Earlier this month, The Coca-Cola Company announced a 10-year partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. This collaboration would result in the development and introduction of coffee pod products for use in GMCR’s upcoming Keurig cold at-home beverage system. The company purchased a 10% stake in GMCR for $1.25 billion. The partnership provides GMCR with access to Coke’s global beverage brands and great opportunity for international growth. Today, over 18m homes own a Keurig hot brewer, but there is potential for cold beverages, which are 4-5X more popular than hot beverage around the world. Keurig cold is an upcoming at-home beverage system, which would rival SodaStream. This partnership is expected to be especially powerful for Coca-Cola, which has recently suffered from the declining popularity of carbonated sodas. Coca-cola’s recent organizational change, which included refranchising its bottling operations, is in line with this recent acquisition. The company hopes that in the future, each Keurig Cold user would be their own ‘bottler.’ By providing Coke soft drinks in pods, rather than in cans, Coca-Cola can provide an alternative to SodaStream.
According to Beverage Industry’s 2012, New Product Development Survey, orange, lemon and lime were the top flavors used by beverage formulators in 2012. Citrus flavors are very popular and well-known all around the world. With so many different types of citrus, citrus flavors are extremely versatile. Lately, consumers have demanded a wider array of citrus options: kumquat, grapefruit, Valencia orange, Kaffir lime and the list goes on. With each flavor varying in bitterness and tartness, it is likely that the right citrus flavor can be found for just about every beverage. However, most of these varieties do not have an essential oil to base the flavor on. As a result, flavor chemists have to use a more common base oil and add other flavors to replicate the flavor of the specialty citrus.
Moreover, they are very abundant and easy to source for large scale beverage applications. Citrus tends to be associated with refreshment and good health, which has driven its growing popularity. Citrus has become extremely popular mixed with other types of beverages, such as tea. Citrus is also great in combination with other flavors, such as tropical or berry. Citrus is expected to remain popular over the next few years. Depending on your target market, citrus should be considered as a flavor for the next beverage. For example, men tend to prefer citrus flavors, while women prefer berry. However, when it comes to premium beverages, women may prefer specialty citrus flavors to traditional citrus.
To learn more about the popularity of citrus, read this article from BevIndustry.
Oceans Omega is the leading supplier of soluble Omega-3 DHA and EPA used in food & beverage products. Last year, Oceans Omega launched an omega fortified water, which became extremely successful. This past September, Oceans Omega launched the first Omega-3 fortified liquid shot. The brand, known as Omega Infusion, offers 2oz liquid nutritional supplements filled with over 250 mg of Omega-3s DHA and EPA. According to Oceans Omega CEO, Benjamin D. Mamola, “We are excited to be the first company in the world to produce an omega-3 fortified liquid health shot under featuring our proprietary ingredients.” The product comes in 3 flavors: Peach Mango, Raspberry Lemon, and Pink Grapefruit. Omega Infusion can be found in select Rite-Aid and Kmart stores nationwide.
Given that over 40% of Americans do not enjoy taking pills and nutritional supplements, beverage companies should be looking for an easier alternative source of these nutrients. Most American diets are devoid of sufficient levels of Omega-3s, but although Americans need these nutrients, they are often reluctant to taking supplements to remedy this deficiency. Studies show that consumers are in fact looking for a food or beverage alternative to supplements, which can provide their daily intake of omega-3s. The shot format may be a good alternative to supplements for children and senior citizens, both of whom may find pills hard to swallow. Omega 3s have been proven to reduce inflammation, the risk of heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
To learn more about this functional supplement, please read this article from BevNet.
The Performance Food and Drink Category has grown 10 percent. Consumers are looking to improve endurance, facilitate recovery, and boost their athletic performance. Aside from the everyday consumer, professional athletes turn to these beverages to help them improve by even the smallest amount, to have an advantage over the competitors. In order to provide what consumers are looking for, many performance drink companies suggest that their beverages improve energy and stamina, even aid in recovery.
Most of these beverages offer a high protein content, complex amino acids, and are gluten-free, sugar-free or low-fat. Functional sugars are a source of power in athletic performance beverages. For example, Bioenergy Ribose offers a five-carbon sugar, as opposed to the six-carbon found in nature, which is used to build ATP in the body. This special ingredient helps to replenish the body’s ATP stores. Similarly, other companies add a complex blend of amino acids to their performance drinks to improve protein synthesis and recovery. Aside from creatine and L-carnitine, two popular protein supplements, Co-Q10, flaxseed and other antioxidant rich ingredients packed with polyphenols have also been incorporated into performance beverages to give athletes that necessary boost.
Despite these advances, producing a great performance beverage is no easy task. These ingredients pose a problem for the stability of the beverage product, due to unintended interactions. In order to prevent adverse reactions, the processes used to produce the beverage and the time in which the product is produced and shipped, all matter when producing sensitive products like these. Most importantly, beverage producers must ensure that taste, texture and color are preserved throughout the shelf-life of the product. Despite the difficulties that come with research and development (R&D), performance beverages offer a promising future for the beverage industry and it is unlikely that beverage companies will not take advantage of these opportunities.
To learn more, read this article in BevIndustry.
Today’s consumer is a consumer defined by fads. Quick trends explode in popularity for a short period of time before the next newest ‘it’ product is developed. As a result, beverage companies have responded to these fads of consumer demand by offering a wide variety of innovative flavors in order to attract potential consumers.
According to BevIndustry.com, one trend in the beverage industry has been the creation of products with sweet or spicy flavors. Flavors such as Whipped Creme, Glazed Donut and BlueBerry Pancake are counteracted by Cinnamon and Siracha. While this trend has been less pronounced in the non-alcoholic industry, spirits and liquor companies are flocking to create a new alcohol with a delicious taste. Many alcohol companies have even reported that consumers are demanding spicier flavors than the traditional spiced beverage. For example, more people are requesting jalapeno, poblano and ancho varieties as opposed to the more traditional chili or chipotle flavors. Industry experts attribute this trend to the growing population of young adults who have grown up with so many hot and spicy options, as well as the growing population of Latin Americans living in the US.
Another emerging trend are sophisticated flavors, which incorporate traditional flavors with newer, more exotic flavors. As a result, natural fruit flavors have grown in popularity. One way in which manufacturers are maximizing this trend are to utilize spicy, ethnic and blended fruit flavors to offer something different than the traditional options. With more and more consumers who are apart of the globalized world, they seek out different tastes, cultures and experiences and a great beverage product can provide all of these options.
To learn more, read this article in BevIndustry.
The soda industry could get a much needed shake-up in the coming years with the introduction of monk fruit as an alternative sweetener. For centuries, Buddhist monks have cultivated the monk fruit to sweeten their teas. Now, the fruit may pose as a viable alternative to diet soda producers around the globe. The ingredient, which tastes great and has zero calories, has so far been subject to a limited demand and unreliable supplies. However, soda makers are desperate for an alternative, maybe even a miracle to bypass the potential risks posed by alternative sweeteners. Although the FDA and the European Union have declared ingredients like aspartame to be safe for consumption, consumer fears have contributed to a sharp decline in the diet soda sector.
Monk fruit is a great alternative sweetener as one gram of the fruit extract replaces eight teaspoons of sugar. In 2010, the FDA approved monk fruit for consumption, however, the fruit has not yet been approved by European regulators. Monk fruit, indeed, poses several challenges to beverage makers. Monk fruit is twice as expensive as stevia and it is only grown in parts of China. Chinese law prevents monk fruit seeks and other genetic material from leaving the country, limiting the quantity available. BioVittoria is the top exporter of monk fruit, which is distributed by Tate and Lyle. Until these circumstances change, monk fruit may be an unrealistic option.
To learn more about monk fruit, read this article from GMA news.
The US energy drink market may be in for a big surprise. The US energy drink market, which has become the target for negative press in recent years, is laden with artificial products. Despite the negative press, energy drink sales have high and it is evident that American consumers love energy drinks. However, the US energy drink market lacks a healthy, holistic alternative to the traditional energy drinks of the sector. Luckily, Europe’s top energy drink company, Little Miracles, is planning to expand to the US.
Little Miracles comes in three varieties: White Tea & Cherry, Green Tea & Pomegranate, and Black Tea & Peach. The products are all USDA organic and formulated with natural products, such as tea, ginseng and fruit. Each drink is only 90 calories and sweetened with agave. The product, which are geared towards women aged 18-35, has a distinct competitive advantage in the US energy drink market. “We want to carve out that market for us, because no one else is doing it,” says Kate Woolf, Little Miracles’ International Marketing Manager. Everything from the packaging to the marketing is decidedly feminine, but the product’s sales are anything but: in 2013, Little Miracles took in around $11 million. While the product has yet to begin distribution, the company is reportedly in talks with several important distributors in the US.
To learn more about Little Miracles and their transition into the US, check out this BevNet article.