#Trendspotting: Functional Beverages

 In Blog, Trendspotting

Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging beverage trends.


According to Datassential, 90% of consumers are interested in functional food and beverage Top need states consumers want to address include improved nutrition, gut health, energy and emotional well-being.

Nutrient Dense | Gut Heatlh | Energy & Focus | Emotional Well-being

Nutrient Dense

Key nutrients that address dietary needs like protein, fat, and vitamins and
minerals drive purchase decisions for nearly a fourth of consumers, according
to Mintel. These nutrients can help consumers perform at optimum capacity and
also aid with specific need states like energy, satiety, or immunity.

Key nutrients that address dietary needs like protein, fat, and vitamins and
minerals drive purchase decisions for nearly a fourth of consumers, according
to Mintel. These nutrients can help consumers perform at optimum capacity and
also aid with specific need states like energy, satiety, or immunity.


Beverages with vitamins and minerals are in demand because they boost energy, improve immunity, and promote overall well-being. Mintel found that 45% of consumers are more likely to purchase products rich with vitamins and minerals. ActivateKarma Wellness Water, and Bear Fruit have vitamin-enhanced beverages on the market.


Omega-3s are suggested to have many benefits from fighting inflammation to supporting brain health in children. Brainiac Kids and Horizon Organicoffer products enhanced with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to support brain development and maintenance for children.


Many consumers associate high protein content with better-for-you products and Mintel reports that a third of consumers are more likely to buy products with protein. Brands are finding innovative ways to include protein in products like the
Juicy Juice + Protein that launched this month.

Gut Health

Improving digestive health is still a top priority for consumers. In addition to probiotics, brands are incorporating other gut-friendly ingredients like
prebiotics and apple cider vinegar.


There’s a lot of buzz about prebiotics, which are a type of fiber that feeds good bacteria like probiotics. KarunaWonder Drink Kombucha and Hellowater are a few of the brands that launched beverages rich with prebiotics.


Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a remedy for many ailments, including digestion support. Beverages made with apple cider vinegar are fringe, but consumer interest in better-for-you fermented products and ancient wisdom suggests that there is a market for them. Ethan’sBluePrint and Kevita use apple cider vinegar as the core ingredient in their gut-friendly beverages.


Shrubs are another type of product that uses apple cider vinegar combined with fruits, vegetables, aromatics and sugar. These sweet, tart and acidic syrups are dominating cocktail and mocktail menus. Though their primary purpose may not be to aid with gut-health, the apple cider vinegar base creates the perception that it’s a better-for-you option at the bar.

Energy & Focus

Energy and focus are top need states for consumers. About a third of
consumers are choosing beverages for an energy boost and a fifth are
hoping to improve focus, according to Mintel.


Brands like MatiGURU and FEEL are introducing natural alternatives to traditional energy drinks. These beverages incorporate ingredients like guayusa, yerba mate, green tea or green coffee extract as a natural energizer. According to Grandview Market Research, naturally positioned energy drinks will account for nearly 40% of the market by 2025.


Sparkling waters enhanced with caffeine were a top trend at Expo West this year. YerbaéPhocusLimitless, and Pep Talk are a some of the brands that launched caffeinated sparkling waters to help consumers recharge.


Hybrid energy drinks targeted at specific audiences are another growing trend. GFuel — which is made with a custom blend of caffeine, amino acids, ketones, and antioxidant rich fruits and veggies — was developed with video game enthusiasts in mind. RTD versions of G Fuel launched in July and already sold out online.


Consumers are also seeking out brain boosting beverages that improve memory, focus, and clarity. These products contain nootropics like acetyl l-carnitine, l-tyrosine, l-theanine, ginseng, and lion’s mane mushroom. FocusAidlists all of the product’s core ingredients on the front of the package, like acetyl l-carnitine, ginseng, and Alpha-GPC (a choline compound).

Emotional Well-being

Nearly a fourth of consumers are interested in beverages that promote relaxation, according to Datassential and Mintel. Some of the most popular ingredients for beverages that aid with stress relief are CBD, adaptogenic herbs, and relaxation promoting compounds like l-theanine and Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA).


Relaxation and relief from anxiety are some of the suggested benefits of CBD (though the FDA recently warned brands to avoid marketing claims about the potential health benefits of products). PervidaRecess, and Vybesare some of the brands offering CBD-infused beverages suggested to aid with relaxation.


Adaptogens and medicinal mushrooms are still novel outside of the natural products world, but these ingredients have been utilized for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines. Adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms have many suggested benefits, including improving the body’s response to stress. Temple TurmericMetta and Rebbl incorporate adaptogens in their products.


Stress relieving beverage supplements are also entering the market. Zenify is a supplement enhanced with l-theanine, gaba, glycine, and several vitamins and minerals. The suggested benefits of the beverage include reduced stress and increased productivity.

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