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By Tammy Chung, brand strategist, Anthem
Drinks and beverages providing benefits beyond hydration and refreshment have been around for decades. Think breakthrough product formulations and powerhouse brands like Gatorade, Red Bull and, more recently, Vitaminwater, which promise peak athletic performance, energy boosts and essential nutrients, respectively. Today’s time-crunched consumer is demanding even more benefits around beauty, health and wellness in convenient, on-the-go forms. As a result, beverage makers have been launching new drinks with specialized, unique ingredients touting new functionality.
One example of this growing phenomenon is Youthy Forever, the first juice drink made with Resveratrol and grape seed extract. Resveratrol, a natural antioxidant found in plants and a beneficial ingredient found in red wine, is known to promote skin health as well as protect against conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Grape seed extract has also been recognized for treating health problems, including those related to cholesterol, blood pressure and circulation. The juice itself is 100 percent natural, made with pear, passion fruit, pineapple and prickly pear. Launched in May of last year, each bottle of Youthy Forever contains 40 milligrams of grape seed extract and 30 milligrams of Resveratrol—equivalent to drinking 60 glasses of red wine!
Another interesting beverage on the market today is Brioni’s Healthy Morning prebiotic coffee, which claims to be the first coffee to provide digestive health benefits. This premium roast offers 4 grams of natural, prebiotic fiber per 12 ounce cup.
Coca-Cola launched its first herbal drink Habu, in Thailand last summer. Habu is made with four herbs: roselle, licorice, luo han guo and cogon grass – each with properties said to treat several health conditions including stomach inflammation, ulcers and fevers. Habu’s packaging design features modern renderings of traditional clay containers used to brew herbal drinks.
With the growth of functional beverages and the breadth of their diverse benefits, it’s clear that consumers today are looking for increasingly convenient ways to do more than quench their thirst. But before launching a new cholesterol-lowering tea, marketers should ask themselves: “is this fulfilling an actual need with my target consumer? And is a beverage a credible and appealing format to deliver this benefit?” For each successful product, there are likely just as many failures. But one thing is for sure: there is still plenty of untapped potential.