The year 2012 is shaping up to be pivotal for the next generation of functional beverages. What trend is driving this category?
The next generation of functional beverages is alive and well in 2012, and their value propositions are strong: from "nature's sports drink" coconut waters to condition-specific beverages launching for brain health (Nawgan), eye health (OJO), Mediterranean Diet (Olivino), Relaxation (Marley Mello and Taki Mai), and more to come.
Consumers are searching to connect more and more with "better for you" beverages that give a healthier delivery of efficacious doses of ingredients that were heretofore only available in supplement form by a pill, capsule or tablet. Beverages, the almost perfect delivery system (more bio-available, better tasting), are a perfect way to enjoy the functional benefits of getting nutrients delivered directly to the body, but in a fun, great tasting, hydrating and convenient form.
We have come a long way from high-sugar Vitamin Water as a "real functional beverage," with very little vitamins delivered per bottle. Now "zero calorie" is almost expected (see Pepsi and Coke with their zero calorie offerings growing faster than any in the CSD space).
So stay tuned to the blog for more regarding this segment of functional beverages, where I hope to give you some pointers and direction about great new products coming to market, and more.
James Tonkin, president of HealthyBrandBuilders, is a private sector brand management and development professional. He has more than 33 years of experience with domestic and international corporations including food and beverage production, manufacturing, sales, marketing and distribution.