CLEAR AS DAY
Unexpectedly transparent beverages gain popularity
While consumers around the world have been gravitating toward colorful beverages in recent years, from surprisingly bright lattes to wine and whiskey that stand out in their social feeds, a counter trend is emerging in which people are now seeking clear beverages. Drinks that aren't typically transparent, from beer to coffee to cola, are being reimagined without their signature color, with this taking off in Japan in particular.
CLEAR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER
Following the popularity of clear milk tea in Asia last year, Japanese company Suntory has introduced another see-through drink: non-alcoholic beer. All-Free, All-Time is being marketed as a versatile drink that's even appropriate for the office. Japan Today reports that consumers are embracing clear beverages since they make imbibers feel more mature than consuming colored soft drinks, and thus, they are more accepted at work. The beverage also caters to growing consumer demand for booze-free drinks—a trend that's taking hold in Japan, as well as other parts of the world, with the non-alcoholic beer market projected to be worth over $25 billion globally by 2024.
Coffee is often blamed for staining one's teeth, but new varieties solve this problem by providing the beloved taste and caffeine boost without causing discoloration. CLR CFF is a bottled drink that looks like water, but is equivalent to a double espresso and is free from preservatives, stabilisers, and sweeteners. The drink is sold at select retailers including Whole Foods and Selfridges in the U.S. and Europe, as well as on the company's website. Similarly, following the popularity of clear beverages in Asia, brewery and soft drink company Asahi recently released bottled cafe latte flavoured water in Japan. The drink, dubbed Asashi Clear Latte from Delicious Water, contains espresso extract, milk ingredient components, and whey mineral concentrate.
Clear soda is having a moment around the world. Following the limited-time return of the '90s drink Crystal Pepsi, Coca-Cola has launched a transparent, zero calorie version of its soda in Japan, aptly named Coca-Cola Clear. The beverage giant spent a year developing the drink for this market, testing 50 recipes before landing on a final result. While caramel, which gives Coke its typical brown coloring, is withheld from the clear variety, its flavor remains, with an added hint of lemon. After launching in June, the specialty drink is now available in Singapore, too.