By Dina Cheney
With soda and milk consumption declining, there’s growing room for new beverage innovations. Consumers are demanding lower-sugar drinks, hence the spate of new, almost savory thirst-quenchers. Some are tart, deriving their pucker from vinegar. Others star healthful ingredients, such as ginger, turmeric, celery, greens, and other vegetables and spices.
Desire for clean energy without the jitters has led to a category of natural energy drinks with guayusa or yerba mate. And some producers are pushing the envelope with category-bending ingredients that have created truly novel offerings. Read on for a handful of products the redefining the beverage aisle….
Alo Drink Crisp and Pulp-Free. Thanks in large part to its vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, aloe vera is becoming more in demand in the drink sector. With the success of its original line of ready-to-drink aloe beverages, Alo Drink has added Crisp, a blend of Fuji apple and pear juices. It has also launched a new pulp-free line, in which the pulp has been blended for a smoother texture. These drinks come in five of the top-selling flavors in Alo Drink’s original line (Awaken, Comfort, Allure, Enrich, and Exposed). All products are non-GMO and include real aloe vera juice and pulp.alodrink.com
Borgnine’s Coffee Soda. Nancee Borgnine, the daughter of Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine,
has reintroduced the world to Coffee Soda. According to the company, the drink had been popular in the late 1990s and was one of the top 10–selling products in Sony stores in Japan. A mix of Italian roast coffee plus raw cane sugar, the bottled beverage contains the same amount of caffeine as an 8-ounce cup of coffee. It can be served as is, pouredlo over ice cream, or incorporated into cocktails and frozen drinks. Try it blended with milk and vodka, Sambuca di Romana, or Bailey’s Irish Cream and Meyer’s rum. borgninescoffeesoda.com
Bravura Foods Peanut Hottie. Tea, coffee, or peanut? With nut milks becoming increasingly popular, Peanut Hottie may be right on trend. A popular seller in the U.K., Peanut Hottie was introduced to the U.S. market last fall. Each 9.15-ounce jar contains 13 servings of peanut-flavored powder, which can be mixed with cold water for a refreshing beverage, hot water for an alternative to tea or coffee, or with milk to create a shake or smoothie. Available in original peanut butter and peanut butter with chocolate. peanuthottie.com
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Courtesy Specialty Food Magazine