Functional coffees and teas keep percolating with innovation

 In Food & Beverage Insider, Press

CoffeeIf ever a pair of beverages were built for the current moment, it’d look a lot like the duo of coffee and tea.

Plant-based, inherently healthful, steeped in tradition: One would be hard-pressed to find better vehicles for delivering functional ingredients, wellness perks and all those jazzy plant milks that keep popping up in dairy cases these days.

Indeed, noted Ilana Orlofsky, senior marketing manager, Imbibe, “One could find a tea to address nearly every human condition.” She’s seen “energy teas” surge “with a lean toward natural energy from yerba mate, guayusa (Ilex guayusa), guarana (Paullinia cupana) and yaupon (Ilex vomitoria).”
And teas that support immunity, relaxation and sleep also look set “to gain momentum as we endure this protracted pandemic.” Noting that gut health and immunity “are inextricably linked,” Orlofsky also anticipates more gut-support products incorporating immunity-boosting ingredients—“strengthening the connection between the two systems and increasing the products’ perceived value and benefits,” she said.


Energy up and down

[Micah] Greenhill (beverage marketing director at ADM), has noticed interest in adding medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) and coconut oil to functional coffees targeting keto dieters or those signing onto the “biohacking trend.”

“We’ve certainly seen several products with a variety of enhancements and diverse messaging around added benefits launched in the past year,” Orlofsky went on. And, not surprisingly, many have hit shelves in a ready-to drink (RTD) format.