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Sales figures can help show us what styles have been performing well for craft breweries. (Cheat sheet: Nielsen data on the craft segment for the 52 weeks ending in late January show triple-digit sales gains for imperial hazy IPAs, nonalcoholic beers, and light lagers, compared to the previous year.) More elusive are insights into the flavors or ingredients that are most exciting to customers now and in the near future—and thus might help us predict the next trends.
For that sort of insight, we turn to food scientist Donna Wamsley, director of research and analytics for Seattle-based SoRSE Technology. The company creates delivery systems—specifically, water-soluble emulsion technology—for incorporating “difficult” ingredients (such as cannabinoids) into foods and drinks.