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Tropicana has launched a new range of its Multivit Boost juices to stores across the UK. The three fresh juices expands Tropicana’s functional juice offering as consumer health trends continue to evolve with a post pandemic demand for immunity support products and ingredients.

Tropicana Multivit Boost is now available in its best-selling Multifruit plus two new juices, all in 850 ml Pure-Pak® cartons. Launched in April 2024 and rolling out across UK’s key retailers are the new varieties; Smooth Orange and Mixed Berries juice for immune health support.

Each serving of Tropicana Multivit Boost offers 100 % of daily Vitamin C requirements, along with essential vitamins B1, B2, B6, E, with an added inclusion of vitamin A in the Mixed Berries and Multifruit flavour. According to Tropicana, these added vitamins play a crucial role in supporting normal energy-yielding metabolism, maintaining healthy skin and vision, and protecting cells from oxidative stress. A single portion of each variety provides one of the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, functional drinks have been gaining momentum, with nootropics, immunomodulators, and botanics becoming household terms. Adaptogens, which claim to address rising concerns of stress, anxiety, and balance restoration, have been gaining ground rapidly. In addition, these ingredients help address the challenge of providing consumers with value for money by maintaining quality at steady prices. Against this backdrop, adaptogens are set to become mainstream ingredients, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Bokkala Parthasaradhi Reddy, Lead Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Over the last few years, a health-oriented approach to life has gained a new meaning. Globally, an increasing number of consumers are seeking products that will help them address specific aspects of their overall wellness, such as stress management, sufficient rest, anxiety-easing, and embracing sobriety or mindful drinking. As a result, they are reaching out for goods with added functionalities, active ingredients, or clearly stated health benefits. With their neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, and anti-depressive properties, adaptogens provide multiple benefits, such as boosting immunity, easing anxiety, and relieving stress, which are some of the major consumer focus areas following the pandemic.”

Deepak Nautiyal, Consumer and Retail Commercial Director, APAC and Middle East at GlobalData, notes; “Adaptogens are the new functional ingredients that have found a foothold in non-alcoholic drinks. They can be plant-based or synthetic and can be easily added to a multitude of drinks, such as carbonates, juice, and tea/coffee without altering the flavor or taste profile of these drinks. One of the primary advantages of adaptogens is the ease of use, as they can be consumed as dietary supplement capsules, in teas, or added to non-alcoholic drinks such as carbonates and juice. However, adaptogens cannot be termed as exclusive ingredients as many of them provide the benefits of nootropics and immunomodulators and the other way around.”

Reddy adds: “Some of the common plant-based adaptogens include Panax ginseng, Rhodiola crenulata, and Schisandra chinensis, which have been used to control or manage multiple conditions, including blood sugar control, brain health, fatigue, anxiety, depression, stress, liver diseases, and menopause symptoms. Ginseng is the most popular among these adaptogens and is widely used for its immunity-boosting attribute. Meanwhile, synthetic adaptogens, known as “actoprotectors” have similar functions and enhance body stability without increasing oxygen consumption or heat production, boosting mental and physical resistance, and increasing blood flow. However, these attributes, which enhance the appeal of synthetic adaptogens, also make them unsuitable for consumption by athletes.”

Nautiyal continues: “In addition to their health benefits, adaptogens also help in engaging consumer interest. With the majority of consumers reeling from the impact of high inflation, value for money has emerged as a key theme in consumer purchases. With rising input costs, manufacturers are being forced to provide more value to the consumer’s dollar. This is reinforced by a GlobalData consumer survey*, wherein 27 % of consumers perceive low price/cheap good value for money, and an equal number of respondents perceive high-quality products/ingredients as value for money.”

Reddy observes: “The addition of adaptogens will help to attract consumers who prefer high-quality ingredients. Moreover, these consumers will be inclined to pay more for proven health benefits, as evident in 84 % and 80 % of respondents in the same survey who opined “good for physical fitness/health” and “good for mental health” as an essential or nice to have features in their purchase decisions.”

Nautiyal concludes: “The benefits of adaptogens, which include managing stress and anxiety, are among the most sought-after features among consumers. In non-alcoholic drinks, adaptogens are being used in beverages positioned as alcohol substitutes, and natural energy drinks or night-time drinks that are claimed to improve the quality of sleep and rest, and their adoption is expanding. However, adaptogens are new to the market, and the potential impact of long-term use has not been proven. For instance, dosage control and the potential reactions to medications are still being studied. Hence, despite the significant benefits, adaptogens cannot be a universal panacea for addressing stress and anxiety. Manufacturers will have to address these concerns to push more brands to adaptogens.”

*GlobalData 2023 Q4 Consumer Survey – Asia & Australasia, with 6,163 respondents

New formulation of award-winning ingredient expands applications into sports and cognition products including RTDs and shots

Nektium has developed a new water-soluble formulation of its award-winning nootropic Zynamite® for cognitive and sports nutrition drinks.

Used to support mental and physical energy, Zynamite® is a Mangifera indica extract created from sustainably harvested mango leaves. The natural caffeine alternative has been the subject of 10 clinical studies and multiple industry awards since its launch in 2018, earning global recognition for its fast-acting, experiential benefits.

Nektium’s scientists have now created Zynamite® S to meet growing demand for innovative energy, sports and hydration drinks. It is designed for use in applications such as RTDs and shots where solubility, heat stability and transparency in solution are key.

Zynamite® S also has a neutral taste and is formulated to enable improved absorption of its bioactive component, mangiferin, which allows for reduced dosages.

Nektium Commercial & Partnership Director Bruno Berheide said: “Excessive caffeine intake is becoming a hot topic and there is high demand for alternatives that deliver instant power and energy that consumers can really feel. Zynamite® stands out as a non-stim energy alternative, naturally enhancing mental and physical energy in a smarter way – and without the side effects of caffeine. Our new Zynamite® S allows manufacturers the opportunity to formulate innovative beverages that can help consumers ‘get in the zone’ and perform at their best without suffering jitters and anxiety.”

Hybrid drinks

Zynamite® S can be used alone or in combination with caffeine to provide mental energy and focus as well as supporting physical energy, improved performance and recovery.

It is therefore ideally positioned to tap into the trend for hybrid beverages that blur the lines between energy and sports drinks. Innova Market Insights research shows that of the 56 % of consumers worldwide who regularly use hydration products in conjunction with their exercise routines, more than a third use energy drinks.1

Bruno Berheide added: “In today’s dynamic functional beverage market, many brands are innovating with hybrid products that offer both mental and physical energy. Zynamite® S is the perfect option for these products as it delivers clinically backed benefits for mental energy and sports performance within just one hour.”

Clinical benefits

Zynamite® is supported by a portfolio of safety data and its efficacy has been demonstrated in clinical studies in recognised journals.

Research has shown that, within one hour, a single dose of Zynamite® enhances mental energy and improves performance under fatigued conditions. In addition, it does not increase heart rate or blood pressure, avoiding the side effects associated with caffeine.2

In 2020, Nutrients published a clinical study examining its impact on cognitive performance in adults. It provided evidence that a single dose of Zynamite® significantly improved cognitive function and performance across a battery of cognitive tasks, including improved focus, improved memory and reduced mental fatigue.3

An independent study in Nutrients in 2024, meanwhile, examined the effects of a single dose of Zynamite® combined with quercetin on top basketball players in Greece during a basketball exercise stimulation test. Participants in the supplement group were faster, showing a statistically significant improvement in mean circuit lap time compared to those in the placebo group.4

2López-Ríos, L. et al. ‘Central nervous system activities of extract Mangifera indica L.’ Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2020)
3Wightman, E.L. et al. ‘Acute Effects of a Polyphenol-Rich Leaf Extract of Mangifera indica L. (Zynamite) on Cognitive Function in Healthy Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study’ Nutrients (2020)
4Bourdas, D.I. et al. ‘Effects of a Singular Dose of Mangiferin–Quercetin Supplementation on Basketball Performance: A Double-Blind Crossover Study of High-Level Male Players’ Nutrients (2024)

Health-Ade, the makers of bubbly beverages with gut health benefits, has launched a new beverage brand called SunSip by Health-Ade, a prebiotic soda with benefits that will hit stores in the US. Known for their kombucha, this move positions the brand to become the next leader in the rapidly expanding functional beverage industry, which is estimated to reach USD 62 B in 2027*. While Health-Ade Kombucha has long been a top choice for consumers looking for a better-for-you soda alternative, SunSip by Health-Ade is designed with this exact usage occasion in mind, to better meet new consumers looking for soda alternatives.

SunSip delivers craveable, nostalgic soda flavours while staying true to Health-Ade’s mission to make gut health more delicious and accessible. The brand touts “Life’s Sweeter When You Sip Better,” inspiring consumers to ditch the sugary sodas for this better-for-you upgrade, jam-packed with the delicious flavours they love while also delivering prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals.

The launch of SunSip responds to overwhelming demand for better beverage options, as the traditional soda market has steadily declined, selling 1.7 billion fewer units over the past two years, and as existing better-for-you alternatives are under heat for the use of sweeteners like stevia and erythritol. SunSip by Health-Ade was strategically formulated to deliver on consumer demands for a full-flavoured, better-for-you soda with added benefits and no artificial sweeteners. Each flavour has 5 grams of sugar and uses fruit juice, monk fruit, and a touch of cane sugar to sweeten its bubbles without stevia and includes what other functional sodas do not: prebiotics from agave inulin fiber to nurture a happy gut, vitamins (it’s a good source of Vitamins C, B6, and B12) and minerals (10 % daily value of Zinc and Selenium) to support your everyday immunity and energy, as well as promote your inner and outer glow.

SunSip launches under the Health-Ade master brand, which retails in 65,000 stores in the US and is well known to be a leader in the gut health beverage industry. After its debut in the Los Angeles farmer’s markets in 2012, the kombucha giant rapidly gained a cult following with celebrities and consumers and continues to lead the industry as the #1 growth contributor. The launch of SunSip marks the first non-kombucha product offered by Health-Ade in the refrigerated premium digestive health category and is part of the brand’s mission to make delicious gut-healthy products for every consumer and drinking occasion.

SunSip by Health-Ade will feature a colourful, bold brand and package design, perfectly capturing the pure joy and refreshment of a summer day, so consumers can keep summer in their step, all year long. Brightly designed SunSip will launch in convenient, take-anywhere 11.5 oz aluminum cans, which in addition to cueing delight and refreshment, are 100 % recyclable and a further step in Health-Ade’s commitment to making a positive impact both on gut health and the planet.

The new soda with benefits will launch with four mouthwateringly tasty flavours: Raspberry Lemonade, Cherry Cola, Strawberry Vanilla and Root Beer — mirroring nostalgic soda flavours to transport you back to those sweet summer days — and will be available exclusively at Whole Foods in the US this month and expanding into multiple retailers from April 2024 and onwards.

*Source: US Functional Beverage Market Insights | Glanbia Nutritionals

Selecta, Europe’s leading route-based, self-service FoodTech provider, and Vitamin Well, a leading provider of functional beverages and protein bars, announce an exciting collaboration across European markets.

Embarking on a dynamic partnership, Selecta and Vitamin Well have joined forces to offer a selection of healthier and great-tasting offerings, enriching Selecta’s vending Solution globally. In this venture, Vitamin Well’s vitamin water and Barebells protein bars take center stage, aiming to provide consumers with better alternatives on-the-go.

Vitamin Well has a range of distinct great-tasting flavours, all non-carbonated, low-calorie, and enriched with versatile combinations of vitamins and minerals. The beverage comes in bottles made of 100 percent recycled plastics. Vitamin Well is the market leader in Sweden and has become a consumer favourite in many other European markets.

Vitamin Well also provides Barebells, protein-enriched snacks that never compromise on flavour or texture. Barebells’ wide range of protein bars is available in 40 markets around the world and has quickly assumed a leading position in several countries. Through Selecta’s leading self-service machines, the brand’s iconic Original Protein Bars will be available to consumers on-the-go all over Europe.

Jens van Beusekom CPO at Selecta Group commented: “We strongly believe in fostering collaboration with Vitamin Well and Barebells as the brands have earned widespread popularity worldwide. We are thrilled to introduce a range of nutritional snacks that cater to the needs of our young on-the-go consumers.”

Joost Kroeb, Head of International Accounts at Vitamin Well, added: “Selecta has a unique position on the market, both when it comes to international spread and number of locations. As such, this cooperation will increase consumer awareness of Vitamin Well and Barebells both in our mature markets and markets where we see great potential going forward.”

The partnership covers products in Selecta solutions all over Europe, as well as point-of-sale marketing on the machines to increase awareness of the new offerings.

Selecta and Vitamin Well look forward to a successful partnership that reshapes the vending landscape, bringing healthier and better-tasting alternatives to consumers in the public-, private-, and semi-public sectors, delighting consumers in major European cities, airports, train stations and more.

Growth of the functional beverage market is driven by its adaptability to diverse consumer preferences and dietary needs, catering to various proiles, including plant-based, low-sugar, caffeine-free, and customised nutritional demands

The functional beverage market size is projected to surpass USD 164,058 million in 2023 and is likely to attain a valuation of USD 277,744 million by 2033. The functional beverage market share is expected to rise at a CAGR of 5.4 % from 2023 to 2033.

Functional drinks have firmly established themselves in the sports and fitness market, providing great performance enhancers, post-workout recovery aids, and pre-activity nourishment. These items have become essential components of fitness programs, effortlessly harmonising with the desire for optimum physical performance and adequate nutritional consumption.

The functional beverage industry is benefiting from increased public awareness of health issues. These beverages address a wide range of conditions, including stress management, anxiety, inflammation, and digestive health. As consumers seek solutions to these problems, the market seizes the chance to solve real-world health issues with focused, practical solutions.

Effective marketing and branding initiatives significantly impact the growth of the functional beverage sector. Engaging narrative, eye-catching packaging, and targeted endorsements all captivate customers’ attention and allegiance. Branding is critical for establishing long-term consumer relationships and differentiating items in this crowded industry.

The advent of e-commerce platforms and direct-to-consumer sales channels is substantially propelling the functional beverage market’s expansion. These channels enable manufacturers to reach a larger audience while incurring fewer distribution expenses and providing consumers with quick access to a bigger range of product selections.

Personalisation is emerging as an increasingly important motivator. Customisation possibilities are available from functional beverage providers, allowing customers to customise their beverages to specific health requirements or flavour preferences. This increases brand loyalty and customer engagement.

CBD (cannabidiol) and hemp-based compounds have been gaining popularity in the functional beverage industry. These substances are linked to possible health benefits and relaxing effects, attracting a niche audience interested in holistic well-being.

“The functional beverage market is undergoing a substantial shift, which is being driven by innovation, scalability, strategic alliances, and a greater emphasis on sustainability. This shifting landscape confronts organisations with both problems and possibilities, forcing them to adapt to changing customer demands and regulatory needs while promoting development and resilience in a highly competitive market”, – Nandini Roy Choudhury, Client Partner at Future Market Insights (fmi)

At this year’s FIE fair SternVitamin will be presenting selected premix solutions to address current trends. The focus is on three micronutrient premixes that have been incorporated into various applications. The SternCogni+ premix, whose functional ingredients boost cognitive performance in old age, is presented in gummies, a trending application. The company meets the Beauty from Within trend with an instant beverage powder fortified with the SternHolisticBeauty premix. Meanwhile, SternVitalityV offers something new for the booming plant-based market: incorporated into a vegan coffee drink the micronutrients provide new energy.

Micronutrients for cognitive performance and memory

According to the United Nations, by 2050 the number of over 65-year-olds will increase by almost 50 percent in Europe and North America, and life expectancy is also rising. This makes it even more important to maintain physical and mental health for as long as possible, to lead an active and healthy life into old age. Studies show that best agers and seniors are particularly susceptible to micronutrient deficiencies. This affects cognitive performance and memory. With its SternCogni+ premix SternVitamin picks up on the Healthy Ageing trend. It contains vitamins B3, B6, B12 and biotin, which contribute to normal functioning of the nervous system, and support memory performance in combination with choline. Zinc improves cognitive performance. As an example of a trending food supplement form, the premix is presented in gummies.

Holistic beauty as a future trend

For many years wellness, health, and beauty were discrete categories, but recent years have accelerated the change towards a merging of the categories. Holistic beauty is the long-term trend now. Consumers are looking for beauty products that alleviate stress, boost wellbeing, and help with sleep issues, for a healthy appearance. With SternHolisticBeauty, SternVitamin has developed a unique premix that follows a holistic approach. Its micronutrients and other functional ingredients support the gut immune system and the microbiota that work through the gut-skin axis to strengthen the skin barrier and improve skin health. The lavender extract in the premix helps with relaxation and stress reduction, and pantothenic acid supports mental performance. At FiE SternVitamin is presenting SternHolisticBeauty in the form of an instant drink powder. It features a pear and vanilla flavour tailored especially for the Holistic Beauty market, developed in collaboration with sister company OlbrichtArom.

Fortified plant-based coffee drink for new energy

SternVitamin’s answer to the ongoing plant-based boom is SternVitalityV. This premix contains B vitamins, vitamin C, and pantothenic acid, which reduce fatigue and exhaustion, while simultaneously providing new energy. Iodine and calcium provide additional power. This micronutrient combination comes in a plant-based coffee drink. It can help students, professionals, and fair attendees maintain their mental performance throughout the day, reduce nervousness, and stay focused. This enriched coffee drink was developed in cooperation with sister company Planteneers.

Pat Cummins, captain of the Australian Test Cricket team and international sporting icon, has announced an exclusive partnership with the expanded Nexba business. As part of the collaboration, Pat will embrace his love for Kombucha and become a Nexba shareholder and brand ambassador in Goodness Group Global, the better-for-you company.

The multi-year partnership will see the 30 year old right arm fast bowler become a shareholder in Goodness Group Global, as well as a public face of the Nexba brand, and at the forefront of NEW brands to be built under the Goodness Group Global umbrella.

Nexba is a leading brand in ‘Naturally Sugar Free’ functional soft drinks that has removed more than 6 billion grams of sugar from global diets. This year, Nexba expanded to become Goodness Group Global with the goal of building a house of brands that ‘taste good & do good’ while creating positive change by removing sugar and artificial ingredients from consumption.

Pat’s relationship with Nexba and Goodness Group Global adds to his growing portfolio of off-field business interests which he’s looking to grow for his eventual life after cricket.

Nexba is a leading brand in ‘Naturally Sugar Free’ functional soft drinks and kombucha both in Australia & the UK. All of the Nexba drinks are powered by their Goodsweet® natural sweetener which emulates the taste of sugar without the nasties. Consumers, retailers & governments, locally and internationally, are increasingly focused on health & wellness with rejection of both sugar and artificial sweeteners.

The opportunity to own shares alongside Pat Cummins in Nexba and Goodness Group Global is available via a crowdfunded capital raise campaign on VentureCrowd. Budding investors better be quick, as it closes in less than a month!

Happi Glow and Happi Nightcap boast minor cannabinoids paired with functional mushrooms

Cannabis-infused seltzer brand Happi is pioneering a new path in the cannabis beverage space with Happi Glow and Happi Nightcap. These groundbreaking functional beverages are perfect for day and night, respectively. Created with a unique blend of minor cannabinoids and non-psychedelic lion’s mane and reishi mushrooms, these formulas are the first of their kind, with Happi filing a patent application covering the formulation for the products.

Happi Glow is available in a citrusy, bright Blood Orange Ginger flavour. Each can has 5 mg of THC, 5 mg of CBD, 3 mg of CBG, and 2 mg of CBN. Perfect for daytime, Happi Glow boasts the benefit of lion’s mane mushroom, which can help promote calm and focus to keep you clear-headed.

Happi Nightcap is available in Turkish Apple Tea, featuring notes of crisp apple and warm spices. Each can has 5 mg of THC and 5 mg of CBN. Ideal for evening, Happi Nightcap brings together soothing reishi mushrooms with a blend of minor cannabinoids to help you settle into a peaceful slumber so you wake up refreshed.

Each formula is vegan, gluten-free, and made with simple, all-natural ingredients. In addition to Glow and Nightcap, the brand also features two original flavours: Lemon Elderflower and Raspberry Honeysuckle.

  • Happi Glow: 30 calories, 5mg THC, 5mg CBD, 3mg CBG, 2mg CBN, Carbonated Water, Organic Orange Juice, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Blood Orange Juice, Natural Flavors, Hemp Extract, Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract, Vitamin C, Potassium Sorbate
  • Happi Nightcap: 30 calories, 5 mg THC, 5 mg CBN, Carbonated Water, Organic Apple Juice, Organic Orange Juice, Organic Honey, Natural Flavours, Hemp Extract, Vitamin C, Organic Reishi Mushroom Extract, Potassium Sorbate

Happi Glow and Nightcap are now available at select retailers in Minnesota (US) and online.

Quadrupling of storage capacity at German production facility

BENEO, one of the leading manufacturers of functional ingredients, has announced a quadrupling of the storage capacity at its Offstein facility in Germany, to improve its efficiency and strengthen the company’s business contingency resilience still further. The new high-bay warehouse, which opened in February, allows for increased storage of BENEO’s crystalline functional carbohydrates Isomalt, Palatinose™ and galenIQ™. With a EUR 7.7 million investment in this fully automated facility, BENEO continues to further improve its supply chain robustness and reduces transport.

The new 25-metre-high warehouse has a storage capacity of more than 8.500 Euro pallets, and is located close to both the packaging and shipment operations at the production site in Offstein. Together with external warehouses worldwide, the addition of storage capacity in Offstein further supports BENEO’s multi-storage strategy for improved business contingency. Furthermore, transport ways are reduced as a larger proportion of functional carbohydrates is now stored on-site than in external warehouses.

In their crystalline form BENEO’s functional carbohydrates store well in humidity and temperature monitored facilities, such as the new warehouse. The fully automated high-bay facility allows for a higher proportion of direct loading and is freeing up personnel from the storage and retrieval process to be used more efficiently in other onsite activities.

QminC from Tera Food & Beverage Co., Ltd., Thailand’s leader in health beverages with revolutionary nano-liposome technology and zero preservatives, has unveiled 2 herbal-based health and functional drink flavours ‘QminC Ginger with Honey’ and ‘QminC Finger Root with Honey’.

Thanthit Yuenyongtechahiran, President of Tera Food & Beverage Co., Ltd., said, “The launch of concentrated ginger extract drink with honey under QminC brand is creating a phenomenon for the health and functional drink industry. It is the first time that a concentrated ginger drink is made available in a ready-to-drink bottle in Thailand. We are responding to the high demand of the health-conscious in the global market and to the trend of natural functional drinks, which is likely to have remarkable and rapid growth every year”.

QminC also plans to make a strong overseas presence in CLMV as well as the United States, China, Singapore, South Korea, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates and is ready to go fully online to give consumers extra convenience in response to the current trend of people boosting immunity and reducing inflammation while keeping a social distance.

The first flavour QminC Ginger with Honey contains 1,000 mg. of USDA-approved ginger extract imported from the United States. It also has 100 mg. of beta-glucan which provides immunity for the body and prevents infection from microbes making it widely recognised for being anti-inflammatory as well as vitamins C, D, E, and Zinc with the spicy flavour of ginger and natural sweetness of honey to give a perfectly great taste.

QminC Finger Root with Honey has 1,000 mg. of finger root extract, the famous herb in Thailand with pinostrobin, which has been recognised in studies by many institutions for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It also contains beta-glucan, vitamins C, D, A, and Zinc. With QminC’s manufacturing innovation (nano-liposome technology), it tastes great with an aroma and leaves no bitter taste or odour typical of finger-root beverages.

The two latest QminC’s drinks are now available in Thailand in a 150 ml bottle and retail for 25 Baht (0.7 USD). The drinks offer a low energy density of only 15 kilocalories.

Bright, modern, and colourful design captures the brand’s mission to make soda both a fun and smart choice with ingredients that benefit the brain-gut connection and offer functional benefits with every sip

HERE Originals reintroduces its groundbreaking prebiotic soda, VINA in the US. Reformulated with an essential, proprietary blend of prebiotics, trace minerals, plant fibers and organic ingredients, VINA is expertly crafted to directly benefit the brain-gut connection. On a mission to recalibrate the soda category and functional cold box with a smarter choice, VINA unveils a line-up of flavours that taste great, are delightfully effervescent and expertly formulated to be both fun and smart to drink.

The revamped brand identity and packaging design follows a period of strategic repositioning of VINA’s functional benefits centered on the brain-gut connection. As functional soda becomes a fast-growing subcategory of the greater functional beverage space, the demand for healthier soda alternatives has rapidly increased. VINA’s unique formula that prioritizes brain and gut performance will invigorate consumer demand and add incremental value to this exciting new category with multifunctional benefits to both mind and body.

“Historically, soda hasn’t been considered a healthy choice, packed with sugars and toxins, despite the fun nature of the flavourful beverage. We saw a need to preserve what we all love about soda while completely reconstructing it to be both a naturally delicious and smart choice,” said Founder and CEO, Alex Matthews. “We challenged ourselves to cram what we call ‘The Smarts’ (plant fiber, trace minerals, prebiotics) into our formula for unprecedented functionality and of course, quality taste.”

Connected by millions of nerves and chemicals called neurotransmitters, the brain and gut are a package deal. Operating in a symbiotic relationship, when one is in distress, the other suffers. And, when one is balanced and thriving, the other reaps the rewards. VINA’s formula and ingredient selection are designed to address not one or the other in isolation, but both for optimal wellness.

According to VINA’s Chief Smarts Officer and mind-body expert, Dr. Cynthia Kerson, “The neurotransmitters bidirectionally linked between the brain and gut impact the very core of emotional wellbeing. Stress and anxiety in the mind caused by anything from external factors to deficiencies from essential nutrients can make its way down to the gut and lead to issues ranging from mild discomfort to GI tract issues. Alternatively, serotonin (the stuff that keeps our spirits high) is largely produced in the gut by millions of microbes in a healthy digestive ecosystem. VINA is ‘smart’ because it’s both multifaceted and hyperfunctional as it addresses mind-body wellness at its very core.”

VINA aims to delight both the pop purist and the functional beverage drinker with both taste and nutritional benefits. Crisp, fruity and crafted with an undertone of citrus to keep things balanced and bright, VINA comes in five flavours: Ginger Fizz, Cherry Pop, Grapefruit, Lime Lemon and Pomegranate. All blends are 5 g of sugar or less, 25 calories or less, certified USDA Organic, gluten-free, vegan and made with all natural ingredients.

VINA is the second beverage line out of HERE Originals, following De La Calle, a spin on the Mexican fermented pineapple beverage Tepache that won Best New Products and Best Packaging Design from BevNet’s Best of 2021 Awards.

VINA Prebiotic Soda is available in the US via Purchase one case of 12 cans (12 fluid ounces) for $33.99 MSRP or a monthly subscription for $28.89 per case, a 15 % discount.

Capsoil Foodtech’s innovative platform converts bioactive oils into water-soluble powders

Product developers can now create new categories of functional foods and beverages thanks to Prodalim Resources, Ltd.’s new Capsoil Foodtech. The company advanced the capacity for mixing oil and water by developing ultra-fine, water-soluble powders out of natural oils. This breakthrough presents new possibilities for integrating beneficial nutritional oils, fat-soluble vitamins, and lipid-based nutrients into a broadened range of functional foods and beverages, as well as in new supplement formats.

The market for functional foods and beverages has grown exponentially as health and wellness have taken central stage, especially in the wake of the pandemic era. Concurrently, growing “pill fatigue” has consumers seeking their daily nutrient boosts more naturally through foods and beverages. However, beneficial oils such as omega fatty acids, MCT’s (medium-chain triglycerides) and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, have traditionally been confined to a narrow scope of food and supplement applications due to their lipophilic nature. Such nutrients also suffered from stability issues.

“Oil and water cannot mingle according to the laws of nature,” explains Itay Shafat, PhD, Scientific Director for Capsoil. “In Capsoil, we found a way of overcoming this barrier and created an advanced method for incorporating oil-based nutrients into water-based products. This opens the doors to products such as juices enriched with MCTs or ice pops fortified with omega fatty acids. Even hot drinks can get a ‘better-for-you’ upgrade by infusing them with beneficial oils, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, or hemp oils. The possibilities are endless.”

Capsoil’s proprietary technology takes any oil compound and converts it to a self-emulsifying powder. Unlike conventional powders, this novel process results in a dry, free-flowing powder that dissolves easily in either hot or cold liquids.

Capsoil’s advanced production technology does not apply any form of extraction, solvent, or heat process, nor does it alter the nutrient profile of the oil. Capsoil powders contain from 30 % to 60 % of the oil and its bioactive compounds, and the emulsion’s nanostructured particles possess a large surface area, enhancing bioaccessibility and absorption of the encapsulated oil, leading to improved bioavailability. This can also translates into lower dose requirements.

“We are working with food and beverage companies to help them tailor new food and beverage applications, or find new novel delivery methods, for desired food oils or key fat-soluble nutrients,” adds Shafat.

Capsoil’s tech also targets the dietary supplement space, giving the formulators new capabilities for incorporating lipid-based ingredients such as omega 3 into dry pill, capsule, or sachet formats rather than as an oil or softgel.

“Many consumers find it difficult to ingest omega fatty acids in oil form, or they dislike the texture of soft gels,” states Nir Ilani, CEO of Capsoil. “Consuming high amounts of MCT’s, a key component of the keto diet, is also burdensome for many consumers. Our tech allows for oil-based ingredients to be enjoyed in low, manageable doses and easy-to-digest formats.”

“We trialed a broad spectrum of Capsoil powdered oils in various water-based applications, assessing such key parameters as bioavailability and stability of the actives with very encouraging results,” adds Shafat. “Further clinical trials are in the pipeline that will allow our innovative powdered formats to open the doors to new advances in functional product diversity.”

Capsoil FoodTech was established by Prodalim Group, one of the world’s leading producers of natural fruit extracts and concentrates (NFCs), as well as other natural ingredients for the F&B industry. Nir Ilani, who previously worked for Unilever, Frutarom, and IFF, along with Itay Shafat, PhD—a seasoned veteran of the dietary supplement market—were recruited to lead the new venture. The company’s R&D center is based in Israel, with production facilities in the US.

Strategic, asset-light expansion into functional beverages increases Halo’s addressable market and near-term revenue opportunity

Halo Collective Inc. announced that it is strategically expanding into the functional beverage market with a proposed stock-based acquisition of private company operating as H2C Beverages and the entering into of a distribution and manufacturing agreement with Elegance Brands Inc. Pursuant to the terms of the Distribution Agreement, Elegance has agreed to purchase USD30 million of Halo’s H2C and Hushrooms™ branded products during the 24-month period following the launch of the products and to distribute these products to retail outlets in respective legal states across the United States.

Kiran Sidhu, Halo’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Nootropic nutraceuticals is a relatively new health category that we believe is poised for robust growth. Our strategic acquisition of H2C Beverages will bolster Halo’s growth opportunities, even as the recreational cannabis industry faces over-supply issues in our California and Oregon markets. Elegance Brands is the perfect partner to manage and distribute H2C and our functional mushroom brand Hushrooms to mainstream consumers.”

Added Raj Beri, Elegance’s CEO and Founder, “Elegance has successfully established a distribution network with a potential reach to tens of thousands of outlets nationwide that uniquely positions for the significant growth expected in the beverages and functional mushroom markets. We believe that Halo’s innovative line of products will be strong sellers alongside our portfolio of brands all built around innovation, and we are excited to offer them to our expanding distribution customers.”

Acquisition of H2C Beverages

Halo has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 1285826 B.C. Ltd., a company focused on cannabinoids and non-psychotropic mushroom functional beverages. The H2C acquisition is expected to provide Halo with a toehold in one of the fastest growing sectors of the cannabidiol market, estimated to account for USD16 billion in U.S. sales by 2025, according to Brightfield Research1, as well as to directly participate in rising consumer consciousness toward the health benefits of consuming small doses of cannabinoids and functional mushroom extracts paired with adaptogens. H2C’s product portfolio includes a line of premium flavoured waters that are nano emulsified to maximize absorption and other plant-based beverages infused with cannabinoids, functional mushroom extracts with fulvic and humic minerals from the Rocky Mountains.

In consideration for all the issued and outstanding shares of H2C, Halo has agreed to issue 7,538,462 common shares in the capital of Halo. Closing of the H2C Acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including, among others, the approval of the Neo Exchange Inc. The Company expects the H2C Acquisition to close in January 2022. Halo has also agreed to issue 603,077 Common Shares to an arm’s length finder in connection with the H2C Acquisition.

Distribution and manufacturing agreement with Elegance Brands

Halo has also expanded its collaborative relationship with Elegance by entering into the Distribution Agreement to propel the national distribution of beverages, capsules, and topical supplements under H2C and Halo’s functional mushroom brand, Hushrooms. This new category of functional supplements, nootropic nutraceuticals, will be marketed under three subcategories: active, relax and focus.

Under the Distribution Agreement, Elegance has agreed to purchase USD30 million of H2C and Hushrooms branded products during the 24-month Launch Period and to distribute these products to retail outlets in respective legal states across the United States. Elegance shall purchase the products at a price of up to 130 % of manufactured costs (including all direct costs, both third party and internal) incurred by the Company. All prices are exclusive of applicable taxes, including without limitation, sales, excise, use and property taxes, which shall be paid by Elegance. The Distribution Agreement is expected to deliver up to USD9 million of profit (before tax) during the 24-month Launch Period.

During the period from the effective date of the Distribution Agreement until the Launch Period, which is expected to last up to six months, Elegance will provide certain consulting services to Halo including with respect to the development of branding, marketing, and manufacturing best practices, product development, and sales strategies through to launch. Pursuant to the Distribution Agreement, Halo has agreed to issue USD2.5 million of Common Shares (the “Elegance Shares”) to Elegance in consideration for the consulting services to be provided by Elegance in connection with the branding, development, manufacturing, and distribution of the H2C and Hushrooms product lines. The Elegance Shares will be issuable in four equal monthly tranches of USD625,000 per tranche. The number of Elegance Shares to be issuable under each tranche will be equal to the quotient of USD625,000 (converted into Canadian dollars using the prevailing Bank of Canada exchange rate), divided by the greater of: (I) the volume weighted average price of the Common Shares on the NEO (or such other exchange on which the Common Shares are principally traded) for the twenty (20) trading days prior to the issuance of such Elegance Shares; and (II) the minimum price permitted by the NEO. The issuance of such Elegance Shares is subject to, among other things, the approval of the NEO.


Symrise AG has opened its state-of-the-art development, application, and sensory laboratories in Dubai. The company has invested about 1 million Euro into the facilities to decode, design, and deliver winning taste solutions for leading food and beverages brands that consumers love. To meet the demands of its partners and to accommodate its growing team, the company recently moved to the iconic Gold Tower Building in the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC), Dubai’s dedicated hub for global trade, business and specialist industries in JLT. Symrise AG has been operation in the Middle East for many decades leading to the first opening of its first sub-regional offices in Dubai in 2005. Since then, the company has seen double-digit growth year on year with its partners across the Middle East region.

The new sub-regional centre spreads across 10,500 sq ft and occupies the entire lower penthouse level/36th floor of the Gold Tower. The contemporary workspace has been designed in line with the company’s four pillars of sustainability in mind; footprint, innovation, sourcing and care. It is working towards achieving carbon neutral status, to support the Symrise AG global objective of halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and reaching climate positive operations from 2030 onwards.

The facilities are designed to take customers on a journey, and support the development of consumer-led winning concepts and taste solutions for high-growth categories, beverages, culinary, dairy, snacks, and confectionery.

The premises will allow the company to support diverse working styles and is split into a variety of working and meeting areas, for Symrise Middle East’s expanding cross-functional teams to interact and collaborate in a bright, modern, and dynamic working environment. The dedicated application and sensory laboratories will help the teams – from marketing, sensory and consumer insights to regulatory, technical, and commercial to continue achieving in the field of flavour and nutrition evaluation.

The sensory booths, where panellists taste, evaluate, and describe flavours in application, features state of the art equipment and programs that help design solutions meeting customers’ expectations.

Commenting on the move, Dirk Bennwitz, President Flavour Europe, Africa & Middle East, said: “We feel very excited to embark on the next phase of our business growth through our new sub regional center. This will help us further consolidate our strong foothold in the Middle East & Africa sub region. Our investment in the new hub, our human resources, and the ultramodern creation, development and application facilities will allow us to identify and decipher game-changing industry trends and deliver innovation to our customers across strategic categories and the future of food segments: functional beverages and plant protein.”

Natural energy and performance recovery brand, Resync, announced the newest Resync beverage, the first vegan ready-to-drink multisystem support drink on the market. The Resync beverage offers a convenient and delicious way to support the heart, immune and digestive system all in one eleven-ounce sparkling beverage.

The Resync beverage brings together the most critical ingredients to support the primary functional systems of the body, including immunity-boosting vitamin C that provides 555 % of daily value; seven grams of plant fiber and prebiotics to strengthen gut health; 200 mg of phenolic antioxidants to aid proper heart and immune system function; and a plant-based nitric oxide blend to support the heart and provide natural energy.

“Although the idea for the Resync beverage predated Covid-19, the pandemic became both my motivation and demand-based rationale to create the first vegan- and one of the healthiest overall-ready-to-drink beverages on the market,” said Resync, LLC founder and CEO Barbara Depta. “It is important to me that my premium line of natural energy and recovery improvement products support a moderately-active senior just as much it does my pro-athlete clients. The Resync beverage, as well as the entire line of Resync products, are both suitable for and accessible to everyone, anywhere, anytime.”

The functional support provided in one eleven-ounce can of Resync beverage brings together what would normally require three separate and distinct consumable products for the heart, immune and digestive systems. The aronia citrus flavour of the Resync beverage was born of the combination of natural ingredients: aronia berries, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants; red beets, which are packed with fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C for improved blood flow; and high-quality red spinach, which supplies nitric oxide, a critical molecule in our bodies that aids in increased blood flow and energy.

In the creation of her product line, Depta discovered that nitric oxide, delivered on the cellular level through the vascular system, could help provide nutrients to the entire body to support energy, heart health, and brain functionality, while supporting healthy inflammatory response due to exercise. It supports many essential reactions underneath the skin and has the potential to relax and widen blood vessels, allowing for more effective and efficient blood flow, nutrient delivery throughout the body. The plant-based nitric oxide blend is the primary element of every product in the Resync line.

Resync RTD can be purchased on Resync’s website at The eleven-ounce cans are sold in packs of 12 for $69.99, or $59.49 with a monthly subscription.

The Resync beverage joins a full line of natural energy and performance support drinks and blends developed on the basis of scientific research, with registered dietitians, and performance testing. Resync uses third party testing certification for their supplement line, including NSF Certified for Sport and BSCG, to ensure all products are safe and free of banned substances. The full line, which offers Resync Recovery Blend and Resync Premium Collagen Peptides, is non-GMO, gluten free, sugar free, contains no artificial sweeteners, and is keto friendly. Resync is the trusted brand of registered dietitians, doctors, coaches and athletes around the world.

About Resync
Barbara Depta created Resync in 2017 while she was traveling as a structural balance coach with one of the top NFL teams. Her goal was to develop products that didn’t exist for professional athletes and anyone who wants clinically tested, plant-based blends to sustain their energy, recover better post physical activity -products to help people feel their best, refuel their bodies, and support every layer of their connective tissue health.

Nestlé USA announced that it has acquired Essentia Water (“Essentia”), a premium functional water brand headquartered in Bothell, Washington. Essentia pioneered ionized alkaline water more than twenty years ago and is the leading brand in that space in the U.S. Essentia’s 2020 sales were USD 192 million.

This transaction is part of Nestlé’s continued transformation of its global water business, which was announced in June 2020. The company is sharpening its portfolio to focus on international premium and mineral water brands and healthy hydration products, such as functional water. This follows the agreement to sell Nestlé’s U.S. and Canadian regional spring water brands, purified water business and beverage delivery service announced in February.

Officially launched and available for purchase online, BRÈINFÚEL (Breinfuel) evolves from coffees, energy drinks, and nootropics to help the brain respond with focus, alertness, and productivity.

Developed by Dr. Gerald Horn, a Lasik surgeon with a background in pharmaceutical science and disruptive drug development, Breinfuel combines highly researched ingredients with an extended release that is designed to support performance and wellbeing.

“Endurance means so many different things to people with various lifestyles, occupations and interests. Yet, the common desired effect is not the jolt offered by traditional caffeinated beverages, but rather sustainable cerebral stamina and high-performance energy,” noted Dr. Horn. “Whether you’re a competitive bodybuilder, a frontline medical worker, or a stay-at-home mom of zoom-schooled children, our mental health is being zapped by today’s challenges and demands. Consumers need a beverage that incorporates more functional benefits that enhance productivity and well-being.”

Breinfuel comes in four palate-pleasing flavours including Thrive Ice, Victory Bliss, Alpha Punch and Limitless Berry. Dr. Horn combined four uniquely differentiated ingredient blends for Breinfuel’s multifaceted effects. The Caffeine Blend, according to Dr. Horn, is “the secret sauce” of Breinfuel, with the best of what’s in coffee without the coffee base. It is derived from green tea and green coffee beans without the toxicity and loss of potency from the roast.

The Fuel Blend includes four grams of low-glycemic sugar, five grams of easily digestible collagen protein, and MCT’s which are a great source of prolonged energy. The Antioxidant blend offers potential added benefits from vitamin C, vitamin E and beet root, all designed to reduce the brain’s known sensitivity to accelerated metabolism. The Brain-Booster blend features zinc, creatine, glycine (from collagen), and L-theanine, all individually shown to support brain health.

“Putting caffeine in water alone can create a toxic jolt to our system, which has contributed to caffeine’s checkered past,” noted Dr. Horn. “Since caffeine is not energy or fuel, but rather a stimulant, it needs to be supported like one. Breinfuel’s attention to these key principles resulted in four targeted blends that, for many, may redefine the caffeine experience.”

The inception of Breinfuel began as part of Dr. Horn’s goal to optimize his nutritional consumption, lifestyle/productivity, and personal health.

“This began as a personal quest to solve the problem of unsupported caffeine in the marketplace, such as in caffeinated drinks with zero calories or high-fructose carbohydrates,” noted Dr. Horn. “Once I and some colleagues began to experience caffeine in a new and better way, I knew it was the right time to bring Breinfuel to market.”

Developed by Dr. Gerald Horn, a Lasik surgeon with a background in pharmaceutical science and disruptive drug development, Breinfuel combines highly researched ingredients with an extended release that is designed to support performance and wellbeing. Breinfuel is sold online and comes in four delicious flavours including Thrive Ice, Victory Bliss, Alpha Punch and Limitless Berry. Each bottle of Breinfuel features a proprietary blend of effective ingredients, including: natural caffeine from GCBE and green tea (along with their extracts), D-ribose sugar, collagen protein, MCT’s, vitamin C, vitamin E, beet root, L-theanine, creatine, and zinc.

B1U brand will launch functional infused waters, featuring real ingredients including zinc, vitamin C, black tea caffeine, fiber and protein

Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families, announced the launch of the B1U brand, a new beverage line featuring on-trend functional benefits, simple ingredients, easy-to-understand nutrition, and recyclable packaging. The B1U brand aims to demystify nutrition so everyone can make educated and personalized decisions for their own unique body and ultimately “Own the One You™”.

Ocean Spray is continuing its expansion into the health and wellness categories as 65 % of consumers report wanting more functionality out of their food and beverage products*. In order to meet this demand; the B1U brand is first unveiling an environmentally conscious, accessible enhanced water as the first product in its line to be followed by further beverage additions in the future.

The B1U brand of functional infused waters features four flavors with no sugar or artificial sweeteners:

  • I need a boost: Watermelon cucumber infused water with 60 mg of black tea caffeine
  • I need rhythm: Strawberry basil infused water with 8 g of plant-based fiber
  • I need immunity: Lemon chamomile infused water with 22 mg of zinc and 128 mg of vitamin C
  • I need power: Peach kiwi infused water with 10 g of protein

The B1U brand is on-shelf in the U.S. at select Target stores this month, will be available at select Walmart stores in December, and is currently available for purchase on Amazon. B1U is available in 16 oz fully recyclable bottles.

*Kerry Group, Proactive Health: Consumer Demand for Functional Benefits, 2019

Consumers’ health status, personal interests and life priorities continuously change with age. Demanding lifestyles of Thai consumer combined with early signs of ageing often trigger middle-aged consumers to become more concerned about their health, nutrition and resulting in increased interest in using functional food/drinks.

Latest research from Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, highlights that for 84 % of Thai consumer health is a top priority, and even more so for consumers aged between 25-44. Among millennials aged between 25-34, over a  quarter (28 %) of consumers rely on products with added nutritional benefits to balance out their indulgence intake and 34 % of consumers in the same cohort seek out the latest information on health and nutrition information.

Pimwadee Aguilar, Associate Director for Food & Drink, at Mintel said:

“The degree to which consumers choose to engage with functional food and drink products varies depending on life stage and lifestyles. The increase in health awareness often takes place after the first signs of health decline. As simple signs such as facial fine lines usually appear at around the age of 25, it is at this stage when consumers are really motivated to review their diet and attempt to improve it either through conventional foods, supplementation or medicine.”

“With consumers seeking convenient ways to make up for their imbalanced lifestyle, brands in the food and drink space have an opportunity to tap into this need state to help consumers feel at their best despite their busy schedule. To find success in functional food and drink business, brands need to develop products that provide customised benefits to fulfill the needs of different demographic groups.”

Performance enhancement is the key target benefit

Thai consumers are looking for ways to improve performance and delay the degeneration of health. Mintel research highlights that the top three benefits consumer look for in functional food and drink products include brain health (62 %), eye health (55 %) and skin health (53 %)and that boost energy. However, 53 % of consumers prefer getting nutrients through regular food and drink rather than through those with fortifications and this increases to 66 %, among consumers aged 45+.

“Despite the significant demands for functional food and drinks with benefits for brain/eye health and energy, within the last three years the Thai market has experienced very stable growth in product launches that cater to these needs. With new ingredients and product varieties that can deliver these benefits, there is still a large opportunity for business growth. In Thailand, ‘naturally functional’ ingredients or products are perceived to be better than ‘added nutrition’ among consumers. Brands can appeal to consumers, especially adults with food and drink products with functional benefits from natural sources as they convey ‘healthiness’ more strongly than those with synthetic ingredients. Product formats such as beverage powders and yogurts which can easily fit into many meal occasions, and presents an opportunity to penetrate exceptionally well with consumers as they contain ‘familiar, real-food’ qualities. Energy drinks and those with electrolytes, on the other hand, are consumed less, mostly due to their ‘overly processed’ image. To win consumer acceptance, manufacturers need to develop products which provide functional benefits, yet maintain ‘real food’ look and taste,” said Pimwadee.

Beauty inside out

Consumers want to look their best, even amidst busy lifestyles, as Mintel research reveals that over half of consumers look for skin health (51 %) and over a third of consumers seek products that aid weight loss (37 %). The interest is high, especially among female consumers, in functional food and drinks products that offer for skin health (63 %) and weight loss benefits (45 %). Finally, Thai consumers say they are aware and have consumed collagen (73 %) and antioxidants (72 %).

“Urbanisation has resulted in consumers leading hectic lifestyles which often increases their chances of physical and mental burnout and premature ageing. As a result, early signs of ageing on the face and body are triggering consumers, especially females, to seek solutions to delay the decline. Collagen and antioxidants are the most popular functional ingredients among consumers as they seek ‘quick fixes’ to improve physical appearance and delay ageing. Food and drink can play an important role in beauty as ingredients for healthy skin such as collagen are seeing high awareness and usage. It is essentials for brands to lead in educating consumers about ingredients and benefits the product delivers and offer convenient, effective and tasty beauty and weight management solutions to consumers,” concluded Pimwadee.

Introduces Má CBD+ natural botanicals functional iced teas exclusively in over 500 The Vitamin Shoppe stores

Sh’nnong Beverage Company is launching new Má Functional Iced Teas with CBD+ natural botanicals with a national roll-out to over 500 The Vitamin Shoppe stores in the USA. Má ready-to-drink teas might be new to The Vitamin Shoppe customers but their roots date back to 2737 BC when Emperor Shennong of China discovered tea and combined it with organic hemp and botanicals to make his original Má brews.  Sh’nnong Beverage Company’s next-generation plant-based beverages start with the finest Green, Oolong or Bai Mudan Teas blended with CBD+ natural botanicals to detox, focus or relax.

Jill Beraud, CEO and Co-founder of Sh’nnong Beverages Company, is no stranger to the iced tea beverage category, having previously served as President of Starbucks & Lipton Joint Ventures at PepsiCo, where she oversaw the largest global tea portfolio and the reinvention of Pure Leaf Teas.

“When my business partner Charlie Herbstreith and I originally discussed this idea, it reminded me of my time at PepsiCo when kombucha and coconut water were just emerging.  However, given the far-reaching benefits of CBD, this is a much bigger white space,” stated Beraud. “The Vitamin Shoppe is the perfect launch partner for us.  They are establishing themselves as CBD Central across multiple categories and have tremendous in-store expertise in health, wellness and nutrition.”

Sh’nnong Beverage Company is raising the bar with next generation, plant-based beverages by infusing each Má Iced Tea with CBD+ natural botanicals. CBD+ not only harnesses the functional benefits of zero-THC Hemp CBD but elevates those benefits by combining it with nearly 20 different herbs and spices inspired by the original Má brews of Emperor Shennong.  Shennong used his brews to treat a variety of conditions and later became known as the Father of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

All Má Functional Iced Teas with CBD+ Natural Botanicals ($4.99) are naturally sweetened, contain no sugar and are less than 10 calories.  Available exclusively at The Vitamin Shoppe, Má Iced Teas are carefully curated into three distinct blends including:

  • FOCUS:  Oolong Peach Spark will help you feel more focused with CBD + brain-stimulating adaptogens of ginkgo biloba, gotu kola and Rhodiola Rosea.  With 40mg of natural caffeine added, it is just the right spark you need to help promote cognitive brain activity.
  • RELAX:  Lavender Berry Chill features blueberry-infused, caffeine-free Bai Mudan Tea blended with CBD, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, elderflower and passionflower to impart calm and help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • DETOX:  Emperor Spice Cleanse is a caffeine-free, detoxifying brew to help you purify the mind, body and soul with CBD + Green Tea, lemon, chamomile, schisandra berry and dandelion root to help remove toxins from the body.

Sh’nnong Beverage Company was founded to develop plant-based, functional beverages leveraging CBD + natural botanicals inspired by Emperor Shennong.  The company was founded by Jill Beraud and Charlie Herbstreith, executives with over 25 years of business and marketing expertise.

About the Vitamin Shoppe, Inc.:

The Vitamin Shoppe® is an omni-channel specialty retailer and wellness lifestyle Company with the mission of providing customers with the most trusted products, guidance, and services to help them become their best selves, however they define it. Based in Secaucus, New Jersey, the Company offers a comprehensive assortment of nutritional solutions, including vitamins, minerals, specialty supplements, herbs, sports nutrition, homeopathic remedies, green living products, and natural beauty aids.

Sales revenues of organic foods in Europe continue to rise. In addition to traditional drivers like the dry foods category, which includes cereals, trend categories like protein bars and shakes are also growing. “The growing demand for organic products is becoming more and more obvious in health and fitness-related categories,” reports Marc van Essen, Sales Director at SternLife. “So we offer a large part of our range in organic versions as well. From vegan protein bars and protein shakes to breakfast and fitness shakes to smoothie powders, we provide high-quality functional food made with organically grown raw materials, with a difference you can taste.”

SternLife is one of the leading suppliers of functional lifestyle and sports nutrition products. From an extensive range of organic raw materials, the company also develops exclusive organic product lines for major brands. The raw materials can be from animal or plant sources as desired. For example, protein sources can be pea, rice, hemp, sunflower and pumpkin, or milk and whey. “Continuous consumer and market research is fundamental to the successful development of our product concepts. We have a very good knowledge of which organic raw materials are in demand at any given time,” notes SternLife Product Manager Lüder Holsten, adding, “That means we can always implement the latest product trends for our customers.” The proper combination of raw materials is at least as important in order to achieve high bioavailability and thus high product functionality. SternLife developers and technologists examine these aspects very carefully in applications testing.

With regard to the organic market, functional bars are of special interest.  Few organic offerings exist, and demand is rising rapidly. SternLife has therefore developed a wide selection of exciting concepts for the entire range of bars, from Pure to Deluxe. Whether chocolate coated or uncoated, with sprinkled bits or filling, whether vegan or conventional, SternLife has many possibilities for individual product lines with protein content up to 30 % (vegan) or more (conventional).

In the powder category, customers can have SternLife create custom organic shakes for different target groups and occasions, working from a wide portfolio of raw materials. Powders can be conventional or vegan; the vegan powders can contain up to 60 % protein while meeting all sensory requirements. In additional to raw materials from organic agriculture, SternLife naturally also offers UTZ and RSPO-certified raw materials, combined individually to customer order.

Vegan ingredients, functional concepts and a CBD-free painkiller: Taiyo’s new developments attracted a lot of attention at Vitafoods in Geneva.

Taiyo, the health-promoting natural ingredients expert, used Vitafoods Europe, in Geneva, to debut innovative concepts that were particularly well received by manufacturers of sports nutrition and functional products. The most surprising innovation was a concept developed by Taiyo GmbH in Germany and partners for the European market: A legal cannabidiol (CBD) alternative that promises legal and safe consumption with a CBD effect. Also among the sought-after new products were a vegan protein shake concept based on chia protein and bean fibre, which contains green coffee beans, along with new prototypes for functional, clear, instant soups offering increased saturation and regeneration, with protein and fibre enrichment.

At the meeting point for the dietary supplement industry, Taiyo caused a sensation with its cannabis alternative CPT. The additive, which can be legitimately distributed and consumed worldwide, has nerve-protecting properties and acts systemically on the central nervous system. Managing Director Dr. Stefan Siebrecht: “CPT is by no means a synthetic cannabinoid, nor does it contain real cannabis. CPT is a combination of three natural and legal extracts which complement each other in such a way that they have a similar effect to CBD. The components of CPT are long established and are already being used in America to reduce the side effects of therapeutic cannabis. This makes the almost comparable effect all the more interesting: CPT has an anti-inflammatory effect, relieves pain and reduces a number of stress-related symptoms. And although the ingredient improves sleep quality, it does not make you tired, but instead regulates the natural day-night rhythm. Improved concentration and learning ability are further positive effects.”

Taiyo’s innovations in the weight management segment also attracted plenty of interest. One novelty, a vegan satiating protein shake, is part of an extensive range of chia products and concepts. The allergen-free organic shake concept combines all the benefits that health and weight-conscious consumers value: high-quality micro and macro nutrients, a performance-enhancing Q10 source, a creamy cappuccino taste and easily digestible fibre. In addition, the formulation contains green coffee beans that release caffeine slowly over 6-8 hours, increasing calorie consumption and reducing diet-related fatigue.

Another highlight at the stand was functional instant soups, which could well change the negative image of an infusion meal: The recipes consist exclusively of nutritionally sensible ingredients and are free from flavour enhancers such as glutamate or yeast; they contain neither starch nor palm oil, or other declarable additives. Each portion contains 66 per cent vegetables, over 5g vegetable protein and Taiyo’s natural fibre Sunfiber® from the guar bean. A variant with a higher content of collagen peptides appeals to target groups such as athletes, the elderly or infirm who want or need to do something to care for or maintain muscle strength.

Scientifically formulated range that replenishes nutrients and minerals lost during partying, travelling and exercising

HangZing is an innovative business founded by a British Chemical Engineer and is committed to using ground-breaking technology to create radical food and drink products.

HangZing produces a revolutionary range of drinks designed to give a natural pick-me-up for people that work hard and play hard. The drinks are scientifically formulated using a blend of naturally-functional ingredients to fight the after-effects of alcohol consumption and to replenish the nutrients and minerals lost during partying, traveling and exercising.

Available in two innovative varieties, Lychee & Lemongrass and Garden Mint, every convenient 100 ml bottle is made by combining herbs, electrolytes and vitamins. The range is sweetened naturally from pure Canadian maple syrup and is free from added sugar, sweeteners and is suitable for vegans.

HangZing helps individuals reboot and get the most from their day and provides a natural alternative to unhealthy “morning after” remedies, including pain killers and junk food.

Product Functionality and Usage

As the liver metabolizes alcohol, a compound called Acetaldehyde is produced as a by-product. Acetaldehyde is a harmful, toxic compound for the human body. It is this that causes the headaches, nausea, muscle aches, fatigue, increased sensitivity to light and facial flushing associated with too much drinking.

HangZing works in three ways. First, it harnesses the powers of the hepatoprotective herbs Hovenia Dulcis, Milk Thistle, Nopal Cactus and Siberian Ginseng, which may facilitate the breakdown of the by-product Acetaldehyde into smaller components which can then be passed through the system.

Aloe Vera, Turmeric and Vitamin C work together to reduce the inflammation and neutralize the acidity in the stomach to ease discomfort, along with boosting the immune system. Finally, electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B complex (B1, B3, B6, B5, B12, B9) replenish the minerals and nutrients lost from drinking.

Many variables including age, weight, sex and ethnicity affect how individuals are able to detoxify alcohol in their system. To address this diversity, HangZing’s research and development involved creating a proprietary formula in a bottling laboratory through an iterative approach of testing different quantities of each ingredient on hundreds of people over a period of time.

“Extensive research has shown that dihydromyricetin (DHM), a compound in hovenia dulcis, boosts the ability of the enzymes ADH and ALDH to break down both alcohol and acetaldehyde. The research concludes that DHM can, therefore, speed up the process with which the liver breaks down acetaldehyde into smaller compounds, such as acetate, carbon dioxide and water, which can then be expelled through breathing, sweat and urine.” *(Chen et al., 2006)

HangZing is designed for anyone who wants to get the most out of the day after a heavy evening the night before, from busy professionals to those marking a special occasion. Packaged in a box of six 100 ml bottles, HangZing works best when consumed just before bed with plenty of water.

HangZing is available via Amazon Prime and the brand’s website: in two varieties, Lychee and Lemongrass and Garden Mint, for $28.99 per box (6 x 100 ml bottles).

*Chen, S., Li, A., Li, S., Wu, L. and Zhong, G. (2006). Influence of Hovenia dulcis on alcohol concentration in blood and activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) of animals after drinking. China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, 31(13), pp. 1094-1096.

Stern-Wywiol Gruppe from Hamburg is adding to its production and sales network in south-east Asia by establishing a new production facility for its subsidiary, SternMaid Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd, in the Iskandar economic zone, Malaysia. After the plants in Suzhou (China) and Mumbai, this is the third food industry facility that the family enterprise has opened in Asia and its sixth outside Germany. Clients in the ASEAN region will in future benefit from more rapid deliveries, secure supply chains and applications advice from a consultant nearby.

The state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the development and production of food ingredient systems to improve the functional qualities of food. The facility has three completely separate production lines; initially work will focus on enzyme-based ingredients systems for bakers and millers plus micronutrient mixes to fortify a wide variety of foods and beverages.

As National Coffee Day (September 29) approaches this weekend, consumers are looking for options beyond their typical cup of joe in favor of ready-to-drink (RTD) varieties offering functional benefits. When asked what their ideal bottled/canned cold coffee drink would include, new research from Mintel reveals that US RTD coffee consumers want options that include antioxidants (47 %), promote brain health (40 %), are anti-inflammatory (35 %) or have added probiotics (30 %).

Aside from functional benefits, there is also potential for coffee that encourages consumption beyond the usual morning or afternoon pick-me-up. More than two in five (42 %) RTD coffee consumers say their ideal bottled/canned cold coffee drink would help them relax, while over one third (35 %) are interested in products with added protein.

Innovation in the RTD coffee segment has contributed to its strong growth. In fact, while roasted coffee is the largest segment of the coffee category (39.2 % market share), RTD coffee continues to drive the category as the fastest growing segment, growing 31 % in the last two years. Overall, total coffee retail sales in the US are estimated to grow 4 % in 2018 to reach $14.4 billion, with steady growth expected to continue through 2023.

“Innovation is vibrant and diverse in the RTD coffee segment and includes new products that are carving out sometimes surprising territory and often taking inspiration from unconventional beverage categories. What’s more, our research shows that iGeneration* consumers are more likely to drink RTD coffee than brewed coffee, indicating this is how they are entering the market. Consumer interest in better-for-you beverages is also shaping the market as demand for organic and non-GMO coffee or functional formulations enhanced with all-natural flavors, protein and vitamins grows. The broader trend of beverage blurring is also opening up opportunity for innovation and brand extension, especially in the RTD segment,” said Caleb Bryant, Senior Beverage Analyst at Mintel.

Non-dairy milk makes a splash

The better-for-you beverage movement extends to consumers’ coffee preferences both at-home and away. As non-dairy milk sales continue to rise, consumers are increasingly looking for it in their coffee, too: more than one third (36 %) of RTD coffee consumers say their ideal RTD coffee would contain non-dairy milk. What’s more, Mintel research shows that just as many dairy milk consumers add dairy milk to their coffee/tea as non-dairy milk consumers add non-dairy milk to their coffee/tea (32 % respectively). Dairy alternatives are making a splash on-premise, as well. According to Mintel Menu Insights, the use of non-dairy milk as an ingredient in coffee drinks on US menus grew 107 % in the last two years**, with almond milk as the standout star, growing 198 % in the same time period.

“Non-dairy milk is a fast-growing segment of the non-alcoholic beverage market, with many consumers, especially iGens and Millennials***, switching from using dairy milk to non-dairy milk on an everyday basis and as an addition to their coffee. While soy milk is the most common non-dairy milk used in both coffee and tea drinks, it is falling out of favor. Meanwhile, almond milk has experienced strong growth on menus across the US, indicating that we can expect to see operators swap soy milk for other non-dairy milks, with oat milk emerging as another rising star to watch,” continued Bryant.

Generation X drives third wave coffee movement

Innovation within the on-premise coffee market is spurring increased consumption among consumers as Mintel research reveals that one quarter (25 %) of those who drink coffee away from home (AFH) say they are buying coffee drinks AFH more often in 2018 compared to a year ago. Those who are ordering coffee AFH more often are not only trying out new drinks (39 %), but are also buying more premium and cold coffee beverages (32 % respectively).

While younger consumers are driving consumption of cold coffee drinks, with 28 % of iGens who drink coffee AFH saying that they most often order flavored iced coffee, Generation X consumers**** are driving the third wave coffee movement. In fact, Generation X consumers who drink AFH are the most likely generation to say they enjoy treating themselves to expensive coffee (38 % vs 33 % overall) and that they would be motivated to visit a new coffee shop for premium coffee beans (31 % vs 21 % overall)—staples of third wave coffee.

“The third wave coffee movement demonstrates that a sizable population of coffee drinkers view coffee as something that should be celebrated. Gen Xers, while a smaller segment of the US population compared to Baby Boomers***** and Millennials, are a prime target for shops offering third wave drinks as they are most likely to treat themselves to drinks made with premium coffee beans. Further, the growing presence of third wave coffee drinks means younger iGens will likely enter the third wave coffee market at a relatively young age. While iGens love flavored and iced coffee drinks now, operators must follow this generation throughout their ‘coffee career’ as many will ‘age out of’ these drinks and eventually join their older counterparts in the third wave coffee movement,” concluded Bryant.

*Aged 11-23 in 2018; in this report, only adult iGens aged 18-23 were surveyed.
**Between Q1 2015-Q1 2018.
***Aged 24-41 in 2018.
****Aged 42-53 in 2018.
*****Aged 54-72 in 2018.

Cold-pressed juice brand Evolution Fresh announced it will expand its functional beverage portfolio by entering the $1.2* billion refrigerated tea category with the launch of new bottled Evolution Fresh Organic Kombucha across seven major U.S. cities from coast to coast. Available in six delicious flavors – Ginger Lemon Honeycrisp, Mango Pineapple, Ginger Greens, Spicy Greens, Pink Grapefruit, and Turmeric Pineapple Coconut – the beverages have started to ship to grocery and natural retailers in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and New York City, with plans to roll-out to additional cities this fall and next spring. Evolution Fresh Organic Kombuchas feature the company’s cold-pressed juices and will be available in 15.2 fluid ounce glass bottles. Customer interest in kombucha and fermented beverages is on the rise with the category growing 36 percent in 2017 according to IRI data.**

To create its kombucha, Evolution Fresh starts with carefully selected artisanal teas—Congou black tea, Yerba Matè tea, pu’erh black tea, green tea and matcha. The teas are fermented and paired with cold-pressed Evolution Fresh juice. Leading with flavor, these recipes leverage the brand’s culinary expertise rooted in authentic taste and quality since 1992 to delight the palate and create the perfect combination in every bottle.

Evolution Fresh Organic Kombucha is available in six flavors and is certified USDA Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and Kosher:

  • Ginger Lemon Honeycrisp: This invigorating elixir has complexity, leading with Congou black tea that lives in harmony with cold-pressed honeycrisp apple, tart lemon and a kick of ginger.
  • Mango Pineapple: Congou black tea strikes a down-to-earth balance with vibrant, cold-pressed oranges, mangos and pineapples to bring a juicy-sweet edge to every lively sip.
  • Ginger Greens: At the heart of this feel-good elixir is effervescent Yerba Matè tea, its notes deliciously pair with Evolution Fresh’s signature cold-pressed leafy greens, bright lemon and zingy ginger.
  • Spicy Greens: Light-bodied yet full of character, green tea and matcha lift Evolution Fresh’s signature cold-pressed greens, pineapple and jalapeño. A refreshing blend with just a hint of heat, accented by the jalapeno’s rich flavor.
  • Pink Grapefruit: This celebrated, complex pu’erh black tea is brightened with a sweet splash of cold-pressed pink grapefruit.
  • Turmeric Pineapple Coconut: This spirited blend features bright Yerba Matè tea – made extra-special with savory turmeric and bright cold-pressed pineapple.

*IRI US MULO 52 WE 12/31/17
**IRI US MULO L52 Wks ending 7/30/17 & SPINS – Natural Channel L52 Wks ending 7/16/17 and NSS / Nielson Whole Foods report 8/9/17.

Consumers usually prefer food and drink formats over pills or tablets for the delivery of health enhancing ingredients. However, this preference for formats is not consistent across all age groups. Therefore, functional food and drink brands should carefully study the differences between the generations of consumers in more detail for their successful product launches, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

An analysis of the company’s Q4 2017 global consumer survey reveals that even though food is the most preferred format among all formats across all age groups, the majority of the Silent Generation chooses food as the preferred consumption format (89 %) compared to Millennials (85 %).

The gap between generations is conspicuous when it comes to drink format. According to the survey, younger consumers are more likely to opt for drinkable formats over pills or tablets for the delivery of health enhancing ingredients. The survey showed that drinks are favored by 60 % of Millennials and 58 % of Generation X consumers but only 52 % of Boomers and 48 % of Silent Generation consumers.

On the other hand, preferences for food and supplements (in the form of pills or tablets) that deliver health enhancing ingredients are relatively consistent across all age groups.

Aleksandrina Yotova, Consumer Markets Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Functional drinks brands should therefore target Millennials and Gen X-ers specifically with innovative launches that respond to younger generations’ requirements for convenience, simplicity and effectiveness.”