With obesity and disease rates being what they are, consumers are starting to look for easy ways to be healthier. As a society, we depend on convenience; we like having things readily available so we have more time to do the things we enjoy or find important. Corporations are listening and responding with beverages intended to help us lead healthier lives without losing that convenience we love so much.
Here are some trends too look for in your beverages.
“Superfoods” – Though this term is sometimes thrown around unjustifiably, superfoods are typically very high in antioxidants, vitamins or other essential nutrients. Acai, pomegranate, papaya, and dragon fruit are all growing in popularity as ingredients in everything from bottled juice to bagged tea. But don’t toss out the old standbys assuming that something exotic sounding must be better for you. Apples, blueberries, cranberries (just about ANY berries) and kiwi have been superfoods since before the term was even coined!
Exotics – Coconut, mangosteen, guava, yumberry, pomelo, guanabana, lychee, the aforementioned dragon fruit and acai have made some waves lately along with a whole plethora of other fruits I’ve either never heard of or can’t pronounce. If you haven’t tried it yet, coconut water is kind of a big deal. It’s said to be ultra hydrating and naturally offer many of the same benefits as energy drinks. Speaking of which…
Energy Drinks – Don’t worry, caffeine is still a staple in the energy drink world along with guarana (a stimulant similar to caffeine), and taurine. But be on the lookout for more natural ingredients like tea extract,yerba maté ginseng and other herbs along with more natural sweeteners than before.
Protein – Protein drinks used to be meal replacements for dieters or supplements for body builders. The beverages, typically enriched with protein from soy or dairy sources, are no longer just for the athletic elite, but also formulated for general fitness. Look for protein to start cropping up more outside of the typical smoothie style drinks we’re used to seeing in things like juices and teas.
Other things to look for are drinks enriched or fortified with added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like fiber, reduction in ingredients like sugars and sodium, and fewer artificial sweeteners. Basically, it looks like “functional beverages” are what’s in!
What do you look for in a soft drink?