August 27, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Power Brands is the world’s leading beverage consulting firm. Our cross-functional team has developed over 500 new beverage brands and has years of experience with every aspect of the beverage industry.
Contact us today to learn more about our award-winning beverage development services. Whether you need expertise on formulation and design, manufacturing and production, or sales and distribution, we can help.
Contact us now by calling 1-877-452-5281.
October 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
In North America, the top beverage trends of 2013 are retro soda, differentiated flavors, fruit flavors, citrus, vegetable flavors, and hot&spicy flavors.
Retro soda flavors, such as lemonade variations, root beer, and cream soda have made a comeback in the last year. Lemonade brands, such as Calypso, Huberts, and Simply Lemonade are a popular choice for US consumers seeking a ‘good for you’ lemonade beverage. Whereas, the cream soda and root beer variety have expanded beyond their A&W roots to include a cream soda made by Shaq. Differentiated flavors, including huckleberry, blue raspberry, dark chocolate and kombucha, differ from the norm but do not come up short on flavor. For example, Americana’s huckleberry soda is so intoxicatingly packed with huckleberry flavor that its hard to believe that the berry is hard to come by. Although blue raspberry is an artificial flavor, its flavor is distinct to consumers. In products, such as Crush’s blue raspberry soda or the Jolly Rancher blue raspberry soda, consumers can get their blue raspberry fix. Dark chocolate has become a popular addition to coffee, dairy and non-dairy drinks, such as Starbuck’s Dark Chocolate Mocha frappachino and Mayesa’s soy-free dark chocolate beverage made from cacao.
In an entirely different market, kombucha has picked up a large following in the functional beverage market. Kombucha, which is made from fermented team and a subsequent live culture of yeast and bacteria, is reminiscent of a vinegar soda. Although kombucha’s flavor is distinct, if not pungent, kombucha consumers claim that it is the ‘elixir of life;’ the beverage is said to prevent cancer, stop hair loss, improve liver function, stimulate the immune systems, and aid in digestion.
Fruit flavors, including cherry, watermelon, and prickly pear have recently made huge advances in the American beverage market as innovative sources of antioxidants and other health benefits. Cherries, which are rich in powerful anti-oxidants, have been used as an alternative to cranberry and remind many consumers of North American traditions, like Cherry Pie. Beverages such as Mama Chia’s cherry lime chia seed juice to Mcdonald’s Cherry Berry Chiller have capitalized on cherry’s tart, complex flavor to provide a refreshing alternative to traditional fruit flavors. Watermelon, which is rich in Vitamin A, B6 and C, is a great source of potassium and has been used as the key flavor in drinks such as Watermelon aguas frescas and Cu’i Watermelon Drink. Prickly Pear, which has recently been shown to treat diabetes and prevent inflammation, has become a potential new ‘superfood.’ In beverages such as Snapple Tea, Syzmo Energy Drinks, Martinelli’s Prickly Passion Lemonade juice drink, and Bolthouse Juice, prickly pear has become the key ingredient.
In addition to adding beneficial phytochemicals, vegetable flavors, such as celery, cucumber, beetroot, and kale complement fruit flavors in juices, smoothies, and teas. Celery, which is one of the most hydrating foods, is nutritious and full of vitamins, such as A, K, soluble sodium, potassium and essential amino acids. In 2012, the number of beverages featuring celery increased six-fold. Likewise, cucumber is also known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant powers, as well as its ability to rehydrate the body. In products, such as cucumber water, vodka, and aguas frescas, cucumber has entered the beverage industry and made a powerful impression. Beets, which contain high levels of vitamins a, c and choline, are powerful liver detoxifiers. Beets have been shown to improve athletic performance and stamina when consumed. Beets have become popular additions to fresh pressed juice and may expand further into the manufactured juice market. Recently, kale has been uncovered by the beverage industry as one of the most nutritionally potent plants on the planet. When the enzymes in the kale plant enter the body, they fight off unhealthy cells and even prevent cancer growth. In products such as Blueprint’s unpasturized kale juice, Liquiteria’s All Greens, and Organic Avenue’s Mellow LOVE, Kale is the main ingredient, often mixed with hints of other vegetables or spices, such a ginger.
Flavors, such as black pepper, pepper and chili add spicy to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the US. although many consumers may be wary of adding that extra kick of heat to an otherwise simple beverage, spice lovers abound can appreciate the flavor enhancement of black pepper, habanero, or wasabi to a normally sweet beverage, like lemonade or soda. Expect these beverages to do the unexpected in the coming 2014 year, as more of these unusual flavors are expected to enter the market.
October 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Rebaudioside D, PureCircle’s new stevia-based sweetener, has recently been GRAS-approved. Although Rebaudioside A is usually associated with a 30% threshold, the company is insisting that its new sweetener can go well beyond that threshold in delivering great-tasting products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued for Rebaudioside D a “no-objection” GRAS (generally recognized as safe) letter, officially allowing beverage companies to use the sweetener in U.S. product launches. (Beverage Daily)
According to the beveragedaily.com article, before encountering issues with taste, many beverage manufacturers used earlier-generation versions of stevia ingredients to cut sugar levels, often by up to 30%. A new stevia from Tate & Lyle, called “Tasteva,” could potentially cut sucrose levels in half without posing difficulties related to stevia’s bitter aftertaste.
Jason Hecker, PureCircle’s Vice President of global marketing and innovation, recently spoke with BeverageDaily.com: “Depending on the application and concept, our Stevia 3.0 formulation approach yields great-tasting solutions well beyond the 30% reduction.”
Hecker added, “Our latest formulation is focused on driving deeper reductions in formulations with higher sweetness levels. We are confident that we have the tools to deliver great-tasting products well beyond the 30% reduction.”
Although he claimed that PureCircle expects “rapid adoption” of Rebaudioside D within the industry, he would not comment on when the first launch of a U.S. product containing the sweetener would occur.
As stated in January of this year in PureCircle’s GRAS notification-submission to the F.D.A., it is unlikely to be the main sweetener in all products because of its higher price. It will more likely be blended with other steviol glycosides to achieve the preferred taste profile.
Given its clean taste profile, customers have been able to develop formulations with “very low to no calories, particularly in foods and beverages with higher sweetness levels, such as carbonated soft drinks,” many of which are naturally-sweetened. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are among PureCircle’s customers. (Beverage Daily)
Hecker is anticipating that Rebaudioside D will be incorporated into a wide range of products in the future, though he did not specify any places outside of the U.S. where PureCircle may seek regulatory approval.
“We will commercialize Reb D across global markets over time,” he said. “Given the varying regulatory requirements globally, additional approvals may be required to fully take advantage of Reb D’s benefits in some markets.”
For more information regarding this article and other beverage formulation queries, visit:
September 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
According to Krones, aseptic filling is becoming more popular; the firm just unveiled its latest technology at Drinktec in Germany. A new version of its Twin-flow technology, one that is suited ideally for cold-fill applications, was presented to “give the market more opportunities.” (Beverage Daily)
Cold aseptic filling is commonly used for beverages such as milk, teas, sports drinks, vegetable juices, and flavored waters. The process gives a beverage a longer shelf life, as well as improve its nutritional and organoleptic qualities. Cold aseptic filling can even remove the need for refrigeration. (Beverage Daily)
Stefan Kraus, Krones’ product manager of filling technology, recently told BeverageDaily.com: “It’s already one of the biggest deals for us, aseptic, because there are a lot of requests coming from the market for pure, healthy products with less heat impact.”
Kraus added, “This wave or trend is not over yet, so the market is going steadily in the direction of aseptic.”
With FlexiFruit, the Twin-flow process feeds fruit pieces and beverages (usually mixed-milk or juice) through two separated channels. The two ingredients do not meet each other until they reach the bottle. Krones’ Twin-flow technology will dose dairy and juice products at the presentation.
The Twin-flow process, which was launched early in 2011, prevents the fruit constituents from being damaged during flash pasteurization. The constituents can now measure up to 10x10x10mm, much larger than previously possible.
“One the one hand,” Kraus said, “We have the Flexifruit system, where we can do a hot-fill application, for particles, and on the other hand we have a rather new technology, for non-hot fill products. We will present this at Drinktec as something special, because it’s not available in the market in this form.”
Hans Heindl, director of filling technology at Krones, told BeverageDaily.com in March of 2012 that Krones had three Twin-flow, Flexifruit dosing systems already in operation. (Beverage Daily) How then, has the interest grown since that time?
“The market likes this technology very much,” said Kraus. “And since [BeverageDaily] spoke to Mr. Heindl, I believe we’ve sold more than sixteen of those systems, all over the world.”
He added, “We have no hotspot in terms of where we sell to. It’s been crazy. We’ve sold these systems all over the world.”
According to Kraus, the demand for higher-line speeds is generally country-specific: “If you go to China, the customer has maybe ten lines side-by-side, making say three products,” he said. “But if you look at the U.K., France, Germany, you have a lower output but a higher flexibility – because the product diversification is increasingly important. If you look to some bottlers they have maybe thirty different products running on the lines, on the one machine.”
He also explained that, because Chinese bottlers need greater outputs for single products in order to serve a much bigger market, they are prepared to buy different lines for different products. “So you might have ten different lines for ten different products, each running at 60,000 bottles/hour.”
To learn more about the beverage bottling process please visit:
September 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
A current post on FoodBev.com describes how whey protein is the next new-generation of beverages with a wide variety of health benefits, exclaims Power Brands, a prominent beverage industry expert. The article ‘The benefits of new-generation whey protein’, declares that the new generation whey protein is a world of difference compared to traditional products.
According to Edward Taylor, managing director of Purition, there are multiple health benefits of whey protein. Additionally, new generation whey protein is reaching out to a broader range of consumers particularly people who are health oriented and want to get fit.
Proteins are essential for maintaining a healthy body, add Power Brands. They provide people with energy, assist the immune system and help fight illness and disease. Protein is also important for maintaining healthy muscle plus helps build cartilage, skin, hair and nails.
Old verses New
Protein products have long been used by fitness professionals like athletes, bodybuilders and sports professionals. However, rendering the FoodBev.com article, there is a wealth of difference between traditional products used in the past compared to the new-generation whey protein.
The new-generation whey proteins appeal to a much wider audience. The audience also includes health enthusiasts and people who want to increase longevity. As well, the new-generation whey proteins have a far better taste than the old stand-by proteins, says Power Brands. According to the FoodBev.com post, the new whey uses 100% natural ingredients, and has no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Plus, the article states that the new version does not contain fillers such as gums or starches like the older versions of whey.
Motivation for Getting Slimmer
Conferring to the FoodBev.com article, high quality whey protein is much more easily absorbed and digested. It is suggested that you should take it first thing in the morning with some fiber to be more effective. According to the article, this is an excellent breakfast option for people who want to lose weight, says Power Brands. As well, if you are looking for something that helps with fast and natural muscle recovery, whey protein might be ideal.
In the past, the whey protein market was mostly male oriented. However, today there are numerous women who are motivated to slim down. The difference is that typically women are more concerned about quality and familiar ingredients compared to men.
Traditional whey protein products had a long list of ingredients. In today’s world, this can be a deterrent for many consumers, says Power Brands. Yet new whey protein products are more practical when it comes to marketing. Consumers want something packed with nutrition that has natural ingredients, adds Power Brands.
No doubt, the new whey protein will attract a wider audience, says Power Brands. According to the article, the new product reinforces positive, health-oriented choices and is clearly accessible to a wider audience. Equally, consumers want products that are high in quality and are healthy.
The new generation is ‘lifestyle’ oriented, says Power Brands, they want a clean, natural and fresh product. For full details on the FoodBev.com article go to: The benefits of new-generation whey protein.
September 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
According to Darin Ezra, a beverage consultant at Power Brands, adding a particular nutrient found in beets and shellfish to a sports drink could potentially enhance athletic performance.
In the U.K., research from Exeter University in the past has shown beetroot juice to have such an effect, due to its rather potent nitrate levels. Recently, scientists have been looking more into “betaine,” another nutrient. In New York, researchers at Ithaca College have determined that when added to a sports drink in tablet or powder form, betaine can improve athletic performance by nearly six-percent.
Sixteen cyclists of university age, both men and women, participated in the study. They were tested three separate times to measure the effects of the betaine beverages on their performance. According to Darin Ezra, maximum peak power was of particular interest in the study.
A relatively simple recipe was used by the team: 2.5 grams of betaine dissolved in a 20-ounce sports drink. Participants drank half of the beverage in the morning, and the other half in the afternoon.
The researchers reported that after just one week of betaine supplementation, mean and peak anaerobic power both increased, compared to baseline measures, by about 5.5%.
Thomas Swensen led the study, which is currently available online in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
“Betaine may contribute to creatine synthesis, which improves strength, power and short-term performance,” he said. “Future research should elucidate the mechanism of how betaine supplementation improves performance.”
Previous studies reviewed by Darin Ezra have also shown bananas to be beneficial to a person’s athletic performance in a way similar to beets. Snacking on bananas, according to some researchers, could potentially boost endurance just as effectively as a sports drink. This particular study, from 2012, was published in the journal “PloS ONE.”
September 2, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Power Brands, a beverage industry expert says that healthy flavors like superfruits are on the rise in the beverage market. Likewise, a recent article from Beverage Industry Healthy flavors boom in US, says that Innova is to present beverage trends with emerging flavors at the IFT annual meeting and food expo.
Their article says that according to Innova Market Insights, the current rave in the global beverage market is healthy flavors such as spices and herbs, honey and superfruits. Although flavor trends generally vary according to region, Innova‘s research suggests that the superfruit trend is worldwide. Innova adds that the flavor pomegranate takes the lead in the beverage market field. In fact, from June 2008 to May 2013 it deemed more than 40 percent of tracked beverage promotions featuring superfruit flavors.
Innova also found that pomegranate is more popular than acai by approximately 12.5 percent and lychee by 12 percent. Some of the new generation superfruits are cactus/prickly pear, guanabana/soursop and marula, says Power Brands and Beverage Industry.
Lu Ann Williams is head of Innova Market Insights. Williams claims that cactus/prickly pear is one of the emerging superfruit flavors in the North American beverage market. Anything containing cactus or prickly pear is quite popular, adds Power Brands. Williams says products that were launched in the US over the last year are Martinelli’s Prickly Passion Lemonade juice drink featuring prickly pear puree, Cactus Juice and Cactus Tea from Nopal and Prickly Pear Cactus Tea from Hunter & Hilsberg.
Don’t Forget about Vegetable Flavors says Power Brands
Power Brands says that another leading beverage market is innovative vegetable flavors. Some of the most successful are vegetable flavors that are combined with fruit juices, teas, herbs, smoothies or any new health-enhanced component. According to Williams, beverages that contained celery increased six times in 2012. Likewise, beverages that had beets or cucumber doubled. Kale is also on the rise in the beverage market.
Hot & Spicy Does It
Power Brands states that hot and spicy is also on the rise in the US. According to Innova, consumers are looking for hot and spicy beverages that contain jalapeño, chipotle, habanero, black pepper and chilies.
According to the article, Innova reports that superfoods generally do not make it in the food category until they have first been successfully marketed as dietary supplements. By and large, adds Power Brands, since superfoods have been successfully marketed as a dietary supplement for many years, the craze shows no signs of slowing down.
For further reading on the Beverage Industry report go to Healthy flavors boom in US.