Natural Ingredients Driving Innovation for Energy Drink Brands

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Food Business News recently published a story on how energy drink brands are developing new energy drinks with natural and sustainably-sourced ingredients. Even as bottled water has taken over as the nation’s leading beverage, there are still people who prefer a drink with a little taste and energy. However, they are paying closer attention to ingredients and as a result, energy drink brands are having to find ways to create clean label products.

Energy Drink Brands Look to Natural Herbs

Companies are finding natural ingredients with energy-related properties in natural herbs. A great example is FutureCeuticals’ organic Coffeeberry brand. The ingredient contains whole coffee cherries and no chemical solvents. Another growing company is HiBall Energy, and they use guarana and ginseng to enhance the energy experience of their beverages.

Mintel pointed out earlier this year that green tea is one of the ingredients on the rise in energy drink brands. A number of companies have taken notes and as a result, seen growth over the past few years.

Shift in Target Market Fueling New Growth

The millennial market is maturing and moving out of college into the real world. They are learning the hard lessons of the real world and need a pick me up! Natural energy drinks are perfect for their needs and wants. Energy drink brands need to focus on bold and edgy flavors to compete with teas and flavored waters as the beverage market heats up.

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Beverage Manufacturers Leaning Towards More Natural Ingredients

With the continuing rise of “better-for-you” products, beverage companies have incorporated healthy ingredients to their new drinks. Today, the latest trend in the industry is functional beverages.  Functional beverages are defined as refreshing drinks that come with a multitude of health benefits. To incorporate these benefits into their products, beverage brands have used herbal extracts and natural sugars to amplify the nutritional value of the drinks and improve the natural flavor of the beverage.

Diversity in Natural Beverages

Although the use of natural ingredients is on the rise for many beverage companies, the challenge lies on how companies should reinvent flavors. With many fruits and vegetables in their arsenal, it is quite challenging to find great matches for vegetables like cucumber, beets, and carrots. Traditionally, they have worked with different fruits and spices like berries, apples, mint, and ginger.

In today’s society, where modern consumers are empowered with tons of new information connecting their health to the food they eat, consumers have a high affinity towards a healthy diet and a good quality of life. It is the reason why they are not hesitant to spend extra for nutritious foods and beverages. There are also many people who have shifted their diets to vegan and vegetarian. These people follow a particular diet with many restrictions. In the United States alone, the number of vegans and vegetarians continues to rise.

The healthy drink industry has diversified to meet the demands of many clients. Today, you can find healthy energy drinks that are not laden with caffeine, artificial sugar, and other derivatives. Healthy energy drinks are now made up of natural ingredients that are much cleaner and better fo you than traditional energy drink ingredients. Examples of ingredients that are used in creating healthy energy drinks include tea, guarana, and other natural sweeteners. 

healthy beverage fruits vegetables fruve 15 nutrifusion grandfusionThe Effects of  Healthy Beverage Development

So, what is the effect of this shift observed in beverage companies? The use of healthy fruits and vegetables has triggered new impulses regarding drinking such beverages. For instance, beverage companies would never dare to use vegetables in making their drinks. But now, vegetables are the main ingredients in creating healthy drinks and, surprisingly, it provides a harmonious complement with fruits. A fantastic example is a fast growing company called Fruve, with a variety of fruit and vegetable based ingredients, Fruve is developing 15 servings of fruits and vegetables per bottle.

Clean Labeling Trend

As mentioned earlier, the other trend that beverage manufacturers are keen to implementing is clean labeling. Clean labeling encourages companies to become transparent with the ingredients that they use to make their drinks. It emphasizes the customers’ demands to choose products that are made from natural sources. Significant growth is possible in healthy and natural beverage development. It will be interesting to see how the industry players strategize to win this new market share.

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Energy Drink Industry Reached Record Global Sales in 2015

Energy drinks are all the rage these days. People are fascinated with the idea that a drink will give them enough energy for all their daily activities. But how is the energy drink industry faring these days? In the study conducted by research firm, Mintel, it revealed that the number of energy drinks launched in 2015 surpassed the previous highest number recorded in 2008. Between 2010 and 2015, the numbers of energy drinks have grown by 29%. The key country leading the industry is Germany which had the highest share of new energy drinks at 9% launched in 2015.

However, it is not just the new products that are booming. The sales volume of traditional energy drinks rose by 10% globally which is translated to around 8.8 billion liters. The top markets for energy drinks regarding volume sales include U.S. (at 3.3 billion liters), China (at 1.4 billion liters), UK (at 561 million liters), Thailand (at 465 million liters), and Vietnam (at 351 million liters).

The Popularity of Energy Drinks

So why is there such a massive increase in the sales of energy drinks? Mintel’s Global Food and Drink Analyst Alex Beckett noted that while there is a huge controversy surrounding energy drinks, it remains successful because of its promise to deliver a quick energy boost to consumers. And this is something that resonates with consumers all over the world.


Moreover, major brands are devoted to investing in advertising as well as creating high profile initiatives to give energy drinks an exciting image. To make the products more appealing, Mintel noticed that many brands are now introducing organic claims to promote their products for people who are on a clean eating lifestyle.

In fact, 7% of the energy drinks that have been launched in 2015 have an organic claim. This is 3% higher compared to the products launched in 2011.  The products that have been launched with organic claims are 58% greater in Europe than anywhere else in the world with North America (39%) and Latin America (3%) trailing behind.


All-Organic Claims

The study confirmed that 26% of the consumers in the US are more comfortable drinking energy drinks that are made from natural ingredients while those in Europe opt for products that contain natural flavors and colorings. This trend is also observed among Chinese consumers where 40% are motivated to buy products that are made from natural ingredients.

The most important target market for energy drinks is young parents who are very self-conscious of the types of drinks they consume. The Mintel research reveals that these kinds of parents are also responsible for motivating their children to drink energy drinks.

This trend indicates that the energy drink sector is trying its best to appeal to a wider range of audiences. It also implies pressure on the rest of the energy drink manufacturers to formulate a new line of drinks that come with better and healthier ingredients.

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Simple Ingredients are Attracting Consumers to Natural Products

Many consumers are not only more health conscious but are also becoming more careful shoppers. While many consumers still don’t look at the label, a growing group is focused on natural food and beverage products with simple ingredients.

The Clean Label Trend

There is an increasing number of people opting for clean labels. A clean label is simplifying the list of ingredients in a particular food and beverage product. It is a guiding purchasing behavior for future consumers, but it is a challenging call for food manufacturers.

This particular trend follows the five-ingredient rule which means that products should contain fewer and more recognizable ingredients to become attractive to many consumers. As this trend has evolved over time, efforts have also been made by many food and beverage manufacturers to use simple ingredients, and ensure that the ingredients used are as natural as possible.

Natural Ingredients are Simple Ingredients in Consumer Minds

With a lot of food products marketed as containing natural ingredients, many consumers find it difficult to define what “natural ingredients” means. Unfortunately, many food products claiming to be natural either have legitimate claims or just use buzzwords. The agency responsible for the ingredients’ definitions is the Food and Drug Agency (FDA).

So what are natural ingredients? Food writer Michael Pollan defines such ingredients as those that consumers can easily pronounce and recognize. These ingredients should be as close to their natural form and should not be overly processed nor should they contain additives like dyes or artificial preservatives.

The Demand for Natural Food Products

Clean labels are very popular throughout the industry and the demand for simple ingredients is influencing the sales of many food and beverage products. Many believe this trend is the leading reason for the organic & natural foods industry projected growth to experience a 14% rise in its total sales by 2020.

Unfortunately, this trend has also produced a lot of confusion among the consumers. According to global consumer research firm Mintel, more than 37% of the consumers remains confused about the information indicated in food labels, while 38% are skeptical of the information provided by these companies.

The solution to this confusion is to uphold transparency within the food industry so that this trend will resonate with all consumers. But how do food companies maintain transparency? Aside from making food labels comprehensible by using simple language, companies must reformulate their products using natural ingredients. Instead of using artificial sweeteners, natural alternatives may be employed. Food manufacturing companies can also look into their packaging and opt for a more sustainable look, instead of using plastic or foil packs.

This trend provides a tremendous opportunity for brands to increase revenue but also to connect with consumers. The cherry on top is brands will be seen as more trustworthy if they adopt simple ingredients and create clean labels for their products.

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4 “Natural” Foods & Beverages With Artificial Ingredients


Eating healthy requires you to replace a lot of the unhealthy food you’ve been consuming so far with better, healthier alternatives. Organic, healthy and natural food is in vogue among the health conscious. With all the options out there, deciding what’s best for your diet is a matter of a thorough understanding of the food label. In a market entrenched in the race for fulfilling the demands for natural products, many ingredients are passed off and approved under the guise of “natural”, “pure” and “organic”.

In a recent survey by Consumer Reports, they found that over 66% of people believe that “natural” food should contain no artificial ingredients. Below are four examples of natural food and beverages that contain artificial ingredients. To see all of the natural products with artificial ingredients, see the article by Consumer Reports, here.

Natural Fruit Cups

Del Monte claims that their fruit cups are filled with real fruit. However, the products are artificially sweetened. The fruit cups also contain artificial preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.

All Natural Sweet Potato Fries

Con Agra’s Alexia sweet potato fries have large quantities of xantham gum, an ingredient used as thickening agent. The company claimed that their products have been inspected by the FDA and are compliant with the regulations.

Consumers shouldn’t be in a hurry to swap their kitchen cabinet essentials for natural food products just yet. A smarter reading of pack labels will help you make better food choices.

Smithfield’s Cold Cuts

Cold cuts are an essential in most households. Companies like Smithfield, claim that their product Krakus Polish sliced ham contain all-natural juices. But, a reading of the ingredients reveals, at least, five artificial ingredients. Most cold cuts of meat and poultry contain chemicals like sodium nitrate as well.

Smucker’s Bottled Beverages

A majority of the fruit juices available in stores have tiny amounts of real fruit content. Artificial ingredients are used to enhance the color and texture of the juice these include preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and artificial colors. The same goes for other aerated and bottled drinks. J.M Smucker’s Natural Brew Draft Rootbeer contains caramel color. The company claims that the color is derived from burnt sugar and yucca extract.

See the article by Consumer Reports with all of the natural products with artificial ingredients, here.

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Synthetic Nutrients are Artificial Ingredients

artificial ingredients synthetic nutrients nutrifusion solutionShouldn’t your nutrients be “natural” too? How is it 2016 and we are still fortifying our food with synthetic vitamins and minerals? It’s been impossible to add natural nutrients from fruits and vegetables to processed food due to the heat intensity of modern-day food processing. Now food companies have the opportunity to add these essential micronutrients to their products with NutriFusion. Our patent-pending process keeps the phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals in fruits and vegetables stable through both intensive heating and cooling. To learn more about NutriFusion for your products, visit your industry below.

Clean Food Labels Are More Important Than Ever

Americans are becoming more cautious about what they eat. According to a recent consumer study, 64% of Americans check the ingredients of food items that they purchase as compared to only 53 percent of Europeans. The research was done by research company GNT Group with noting the study. This is a noticeable increase in the number of Americans reading food labels when compared to a study that was reported five years ago in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The study concluded that around 51.6 percent of Americans have their eyes on food labels before they even make a purchase.

“The study’s result clearly shows that natural ingredients have become more important all around the globe. Many manufacturers already comply with consumers’ wishes by, for example, using coloring foods exclusively made from natural raw materials and clearly indicating that on the label. This development will continue to gather momentum in the upcoming years.” -Hendrick Hoeck, GNT Group Managing Director

Simple Ingredients and Clean Food Labels

This new clean label development is noticeable in supermarket food aisles. It is evident from the iconic blue box for Kraft Dinner mac n cheese to the cheery Lucky Charms which have been reported to be manufactured soon without any artificial ingredients. Americans have indeed made a turn for the better when it comes to healthier food choices. Of course, a healthy diet is just one part of becoming healthy. A person who wishes to attain good health must also practice an active lifestyle and should make efforts to exercise daily to reduce stress in their lives.

The study also points out that consumers are not just looking for healthy food, but they want easy to understand food labels and nutrient information. Consumers are also choosing foods that are natural which means no additives, artificial coloring, artificial preservative, and chemical ingredients. By choosing natural and preservative-free food, consumers can guarantee a better quality diet. Chemicals in food are known to cause cancer, allergies, and chronic illnesses. Therefore, extra effort should be used to find healthy and natural foods in the packaged food aisles. Checking for clean food labels will give consumers more power in choosing the best food items for their family and it will also increase the value of their money spent on groceries.

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Add NutriFusion for Plant-Based Nutrients and Clean Food Labels

The United States is experiencing an extreme nutritional deficiency amongst its people. The majority of nutrients we consume on a daily basis are developed in a lab with synthetic chemicals. NutriFusion saw this problem and developed a breakthrough innovation for food and beverage manufacturers. Our patent pending method stabilizes vitamins and minerals in whole fruits and vegetables so that they can easily be added to many of our favorite packaged foods. Our ingredients are simple and easy to understand. Consumers immediately know that their nutrients are naturally sourced from fruits and vegetables. We believe our ingredient is essential to processed food over the next twenty years. Americans are not going to start eating fruits and vegetables overnight, so the least we can do is pack their favorite snacks and packaged foods with natural nutrition. If you are interested in learning more about NutriFusion, please visit your respective category.

Do Natural Ingredients Make Sodas Healthier?

Mintel recently published a new research report, Carbonated Soft Drinks: Spotlight on Natural/Craft US 2015 report. The report revealed an interesting statistic: 57% of Americans believe that sodas made with natural ingredients are healthier than those made with artificial ingredients. The natural and craft soda market is growing rapidly as a “better-for-you” alternative to current soft drink offerings.

Natural Ingredients and Sweeteners are Key to Growth

Natural Vitamins and Minerals

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame have faced a high level of scrutiny by the research community. Natural sweeteners are seen as a better alternative and a key to growth for the natural and craft soda market. An important stat from the report was that 34% of consumers who currently consume craft and natural sodas are interested in seeing sodas with added benefits like protein, vitamins, and minerals.

“The definition of health is changing from desiring low/no-fat and -sugar, to ‘real’ or unadulterated ingredients. Natural and craft brands tend to feature ingredients in more natural forms, to position products as a better-for-you option,” said Elizabeth Sisel, Beverage Analyst at Mintel.

“While the carbonated soft drink category is facing consumer perception challenges, opportunities exist to strengthen brand trust, authenticity and experience through trending natural and craft segments. However, natural and craft manufacturers are tasked with justifying higher prices and increasing familiarity through better exposure. The predominant negative attributes of craft soda could be curbed in time as more products enter the market and pricing evens out,” concluded Sisel.


NutriFusion® for Natural and Craft Sodas

Natural Ingredients from Fruits & Vegetables

As the report pointed out, consumers are more and more interested in products with natural ingredients over artificial ingredients. We can help you solve this problem while adding those valuable health benefits that consumers are also demanding. Our products come from organic, non-GMO produce and can easily be mixed into beverages, drinks, and sodas. NutriFusion® enables your brand to make claims like: “Rich in Antioxidants” or “Provides nutrients from two servings of fruits and vegetables.” These kinds of claims are important messages to consumers and can help you justify higher prices for natural and craft sodas. Contact NutriFusion® for more information about our natural ingredient mixes for your beverages and drinks.

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