Seeing awards categories crowded with so many innovative beverage brands and concepts in previous years, World Food Innovation Awards introduced the best new beverage concept category this year, and the debut has seen a wide range of products reflecting the emerging trends in the beverage sector.
Responding to the demands of an increasingly health-conscious consumer group, the water market continues to offer enhanced and fortified functional options, such as the Mahtay Natural Biorhythm, a 100% natural sparkling vitality drink that utilises the natural energy properties of the South American yerba maté plant, coconut juice and açaí berries which can also be used as a unique beverage mixer; Amber Coast Union’s Amrita anti-ageing alkaline water enriched with important minerals and micro-elements such as zinc, selenium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium and vitamins; or Acquafibra, which is essentially a mixture of the prebiotic fibre of acquafibra and mineral water.
Water i.o, on the other hand, is a hydration solution that works with sensors that are added to the cap of beverages and an app that calculates the amount of hydration a consumer would need, based on personal information registered, such as the age, weight and height. The smart cap measures the amount of liquid in the bottle, and when the person needs to drink more, the bottle starts to blink.
Muddle & Mash are a convenient range of premium crafted pre-mixed virgin cocktails which you can drink as a delicious adult alcohol alternative, or add spirit and enjoy as a high end bar quality alcoholic cocktail.
Thirst Quencher’s Mega Chia, available in three ranges for various benefits to health and wellness; the world’s first sport performance coffee, Trustart Coffee; and Noa Relaxation Drink, which contributes to less stress and increased focus, were other functional beverages in line with emerging health trends – as well as the exciting new teas that came out this year, full of herbal goodness, from t-Plus’ vitamin-enriched green tea range. There was also Alter Food’s In Fusion organic herbal tea and Pure Tisans’ completely new, frozen herbal tea concept that was inspired by a desire to create a fresh tasting herbal infusion, available all year round.
T-sticks of London’s new concept has been an exceptionally innovative entry with added convenience in the tea aisle. The clever little stick of ready-to-brew tea has 427 perforations to evenly diffuse the flavour and promises a superior brew, convenient to boot. Another interesting concept to surface this year was Ahmed Tea’s Cold Brew range, which makes it possible to brew fresh ice tea with real tea and cold water in under five minutes, in addition to their Dessert Teas inspired by sorbets, cakes and soufflés. Also appealing to consumers with a sweet tooth, Barry Callebaut’s Caprimo Tiramisu turns the favourite Italian dessert recipe into a dessert drink that balances the flavours of Italian espresso and indulgent chocolate with a twist of Amaretto.
The alcohol category has also seen some of the most groundbreaking products of this year. A radical innovation within Norway’s traditional drink scene, Arcus offers a fresh and complex aquavit specially created for cocktails with a distinguished taste of citrus. Appealing to self-made mixologists as well, Taste cocktails was the first company anywhere in the world to offer a cocktail kit subscription with re-bottled ingredients in bespoke sizes and their new DIY cocktail kits help consumers make amazing, bar-quality cocktails at home.
Another first in the world, Cerex Andares is a new concept in beer that incorporates Iberian ham in the process, by adding 1.2% of one of the best hams in the world before fermentation. The Sweet Potato Spirit Company’s quirky range of premium spirits and liqueurs, on the other hand, are all made using the sweet flesh of the friendliest of all carbs, sweet potatoes.
The UK’s first canned cider range produced with outstanding craft credentials, Caple Rd Dry (Blend No 5) is a small but perfectly formed 330ml canned craft cider with a new dry, white design and matt finish. Also standing out with its eye-catching packaging design with understated and sleek lines, Angel’s Tears Vodka is a new, super-premium product that offers a 100% pure grain spirit with a clean, smooth taste. This product is distilled and filtered for absolute purity, resulting in vodka with clean mineral notes and a soft and silky mouth feel, plus an attractive touch of sweetness to balance the palate.
Perhaps one of the biggest highlights in alcoholic beverages to emerge this year, Toast Ale – the UK’s first and only sustainable “bread to beer” ale – uses fresh, surplus bread otherwise thrown away by bakeries, delis and sandwich shops to create this innovative and great tasting product. Furthermore, Toast Ale has committed to open source the recipe in a bid to kickstart a global brewing movement to turn leftover bread into beer. From bakery/ brewer collaborations to home brew aficionados, Toast Ale is triggering a global movement to significantly reduce food waste, which equals one-third of all food produced globally.
Finally, the only children’s product to participate in the category this year, GB Drinks’ new Djuiced Fruitshakes for kids brings together the natural worlds of dairy goodness and fruit vitality. Conveniently packaged in 180ml Tetra Wedge packs and ready for lunchboxes, Djuiced Fruitshakes is the first range to be launched by GB Drinks, a company supported by Olympic athlete Steve Cram to create drinks that contain no added sugar whilst pioneering the art of infusion to blend natural ingredients, and is extremely low in natural sugar.
Finalists and winners in the 20 categories of the World Food Innovation Awards 2016 were announced at a special ceremony at Hotelympia at ExCel in London on 1 of March. To see the full list of winners and finalists, click here.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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