Functional beverages, better sweeteners, healthy alcohol and drinks for those under 18 are trends to watch in 2013-2014.
The experts behind Healthy Beverage Expo, a brand new trade show that’s dedicated to supporting and fueling the healthy drink segment of the beverage market, are naming some of the top “well drink” trends for 2013-2014.
The list includes: more function in functional beverages; better sweetened beverages; healthy alcohol-based beverages; healthy drinks for the under-18 set; gastronomically seasoned beverages; better tasting and healthy ready-to-drink coffees; and simple lemonade drinks. All of these trends and more are highlighted at the upcoming Healthy Beverage Expo, June 7-9, 2013 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event is co-located with the 11th annual World Tea Expo.
The 2013-2014 healthy beverage trends include:
1. More Function
In 2013-2014, according to Healthy Beverage Expo organizers, more and more drinks will combine powerful ingredients for specific functions, to create “two for one” beverages.
“We’ll see drinks touting brain health and bone health, as well as ‘healthy’ energy drinks,” said Kim Jage, marketing and sales director, Healthy Beverage Expo. “We’ll also see drinks that combine coconut and fruit, for example, such as Mulberry Love [www.mulberrylove.com]. And we can anticipate more waters with electrolytes but no artificial flavors, such as Nestlé Waters North America Inc.’s resource Natural Spring Water [www.re-sourcespringwater.com]. Also, watch for healthy ready-to-drink beverages that add essential fatty acids— such as omega 3s— as in Omega Infusion [www.omegainfusion.com].”
2. Better Beverage Sweeteners
Healthy Beverage Expo experts expect to see more natural sweeteners and flavorings that could dramatically affect the soft drink business. “We expect to see new sweeteners that shave off calories and maintain taste,” said Jage. “And we bet that the days of drinking sugary drinks full of high fructose corn syrup are coming to an end. The beginning of the end will be more noticeable in 2013-2014.” In fact, according to a new Healthy Beverage Expo white paper, 7 Key Changes the Beverage Industry Must Accept, “Americans will morph their taste buds into craving less sweet beverages. As a result, sugars content in beverages will diminish to about a third of their present volume.” And Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert, a Healthy Beverage Expo advisory board member, agreed, as he predicts consumers will stop drinking soda. Jage added: “Sweeteners like monk fruit will quickly penetrate the market in beverage applications and, I predict, overtake Stevia.”
3. Healthy Alcohol-based Beverages
According to Healthy Beverage Expo, consumers may begin to see alcoholic beverages touted as enhanced and healthy, as more manufacturers add vitamins and a variety of all-natural ingredients. For example, wine infused with botanicals has been manufactured in China for at least the last century. This type of alcoholic drink, sometimes instilled with fresh items like goji berries and ginseng, is believed to be beneficial to the body. More of these healthy-promoted alcoholic beverages are on the horizon for 2013. “We will see healthier alcohol in all forms with less calories and more organic options, with many announcing their non GMO [genetically modified organisms] status,” Jage said. “For example, Gizmo Beverages is launching a line of premium cocktail beverages with fresh ingredients.”
4. Healthy Beverages for the Under-18 Set
Another key trend for 2013-2014 is a focus on what beverages are being offered to teens and children. The industry will re-evaluate what is being marketed to this group and what choices there are beyond soda, juice and water.
In fact, Healthy Beverage Expo predicts that more beverages will be manufactured for teens and appear on the grocery shelf; these drinks will be healthier, packed with flavor and marketed as functional—and they will be parent-approved. “As parents, we’re not offering soda; schools aren’t offering soda; and basic juice and water can be a bore for this group,” said Jage. “Our kids, like us, sometimes need functional beverages— a wake-me-up in a time starved world, a relaxant for day’s end. Adults have these products at leisure; teens don’t. Also, the products out there that are suitable to teens are not marketed to teens—and the packaging is not teen friendly. That will all start to change in 2013.”
Jage also pointed out the recent controversy over highly-caffeinated energy drinks and teenage consumption, and how it’s spurring the argument to label caffeine content. “I don’t believe announcing caffeine content will help,” said Jage. “As a matter of fact, I think the higher the caffeine content the more appealing the product will be for teens. Thus, labeling caffeine content will have an opposite effect of intent. The industry really needs to deliver healthy beverages that are specifically created for teens. The market is ripe to develop this segment.”
5. Gastronomically Seasoned Beverages
Sea salt, ginger, turmeric— a seasoning in a cocktail is not new, but seasonings in non-alcoholic beverages are a growing trend for 2013-2014. Healthy Beverage Expo organizers say health conscious and foodie consumers relate to these ingredients because they not only promise flavor but wellness. “We’ve certainly seen some culinary seasonings in beverage recipes, and we’ll see more and more of these types of ingredients pronounced in healthy beverages, the product label and in marketing materials,” said Jage. “Seasonings will also play a more important role in drink recipes as we trend toward bolder flavors. Spacho [www.spacho.com] is just one great example of an innovative company that’s making functional beverages with seasonings. For those that drink a meal but dislike chalky protein shakes, these types of beverages will be appealing.”
6. Healthy, Better Tasting Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Coffee Beverages
While RTD coffees have been around for some time, more specialty brands are hitting the market as low calorie, enhanced and all-natural, according to Healthy Beverage Expo. The industry’s challenge to keep this trend building? Taste. “Most of the consumer market that buys RTD coffees wants sweet flavor and a full mouthfeel,” said Jage. “Healthy RTDs usually don’t deliver, so manufacturers that focus on true, healthier RTD coffees will emerge victorious and dominate in this space.”
7. Healthy & Simple Lemonade Beverages
Simple lemonade drinks will surge in 2013-2014, according to Healthy Beverage Expo experts. “This year, we will all be reminded of the health benefits of pure lemons— high in antioxidants, aids digestion, rich in dietary fiber,” said Jage. “As our meals in 2013-2014 incorporate richer flavors and spices, lemonade’s sour profile will refresh our palate and, if made with real lemon, detox our body. Watch for more lemonade beverages over the course of the year.”
Visit www.HealthyBeverageExpo.com to learn more about Healthy Beverage Expo and to register.