What makes the perfect drink? For you, it might be a long Gin and Tonic after a week’s work. Perhaps it’s a cool cider in a sunny garden, or a glass of red wine with your meal. There is also the non-alcoholic industry to consider which has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity making it an attractive market for beverage producers. Through research and development (R&D), innovative methods of brewing, crafting and distilling are generating opportunities for firms in the drinks industry. Whether finding ways to increase efficiency, or discovering the perfect blend for that standout taste, R&D can help firms to develop their competitiveness in this industry.
R&D to Create New Gin Products
Innovation in gin making (ginnovation, if you will) is an area with great market value. Distilling gin has been a profitable activity for generations, but with new technologies to be utilised coupled with the resurgence in demand, R&D has rarely been so essential. By discovering and exploiting new techniques and methods, drinks firms are finding ways to create space for themselves in this competitive market. Research into new botanical mixtures, and different distillation methods, allows companies to achieve a successful flavour profile. This isn’t a simple process, for example even the setup of the still can influence the final taste, but the process has a clear reward when a breakthrough flavour profile is produced.
Developing Distinct Whiskey Flavours
An area where R&D has benefited whiskey is the use of smoke in production. By developing production techniques and finding areas of improvement, whiskey and spirit makers can make a name for themselves. Another innovation is the timing of the peating process, where a different approach can give a uniquely finished product. Adding spice to your whiskey can also help craft that distinct flavour which can put your product above the crowd. Through R&D into different distilling measures, companies can distinguish themselves.
R&D into Other Spirits
Other spirits such as vodka, liqueurs and poitín are also ripe for development. With an increasingly saturated market, firms have had to find new flavours and new methods of production to compete. Research into the effects of new ingredients and combinations in the distilling process can help facilitate agile and dynamic practices when seeking a coveted share of the market. Poitín is underrepresented in the marketplace, so companies willing to invest in R&D to find a successful commercial method of distilling this traditional Irish drink, are likely to benefit greatly.
Developing New Craft Beers
It will come as no surprise to hear craft drinks are in mode right now, and with consumers clamouring to try the latest concoctions, there’s great scope for potential in this market. The global market has been estimated to be around £109 billion. In this lucrative sector, R&D can help get the recipe just right, but is also useful for determining the most efficient and cost-effective method of production. In this increasingly competitive market, any developments into cost-cutting or methods of establishing an effective brand, will benefit your company greatly. By experimenting with novel or uncommon ingredients, through trial and error, new successfully viable beers can be discovered. This can be seen in ales having tones of caramel, toffee and subtle chocolate. Inventive combinations are worth looking into. Beyond ingenious ingredients, R&D surrounding factors such as mash temperature and pH are also important factors for getting that perfect brew.
Creating Tasty New Ciders through R&D
Beer isn’t the only beverage that has benefited from the proliferation of craft production. Cider is increasingly seen as a popular craft drink, with reports showing alternative fruit ciders now make up a third of all cider sales: apples move over! R&D helps new flavours reach the shops and pubs, but innovation in other craft cider areas is allowing businesses to exploit market niches. An example of this is low ABV (alcohol by volume) cider, which is a great development for creating that bespoke consumer experience. Greater focus on taste and less on alcoholic content is just one idea where you could benefit from deviating from the norm if R&D is utilised effectively.
R&D Tax Credits
The rules around R&D claims are complex and require specialist advice, which we can give you. We’ve a track record of helping drinks firms to successfully claim R&D tax credits.
To find out more, please visit www.ianfarley.com or call us on 07752 386484 to arrange a no-obligation discussion.