Alcohol losing ground in the food pairing, dining experience moment

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 12th November 2018

THE decline of alcoholic drinks continues as new non-alcoholic beverage products dare to tread in the food pairing space, when once only wine and beer went with certain foods.

At the same time there’s an ongoing dramatic decline in Australia’s beer consumption, witness the release this year of zero-alcohol beers by two mainstream brewing giants – CUB and Heineken.

Enter food-paired soda LoveBite, pitched as a chef-crafted match for types of food, with a focus on burgers. By involving a chef in the beverage construction it potentially better bridges the disconnect when pairing between wine maker/brewer with the food.

According to Euromonitor, sales of non-alcoholic drinks have risen 57 per cent in the past five years.

Lovebite is made by Frucor Suntory, a leading Australasian drinks company, exploring opportunities  in the alt-alcohol, low, reduced and no sugar beverage trends.

Non-alcoholic beverages growing

Frucor senior innovation manager Sam Guernier says the appetite for non-alcoholic beverages is growing.

“LoveBite was created for those who want to get the most out of their meals, whether it’s a simple toasted sandwich or gourmet burger,” Mr Guernier said.

“We worked closely with chefs to create the range, making sure it was a refreshing, delicious, palette cleansing drink that elevates everyday meals to an experience worth talking about and sharing.

“Burgers are the ultimate cheat meal and we wanted to enhance this experience with a drink that means every bite tastes like the first, making it an indulgent taste-fest to be savoured.”

MORE: How beer consumption is slimming but our ‘guts’ continue growing

Enhancing the dining experience

Chef Adam Moore, who led the development of LoveBite, says LoveBite is a category-first that is pushing the boundaries when it comes to non-alcoholic beverages bringing ‘foodie’ values to everyday meals.

“No other soda in Australia has been made by chefs. We’ve crafted the LoveBite range to feature multi-dimensional flavour profiles that complement specific protein types and refresh the palette when eating greasier foods like burgers,” said Mr Moore.

“While alcohol is known for pairing to certain foods to lift and complement the eating experience, LoveBite is now proving that non-alcoholic drinks are no different when it comes to enhancing the dining experience.

“Light carbonation cleanses the palate when eating a rich dish. This refreshes your mouth allowing each mouthful the chance to re-taste the flavours again.

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“Current sodas on the market leave a fuzzy heavy sugar feel in your mouth and can completely take away the flavour of the food.

“LoveBite was designed to hero the food and rather than take away from any of the delicious flavours, instead enhances them.”

LoveBite is currently distributed across burger cafes and restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, with distribution opening up nationally to gourmet eateries in metro areas from October.

LoveBite is available in three flavours, Blood Orange, Lime & Bitters; Lemon, Passionfruit & Mint; Watermelon & Mandarin. The range contains no artificial flavours or preservatives and contains approximately half the amount of sugar than standard, mainstream sodas.