7 of the hottest trends in functional food and beverage right now
Probiotics: The trend started in yogurt and kefir but has extended into food, beverage, and even condiments. Dairy, chocolate and sugar are now fortified with probiotics.
Market examples: Sugar 2.0, Probiotic Cheese Co., Little Duck Organics. Purely Elizabeth
Sprouted: Brands have been using sprouted grains and its derivatives for years, because of the GI benefits, high Vitamin C and antioxidant content associated with this ingredient. Now, nuts and seeds are being sprouted into a variety of product types in this functional category.
Market examples: Go Raw Sprouted Cookies, Way Better Snacks, Living Intentions Sprouted Trail Mix
Turmeric: The slightly earthy and bitter flavor of turmeric can be found in an increased number of food and beverage products. Golden milk, an ancient homeopathic remedy to combat colds and inflammation, is appearing on cold-pressed juice menus. There’s an increase in availability of beverages that highlight turmeric and turmeric flavored snacks.
Market examples: Navitas Turmeric Tamari Almonds, Uncle Matt’s Orange Turmeric, Juisi Pineapple Jamu
Adaptogens: The benefits of adaptogens like ginseng and licorice root are relatively well known, but more of these herbs and plants associated with lowering cortisol are making their way into food and beverage. Ashwagandha, reishi and rhodiola are just a few of the adaptogens that can now be found in finished products currently in the marketplace.
Market examples: Honest Tea Tulsi Herbal Tea, Rebbl Ashwagandha Chai, Four Sigmatic Reishi Hot Cocao, Rishi Turmeric and Tulsi Chai
Fermentation: The fermentation process preserves nutrients while producing a wealth of probiotics and uniquely acidic flavors. Kombucha and kefir options continue to grow, as do food/drink crossovers like kimchi and beet drinks.
Market examples: Farmhouse Culture Gutshot, Lifeway Kefir, GT’s Kombucha, Kombucha Wonder Drink
Matcha: The powdered green tea is known for its nutritional value, including high levels of antioxidants. We’re spotting matcha RTDs launching across several categories, including almond milk, iced tea, and coconut water.
Market examples: Matcha Bar Iced Matcha Tea, Ito En Matcha Latte, Pop and Bottle Matcha Green Tea, Califia Farms Matcha Almond Milk
Protein in Unexpected Places: Protein’s reign continues to spread across new product categories for those looking for satiety and weight management. Protein infusions are showing up in the most unlikely product formats like ice creams, pancakes, cooking mixes, almond milk, and even beer.
Market examples: Mancakes, Protein Pow Protein Cooking Mix, Arctic Zero, Orgain Organic Protein Almond Milk, Barbell Brew Protein Drink