By Emmanuel Laroche VP Marketing and Consumer Insights, Symrise NA
1. Refreshment is a multi-dimensional concept
Refreshment has physical and emotional components; each answer core need. Whilst the physical demands are more immediate, answering higher order needs can provide a richer refreshment experience.
Physical: hydrate, refuel, invigorate
Just as the concept of refreshment is multi-faceted, so a variety of beverage elements drive consumers’ perception of whether a drink is or isn’t refreshing. They fall into two main categories of drivers: Physical Drink Attributes and Ingredient Attributes.
Emotional: Relax, Cleanse and Joy
Relaxation is as a necessary step to re-energizing and thus becoming refreshed.
Cleansing allows a person to feel renewed.
For many, refreshment has ‘emotional energy’ – strong positive connections, associations and feelings. Refreshment is strongly connected with one’s wellbeing and happiness
The iconic elements of a drink all drive the overarching benefit of renewal: ice cold, flavor kick, energy boost, liquid flow, and natural additions
2. Temperature is the drink!
‘Ice Cold’ is not only the most refreshing temperature, but making a drink ice cold is the easiest way to make something more refreshing.
3. Bring Flavor kick!
Consumers desire a flavor sensation that stimulates their senses and helps them feel in the moment. This kick awakens and invigorates body and mind. Berries, Citrus, Orchard fruit, Exotic fruit, and Herbal notes are the most important categories of flavors contributing to creating the most refreshing beverage.
4. Real, fresh, natural additions increase visual perception of refreshment
Adding natural ingredients, from citrus slices, to fresh mint, to berries, cues fresh, natural and healthy for drinkers. It adds a multi-sensory aspect and brings a touch of luxury. Additionally it can intensify a drink’s refreshment with a complementary flavor.
The support elements of a drink all add to the sense of refreshment the drinker gets: light liquid color, carbonation level and fresh tastes
5. Color is a key visual indicator of refreshment
Light colored liquids are a seen as a key cue for more natural, healthier, easy drinking beverages. For the majority, the most refreshing colors are crystal clear / blue (associated with pure water) and natural colors (resembling fruits).
6. Carbonation is critical for the ‘Ahhh’ factor after you take the first sip
Carbonation is very polarizing – for some people it brings real energy and life to a drink. For others it is synonymous with unhealthy Sodas – and carbonated drinks are unnatural.
7. Fresh tastes help impart naturalness to a drink
Not all fresh drinks are refreshing, not all refreshing drinks are fresh. US consumers are seeking out fresh tastes in the sense that they are new. There is potential for fusions and new combinations that are surprising to them.
Here are more key learning for selected beverage categories:
Key dimensions: Relax and Joy
Color: red, pink
Key Flavors: Fruit (berry. Tropical, citrus), Orchard flavors
Key dimensions: Hydrate and refuel
Color: Red, blue
Key Flavors: Berry Citrus, Exotic
Key dimensions: Relax and Joy
Color: Red, orange, clear
Key Flavors: Berry, Citrus / tea
Key dimension: Hydrate
Key Flavors: Berry, Exotic Citrus, Exotic Orchard
Key dimensions: Joy, Hydrate and Relax
Color: Orange, red,
Key Flavors: Exotic Citrus, Orchard, Bry / Tea
Key dimension: Relax
Colors: Yellow, Orange, Red
Key Flavors: Herbal berry, Citrus, Tropical
Symrise NA can guide you to create the most refreshing beverages based on our dual consumer research: qualitative research with Millennials in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas to explore the meaning of refreshment and identify the key drivers of refreshment in drinks. We continued the research with a quantitative study and factor analysis to uncover opportunities for innovation that can drive greater refreshment while asking Millennials to develop their most refreshing beverages.