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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Zero Sugar Byte Is The Second Product Developed By Coca-Cola’s Creations

Coca-Cola’s Creations innovation platform has forged its second drinks product, the limited-edition Zero Sugar Byte, in partnership with PWR, a gaming company. It’s a pixel-themed drink, like the first Creations product, Starlight, with block-style graphics that evoke classic video games and a scannable label with a links to an augmented reality game. There’s also a metaverse element, a custom-made island, Pixel Point Island, in Fortnite.

Other Companies

Aqua Seltzers, A New Organic Probiotic Beverage From Aqua ViTea

Kombucha brand Aqua ViTea is introducing Aqua Seltzers, a seltzer drink with immunity and gut health promoting probiotics. The new product is also gluten-free and vegan, USDA Organic and GMO-free, and contains 15 calories and 1 gram of sugar. It will be available in four flavors: Grapefruit + Thyme, Raspberry + Lime, Cucumber + Mint, and Pomegranate + Cherry. Aqua ViTea has also announced expanded distribution through e-commerce on aquavitea.com.

ShineWater Introduces Pouches Targeting Kids

New ShineWater Pouches contain Vitamin D and fruit flavor fusions for kids. They have zero added sugar, 5mg of Sodium and 1g of Carbohydrates, as well as Vitamin B12, Zinc, Calcium, Folate and Magnesium in 6 fl. oz. pouches. There are two flavors, Strawberry Lemon and Mixed Berry Acai. ShineWater was originally formulated to address Vitamin D deficiency, which affects more than four in 10 of the US population, and contains 100% of daily Vitamin D; the new beverage brings hydration and Vitamin D to a younger generation. Both flavors are available at Meijer stores, with broader distribution expected soon. 

Market Research Company Ranks Top 5 Game Changing Food And Beverage Innovators

Spoonshot, which uses artificial intelligence to identify trends, has published a top-25 list of entrepreneurial innovators in food and beverages. The top five includes Hidden Gems Beverage Co. and four food companies and came from analyzing over 7,000 startups around the world. Hidden Gems, based in Philadelphia, owns the Reveal brand, a ready-to-drink product based on avocado seeds, with 15 calories, as well as probiotics, and an “upscaled” positioning. The trends Spoonshot found to be driving innovation include alternative ingredient sources, partly in response to greater awareness of and demand for healthier options. 

Poppi Soda Positioned For Beauty From Within

Launched in 2017, Poppi Soda is marketed as a means of consuming apple cider vinegar to improve gut health as well as skin-deep beauty. Founder Alison Ellsworth claims that research shows the connection between gut health skin health, and that the apple cider vinegar in Poppi “may help balance your skin, which can refine complexion, stop breakouts and reduce inflammation.” The article says that a review of scientific literature found some evidence of skin health being promoted by pro-and-prebiotics, but more research is needed to understand this in a clinical setting. Evidence of the benefits on skin from ingesting apple cider vinegar are limited. Ellsworth calls Poppi ‘bubbles with benefits’ and the brand aims to expand the range to focus on multifunctional gut health claims.

Retailer Looks To Functional Benefits To Win In Alcohol-Free Category

Online alcohol-free retailer Drift Drinks is betting on functional drinks to be a ‘huge area’ of its focus this year, as it highlights the success of brands like Impossibrew, Fungtn and Iko Drinks Sparkling Mate. Launched at the end of last year, Drift Drinks aims to promote premium alcohol-alternative drinks that provide more than a typical soft drink, either from flavor or functionality. It now offers 50 products from brands that include Nirvana Brewery, Big Drop and Athletic Brewing Co., with beer, cider, cocktails and kombucha, all 0.5% ABV or under. The market is becoming saturated, and standout products will need to bring new innovation, and primarily from functional benefits. Impossibrew, for example, sold out immediately after a Dragon’s Den appearance. The brand launched a natural nootropic formulation to boost serotonin levels, and Fungtn was the first to brew using functional mushrooms. Iko Drinks Sparkling Mate beverages are a mix of non-alcoholic cocktail and a natural energy beverage. Drift Drinks says the no and low alcohol drinks have a market potential greater than it expected, with a broader demographic and generational scope than it thought pre-launch. It’s adding new brands as well as a new subscription box service, with seven alcohol-free themed products sent every month.

Ex-PepsiCo Manager Launches Cleaner Energy Drink

OCA offers a 'clean' energy drink with 120mg of caffeine. OCA founder Gabriela Ramirez, who used to work as a consumer insights manager at PepsiCo, wanted a non-coffee, better-for-you energy boosting product, without the after-effects of caffeine-heavy drinks. Ramirez turned to the cassava root, native to the South American Amazon and consumed locally for carbohydrate intake and energy. OCA uses a cassava root extract, tapioca syrup. Each can has 60 calories and 9 grams of added sugar, as well as sparkling water, and a blend of organic tapioca syrup and agave syrup, organic gum acacia and fruit flavors, organic caffeine from green coffee or green tea, organic stevia and citric acid. The flavors are prickly pear lime, berry açai, guava passion fruit, and mango. OCA claims it is winning particularly with female consumers 18-34 years old. Following nationwide distribution with Kroger, it is extending its reach to other "super big, well-recognized chains in the US" and is targeting $1 billion in annual sales, partly from international expansion beyond Latin America and the US, to Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the U.K. It plans to grow its 3,000 outlets to 15,000 by the end of 2022, and there’s a zero-sugar variant coming this summer.

NFT To Lead Launch Of New Gen-Z Sports Drink

National Football League player Russell Wilson and AJ Vaynerchuk, a web3 entrepreneur, have teamed up with H+S Labs design agency to develop Local Weather, a sports beverage aimed at Gen Z. It’s available in four flavors - fruit punch, orange clementine, mango passionfruit and wild berry – and contains coconut water to help hydration, pink Himalayan salt to provide electrolytes, and nootropics for mental stamina and performance. The launch later this year will feature NFTs, the buyers of which will become Local Weather online community members and be first in line to get the first four flavors and get exclusive access to fifth. 
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