BeverageThis month marks the first of Prepared Foods’ issues on display at the IFT 2013 Annual Meeting & Expo. So, for many of you, this may be a first experience with Prepared Foods or even the first glance at our efforts in some time. Welcome to all! 
The content of the magazine should pretty much speak for itself, so I would like to introduce some of the other areas in Prepared Foods’ network. As my title would suggest, I’m fairly heavily invested in the magazine’s digital efforts, and the past few months have seen interesting additions to the website. “Food for Thought,” for instance, has featured a number of wide-ranging interviews with leading professionals from such industry stalwarts as Ciao Bella, PepsiCo and McCain Foods
Also on the website is a new element stemming from the pages of E-dition, the bi-weekly electronic version of Prepared Foods. Every other E-dition features a category-specific “New Products in Review,” which has now inspired a video series of “New Products in Review” on Each episode features a discussion of a specific category; highlights innovative new products; and delves into how those products address trends impacting that segment. Several episodes have been filmed, and more are in development. Each can be found in “New Product Review,” about halfway down the home page, including a glimpse into adult-oriented beverages, which, as luck would have it, ties neatly into this month’s cover feature on liquid art. Admittedly, liquid art is not confined exclusively to alcoholic beverages, but there have been some product launches of late that position innovation tantalizingly close to the arena of art. 
Take a pair of introductions from Smirnoff Vodka—libations with such flavorful designations as Iced Cake and Kissed Caramel. (Each of these can be found in the first episode of “New Product Reviews” on; please pardon the shameless plug.) The launches are on the heels of sizable growth in flavored vodkas
Technomic research shows the segment saw a 23.3% gain in 2011 and expected further double-digit percentage gains in 2012, with raspberry, citrus and even whipped cream vodkas making their way to market. However, the innovation in the adult beverage space is by no means limited to flavors: Ready-to-drink cocktails have increasingly focused on reducing sugar and even lowering alcohol content.
No doubt, a number of these will be enjoyed at this year’s IFT Expo, and we’ll look forward to seeing you at the show and discussing them further!