Consumers these days are looking to quench more than thirst when they purchase a beverage. With recent product innovations, more consumers are looking to satisfy a number of needs with their drink choices including energy, weight loss, illness mitigation, nutrient replacement, sugar/caffeine cravings and protein.

Because of this, beverage manufactures are turning to exotic flavors, fruits and ancient foods to deliver products that are both functional and exciting, according to market research firm Packaged Facts. In its recent study, researchers tracked South American flavors as part of the firm’s culinary trend tracking series.

“Food producers, retailers and foodservice operators, including restaurants, will be drawing upon food and beverages from Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and other South American countries to inspire the creation of highly-differentiated products and offerings that are sure to engage and excite customers,” says David Sprinkle, research director at Packaged Facts.

Researchers say fruit flavors like pineapple are finding their way into teas and adult beverages while fueling energy and nutritional drinks.

Another emerging trend is the addition of purple corn to drinks. The ancient vegetable is native to South America and craved for its wellness attributes. According to Packaged Facts, Anthocyanin, a flavonoid in purple corn, purple potatoes and a number of dark fruits and vegetables that gives them their purplish color, has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer in some research. Purple corn, has been used for hundreds of years in a Peruvian drink called chicha morada.  The drink is made by boiling purple corn with cinnamon sticks, cloves and other fruit, including pineapple.

More on the study can be found here.