Have you heard about the liquid foods industry?
Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably bought a few products that fall under the banner. You might have even made a few for yourself.
Have you ever thrown a bunch of fruits into a blender to create a smoothie?
If you have, then you’ve created a liquid food.
Think of this industry as a step up from regular beverage and juice industries. They’re certainly related, but liquid foods tend to pack a ton more into the package when it comes to nutrients. That’s because it involves turning the solid foods that make up your diet into liquids that you can consume at any time.
You may find yourself wondering why we’re talking about such a seemingly-unrelated industry. After all, we specialise in writing about Italian wine. That may be a beverage but you’d be hard pushed to call wine a liquid food.
Or would you…
Is Wine a Liquid Food?
It really depends on your definition of the term.
After all, a lot more goes into the process of making a bottle of wine than just squeezing some juice our of grapes. That’s how you get grape juice, not wine.
To make wine, producers have to go through all sorts of processes. They need to extract the juice, of course. But you also have a huge fermentation process to consider. Plus, there’s all of the science that goes into figuring out which grapes work best together to create a wine that’s actually worth drinking.
All of a sudden, you have something much more complex than simple juice.
And you have something that’s fairly similar to the liquid foods industry.
After all, the producers of smoothies, shakes, and other liquid foods go through a lot of similar processes. If you skip the fermentation, seeing as they’re not making alcoholic products, and look at the thought processes, you’ll see how they match up.
You need to figure out which fruits or veg will go into a liquid food, just like you would figure out which wines blend well together. You’ve also got to figure out the correct quantities to ensure you end up with a product that’s worth eating.
The point is that a lot of science goes into liquid food production.
You could even call the producers artists in much the same way as Italian wine producers.
But we mentioned an opportunity at the top of the article.
Here’s our theory.
The Possible Opportunity…
As we mentioned, the similarities between the two industries opens the doors for some idea sharing. Perhaps an Italian wine producer could use their experience to help a liquid food producer determine which foods blend well together. You could even argue that a wine’s bouquet, which contains notes that remind one of all sorts of foods, could offer some indicators as to what works and what does.
But what about moving beyond the educational/theoretical?
There may still be an opportunity.
After all, liquid food producers may need to use similar equipment to those in the Italian wine industry.
Perhaps manufacturers could open up a new revenue stream by focusing on this emerging market. And again, the industry as a whole could do the same.
Imagine a wine producer that has not hit the volume they’re used too. That could leave some of their machinery unused.
Could they lease it to a liquid food producer? Maybe they could even go into business as a liquid food producer themselves. They have many years of agricultural and winemaking knowledge to draw from. It isn’t as large a jump as it may seem at first glance.
Why Are We Bringing This Up At All?
Liquid foods, which include powders that become liquid foods with the addition of water, is a growing sector.
In the USA alone, this sector generated well over $1 billion in revenue during 2016. The country’s largest producer, Ensure, enjoyed sales of almost $360 million alone.
Globally, the industry easily hits the multi-billion dollar range.
That’s why there’s a potential opportunity for the Italian wine industry. Even if the involvement wasn’t anywhere near as extensive as we’ve theorised, the industry could still get involved.
Could you imagine a Chianti-flavoured liquid food, for example?
We certainly can.
Will the Wine Industry Take this Opportunity?
That’s difficult to say.
At the moment, everything we’re saying here is mere speculation. We’re presenting some possibilities based on the similarities between the two industries.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that what we’re suggesting is actually possible.
Perhaps there are those in the Italian wine industry who have already looked into the possibility and decided against it. Maybe the processes aren’t as similar as we propose here. There could be massive differences that have resulted in the idea getting consigned to the wastepaper bin.
But what if nobody in the industry has really given it any serious consideration?
There could be a potential for some crossover that nobody’s recognised just yet. And if a producer happens to be able to contribute something, or find a way to enter the liquid foods industry themselves, they could diversify their offerings and take their own chunk out of what has quickly become a multi-billion dollar industry.
The Final Word
You might not have expected to see an article on liquid foods when you came to the xtraWine blog today.
But here we are!
Again, we must reiterate that a lot of what we’ve talked about here is just speculation. We’ve just seen some similarities between two industries and wondered aloud if there’s any possibility of a crossover.
There might not be.
But it’s a possibility that may be worth exploring, especially with the liquid foods industry expanding as rapidly as it has in recent years.
For the time being, we’re more than happy to just enjoy the remarkable wines that producers have to offer us. And if you’d like to do the same, please spend a little time exploring our catalogue.