Poppi Soda is a line of fruit-flavored sodas that are made with real fruit juice and no artificial colors or flavors. The sodas are available in six flavors: apple, grape, orange, pineapple, raspberry, and strawberry.
Mushroom coffee is coffee that is made with mushrooms added to it. The mushrooms used can be either fresh or dried, and can include varieties such as chaga, lion’s mane, and reishi. The mushrooms are said to add various health benefits to the coffee, such as boosting energy levels and improving cognitive function.
The Air Up Bottle is a refillable water bottle with a scented component near the cap. This fools the brain into thinking that the water is flavored when in reality it’s just plain water. The bottle is popular with dieters and health advocates alike.
LMNT is an electrolyte drink mix that is sugar-free and gluten-free. The brand aims to improve health through hydration and is known for its optimal ratio of electrolytes which contains higher sodium content.
Olipop is a brand of canned sparkling tonic that uses plant-based ingredients and prebiotics as a healthier alternative to soda. It also uses cassava, fruit juice, and stevia as sweeteners.
Mogu mogu is a drink that is made from fruit juice, nata de coco, and sweeteners. The drink originated from Thailand and is marketed as a healthy alternative to soda and other sugary drinks.
Cloves water is a drink that is made by boiling cloves in water. The drink is said to be beneficial in relieving respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis, and in boosting the immune system.
The GLOW drink is an electrolyte drink that is meant to provide energy and health benefits. The drink is packed with electrolytes, antioxidants, and essential vitamins which are said to help in hydration, increasing energy, and detoxifying the body.
A BeatBox Drink is a ready-to-drink cocktail packed in eco-friendly tetra packaging. It is an alternative wine-based drink to bring to parties and events, and is popular among Millennials.
A Spanish Latte is a latte that is made with espresso, steamed milk, and a sweetened condensed milk. The drink is popular in Spain and is often served with a layer of foam on top.
An adaptogen is a natural substance that is believed to help the body adapt to stress. The term is used to describe a wide variety of substances, including herbs, mushrooms, and minerals.
Ghost Energy Drink is a carbonated beverage that is marketed as a “supercharged energy drink.” The drink is made with caffeine, taurine, B-vitamins, and guarana and is available in several flavors.
Ginger Shots are beverages that are made with ginger and other complementary ingredients. The shots are meant to be consumed as a way to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system.
Mullein Tea is a tea that is made from the mullein plant. Mullein is a traditional remedy for respiratory problems and is said to be a soothing and calming tea.
HTeaO is a Texas-based tea bar that offers premium iced tea with 27 flavors to choose from. The company uses all natural flavors and uses cane sugar as a sweetener.
Gut drinks are beverages that are intended to improve gut health. The drinks are made with probiotics and other ingredients that are said to support gut health.
Ceremonial Cacao is a type of cacao that is considered to be the most pure and sacred. The cacao is often used in spiritual ceremonies and is said to promote feelings of well-being, love, and joy.
Celsius is a line of fitness drinks that are designed to help with weight loss and energy. The drinks are calorie-free, non-carbonated, and sweetened with sucralose. They are available in a variety of flavors, including fruit punch, grape, and orange.
Liquid Death is a brand of canned water that is rich in minerals and electrolytes. The water comes from deep underground mountain source, purified, and then bottled in aluminum cans, maintaining the original mineral profile of water.
Milkis is a carbonated beverage that is made with milk and ice. The beverage is available in a variety of flavors, including grape, strawberry, and banana. Milkis is popular in South Korea and is often consumed as a snack or a dessert.
Athletic Brewing is a company that specializes in making non-alcoholic craft beer. The company’s beers are designed to provide the same flavor and satisfaction as traditional craft beers, but without the alcohol.
Kate Farms is a company that produces organic and plant-based nutrient shakes and formulas for people with special medical and dietary needs. The company's products provide high quality nutrition and are designed for drinking or tube feeding.
Bubble Tea is a tea-based drink that is made with milk and/or fruit juice and is shaken with ice. The drink is then poured into a glass and topped with tapioca balls or other fruit.
Trend Highlight – Flavored Water That Isn't Really Flavored
A new water bottle startup is making more than $100M per year selling flavored water that isn’t actually flavored at all.
The company, Air Up, adds a scented ring around the lip of the bottle that fools users’ senses into thinking that what they’re drinking tastes great, just because it smells great. As the company puts it, “Good taste doesn't need sugar.”
Diet sodas, first introduced in the mid-1900s, were intended to help consumers reduce their caloric intake–but in reality, many use them as an excuse to eat a higher calorie meal. This is consistent with the theory of moral licensing, where, in the context of fast food, consumers comfortably combine a healthy food option with a less healthy, indulgent one. Air Up leans into this effect, but for the better, letting consumers’ bodies get the benefit of plain water and their brains get the benefit of the sweet flavor.
This isn’t the first time a company has played these games. The interplay between smell and taste has long been known to businesses who have gone so far as to pump artificial smells into their restaurants in an attempt to make their food taste better.
Trend Highlight – Cirkul: Turning Hydration Into A Recurring Revenue Stream
Hydration is a growing health trend. It's simple, effective, and free. And it's massive: the single most-downloaded health & fitness app in 2019 was the Drink Water Reminder App at over 40M downloads.
Cirkul is turning regular hydration into a recurring revenue stream, by selling zero-calorie water flavors by subscription. Cirkul's product is a water bottle that incorporates a flavor dispenser. Staying hydrated is hard for many consumers as it's tough for many people to want to drink that much water. Adding flavor makes it much easier to drink so much water. Our culture's growing interest in self care has turned "stay hydrated" into a meme more people talked about the topic on Reddit in 2019 than in both 2017 and 2018 combined.
The company offers dozens of fruit flavors, some of which include B vitamins, electrolytes, or caffeine, setting it up to compete with sports drinks and sodas. One key difference between this and sports drinks or sodas is the do-it-yourself component: even though the end product may be the same, the user adding the flavoring in themselves makes it feel healthier.
Their marketing copy emphasizes hydration, and users talk about it as a way to help themselves want to drink more water. For companies, this is an opportunity to capture additional consumer surplus and for consumers this is another product that can help increase hydration.
Trend Highlight – The Rise of Canned Boba
Producing a shelf-stable version of an existing beverage is a good way to grow the market. Similar to how battery-powered devices are particularly popular in places with intermittent electricity, canned goods can become popular in places with initially unreliable or unavailable infrastructure.
In fact, milk has already undergone this evolution. While Americans are used to buying refrigerated milk, much of the rest of the world buys unrefrigerated boxed milk that has a 6-9 month shelf life. It’s called UHT milk and is made by momentarily heating milk to a high temperature to sterilize it. The UHT process has helped milk penetrate into new markets and, today, milk’s adoption in China, for example, is growing at a higher rate than ever before.
The benefits of shelf stability are now coming to boba tea in the form of canned boba; searches and online discussion of the term are at an all-time high.
Being shelf-stable also helps to make boba a snack. If people can consume it at any time, they'll keep it with them–in the car or on a hike, for example–and that reinforces the habit.
Another contributing factor to the rise of canned boba is the speed at which boba itself is becoming more popular. Boba’s popularity has outpaced retail infrastructure such that consumers in rural areas wanting boba are too far from trendy areas, forcing them to buy it online, in cans.
Trend Highlight – Why Non-Alcoholic Drinks Are Becoming Popular
Often the new businesses that gain the most traction are those that introduce a new product but allow consumers to maintain their old habits.
The rise of non-alcoholic drinks highlights this: Most consumers interested in non-alcoholic drinks don’t want to have to stop socializing in bars or drinking their favorite cocktails — they just want to do so without the effects of alcohol.
The tricky part, which a growing number of businesses are successfully navigating, is maintaining price parity with alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are renowned for their high margins in the otherwise low-margin restaurant industry.
Sober Carpenter, alongside Atheltic Brewing is one of these brands. The growth of non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits also coincides with the rise of “sober bars” which have fascinating business dynamics.
Sober bars can capture more revenue and profit than normal bars through a few approaches. First, they can stay open throughout the day as an alternative to coffee dates, increasing revenue. They can also increase profit by maintaining prices while lowering costs given the lack of alcohol and liquor licenses and bouncers.
Instead of serving as an experience for former alcoholics as many may think, this growing experience is focused on creating a space where it's socially acceptable to mingle with strangers and spend money on a craft experience without the explicit need for booze. Nearly all sober bars even keep the 21+ rule to help preserve the environment and social context of the bar scene.
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