Returning to Drinktec to celebrate the year’s most ambitious new beverage products, the World Beverage Innovation Awards welcomed more than 200 nominations from over 30 countries in 2017. The entries impressed the panel with wonderful new products and technologies tapping into the most prominent consumer trends in the beverage industry, from health and functional benefits to the use of natural and organic ingredients, on-the-go convenience and premium and artisan positioning. Here, we look at the major health and wellness drink trends to emerge at WBIA 2017.
Best packaged water
Appealing to the minimalist consumer looking to refresh with no-nonsense drinks, the water category has enjoyed a revival in recent years, offering healthy, simple but highly functional options for hydration. The winner in the category was CAPI’s Lemongrass & Ginger Mineral Water, bottled at source in the Victorian highlands. Coming out of the ground naturally sparkling, the mineralised water is then infused with natural lemongrass and ginger extract to create a light and crisp drink with no calories and no sugar.
Finalists BiPro Protein Water and HFactor HyEdge stood out as fortified functional water drinks. BiPro by Agropur is a sports drink that uses high-purity whey protein isolate, which provides rapid absorption of amino acids and muscle recovery for fitness enthusiasts. The drink has 0g of sugar, carbohydrates or fat and comes in different fruit flavours. HyEdge from the US, on the other hand, harnesses the benefits of hydrogen, which is considered as one of the most powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. The drink is naturally infused with hydrogen and pure water, creating a refreshing hydration option with therapeutic benefits for fitness, health and wellness.
LIFEWTR by Pepsi also impressed the panel, not only as a new premium water brand but also for offering a platform for new artists and their artwork, which is otherwise confined to galleries and exhibitions. PH balanced with electrolytes added for taste; the brand celebrates artists who create vibrant art for public spaces and works as a catalyst for engagement by going beyond the boundaries of self-expression. Series 1 highlights the colourful art of Jason Woodside, Craig & Karl, and MOMO, whereas series 2 features the work of a diverse group of innovative thinkers including Adrienne Gaither, Lynnie Zulu and Trudy Benson.
Best sports/fitness drink
As sports nutrition continues its evolution, the category presents increasingly effective and targeted performance drinks that deliver hydration, provide prolonged energy and support muscle repair and recovery. The winner in the category, EZY Pro 10, is one such example, standing out not only as an efficient sports drink but also with its unique packaging design. EZY Pro 10 comes in a custom spouted stand-up pouch, designed by ProAmpac, with a unique shape that fits perfectly in the hand of the consumer. EZY Pro 10 is pre-filled with 30g of protein powder. The end-user fills the pouch with water at the point of use and shakes it to combine the powder before consuming. This eliminates the associated impact on the environment and the energy required to ship water.
BiPro Protein Water, created by using Agropur’s whey protein isolation technology, got recognised in the best sports or fitness drink category as well, in addition to being shortlisted in the best packaged water and best functional drink categories. Glanbia Nutritionals’ Muscle Mocha joined the finalists too, offering a great-tasting hot coffee beverage which pairs caffeine and protein. Adding an extra scoop of proteins between the meals, Muscle Mocha contains natural caffeine plus more than 10g of protein from ProTherma, the heat-stable hydrolysed whey protein, and Micelle XL, a source of slow-release milk protein.
Best functional drink
The winner in the category was buckwheat green tea, a ready-to-drink beverage specifically formulated to target blood glucose, with diabetes being the seventh most common cause of death in the world today. The drink contains inulin and rutin, which are naturally inherent in the tartary buckwheat, unlike the common buckwheat. These two important nutrients are known to have therapeutic value for treating diabetes. Both help to enhance the release of insulin from insulin-producing cells and inhibits the digestion of carbohydrates in the gut, thereby smaller amount of glucose would be released to the bloodstream.
Falling in line with the beauty drinks trends, Vitness’ collagen powder drink range brings a unique combination of cutting-edge functional ingredients to promote healthy skin from within and nourishing whole foods together in a versatile powder drink format, whereas Karma Wellness Water uses its proprietary KarmaCap technology to keep their mix of seven essential vitamins and probiotics protected in the cap, preventing the water-soluble nutrients from deterioration, as well as removing the need for refrigeration. Developed by the Israeli food tech company Inno-Bev, Rhythm Bio Optimizer works with the chronobiological rhythms of individuals by ‘biohacking’ the body’s internal clock. A significant innovation in energy drinks, this caffeine-free option has no health or age limitations; and doesn’t alter heart rate or blood pressure. Rhythm works longer, increasing energy levels for over 120 minutes, unlike the 40-50 minutes of most energy drinks.
Finally, Karuna joined the shortlisted brands in the category with their recipes and manufacturing practices that are inspired by Eastern medicine and Buddhist traditions. Offering a truly nutritional and sustainable option, the brand refrains from overly processed ingredients, high levels of sugar, antibiotics or other synthetic ingredients that lower the quality of the food supply. The brand is strongly committed to socially responsibility and sustainable production methods.
Set that trend
Have you launched a new product this year? Then the FoodBev Awards are for you! We regularly come across new products and trends, providing them with the platform to get the exposure they deserve. Showcase your latest innovations and set that trend!
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