinguish the key considerations for formulating plant-based fermented beverages.

Event Type: Science FIRST

Format Type: Panel




Areas of Focus