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Nutraceutical beverage update: the market is still booming and the future looks bright, as the latest beverages to be tapped as delivery systems for a variety of nutraceutical ingredients are unveiled.

Whether they are called "better-for-you beverages" or "health and wellness drinks," liquid refreshments enhanced with nutraceutical ingredients are growing at a faster pace than most segments of the overall beverage market. But the functional beverage industry has been "exploding" for years, so is the market approaching a point of saturation? According to David Browne, director, Content Development, SPINS, San Francisco, CA, the market will eventually reach its peak, but at this moment he believes we are right in the middle of a functional beverage boom. "Based on the growth we are seeing right now there seems to be a lot of room for growth, innovation and new brands," he said.


Pointing to the performance of specific categories, Mr. Browne said isotonics (beverages that replace lost electrolytes or rehydrate) have become particularly popular, especially in the conventional channel, while green food-based beverages and protein-based beverages continue to grow rapidly in the natural channel. Regarding the former category, he said, "Expect to see even more activity out of the isotonics. While still a niche category within the functional beverage market in terms of total sales, it is the fastest growing."

SPINS' latest data indicate that the total functional beverage market, including isotonics, lifestyle/wellness drinks, meal replacements and medicinal teas, grew 18% over the last year and is currently posting total sales of $1.8 billion--this includes beverages sold in both the natural and conventional channels of distribution. Mr. Browne says the lifestyle/wellness category is currently soaking up most of the sales because it is the largest, and it will likely approach $1 billion in sales this year, as it continues to register double-digit growth.

General Market Dynamics

The nutraceutical beverage market (teas, sports drinks, energy beverages, new age beverages, fortified juices and milk, and isotonics) has been growing rapidly over the last several years to the point where no beverage has been left unfortified--the latest entrant being beer fortified with nutraceutical ingredients like ginseng. With myriad beverage mediums being tapped as delivery systems for nutraceutical ingredients, will the market eventually face the issue of over fortification? Most experts believe that while adding nutraceuticals to beverages presents a good business opportunity given consumers' rapidly rising desire for these types of products, it would be wise to proceed with caution. John Sicher, editor and publisher of New York-based Beverage Digest believes the key to maintaining the growth of nutraceutical beverages is making sure they deliver "real" performance and health benefits. "Consumers are going to demand more from their beverages," he said. "They are going want their beverages to do more than just taste good and refresh, they are also going to insist that they provide 'real' functional benefits."

Companies seem to be very in tune with current health issues facing the U.S., especially in the realm of obesity. This has resulted in the rather rapid launch of sugar-free beverages to accompany their sugar-laden counterparts. This is especially popular in the energy and sports drinks sectors.

Childhood obesity in particular has been a major catalyst in removing "less nutritious" beverages from vending machines in schools in the U.S. In fact, at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual meeting, which was held in mid-August, Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association (ABA), Washington, D.C., unveiled the association's new school vending policy aimed at providing lower-calorie and/or nutritious beverages to schools and limiting the availability of soft drinks. Under the new policy, the beverage industry will provide:

* Elementary Schools with only water and 100% juice;

* Middle Schools with only nutritious and/or lower-calorie beverages, such as water, 100% juice, sports drinks, no-calorie soft drinks and low-calorie juice drinks. No full-calorie soft drinks or full-calorie juice drinks with 5% or less juice until after school; and

* High Schools with a variety of beverage choices, such as bottled water, 100% juice, sports drinks and juice drinks. No more than 50% of the vending selections will be soft drinks.

The ABA asked beverage producers and school districts to implement the new policy as soon as possible. However, the success of the policy is dependent on voluntary implementation of it by individual beverage companies and school officials. Further, the policy will not supercede federal, state and local regulations already in place. ABA's Board of Directors, which unanimously approved the policy, represents 20 companies that comprise approximately 85% of school vending beverage sales by bottlers.

Nutritious vending pioneer Stonyfield Farm, Londonderry, NH, has already been active on this front. Over the last year, the company launched one of the first healthy vending machine programs for schools in the country and now has machines in seven states. And as of April, it claimed almost 900 schools had contacted the company about its vending program. The new healthy vending machines are filled with an assortment of organic and natural snacks from companies ranging from Organic Valley milk and string cheese to Stacy's pita chips to Newman's Own Organics pretzels, as well as Stonyfield's own Organic Smoothies.

Milk-based drinks are also becoming "en vogue" for beverage behemoths like Coco-Cola, Atlanta, GA, and PepsiCo, Purchase, NY, which have both made efforts to extend their beverage lines with dairy-based offerings. Mr. Sicher believes adding a protein component to product portfolios will become increasingly important to these companies in the years to come. Whether that includes dairy or soy, he says companies will look to innovate in this area as consumers embrace some of these new beverage concepts.

An Update on Tea Trends

Over the last decade, the tea market in the U.S. has been growing steadily, as consumers continue to trade in their desire for coffee beans in exchange for tea leaves. But teas have a long way to go in terms of posting the sales figures seen by other beverage categories.

According to a report published by Packaged Facts, New York, NY, tea is still a hot item in the U.S. market, particularly in the "specialty" tea segment. "Tea in the U.S. has never had the popularity of coffee, nor do Americans drink as much tea as consumers abroad. Indeed, the lion's share of U.S. retail teas revenue is generated by sales of ready-to-drink (RTD) bottled and canned ice tea," the report said. "However, as Americans become more health conscious and the health properties of green and white teas become more widely publicized, tea has acquired a new cache."

Brian Keating, founder, Sage Group International, Seattle, WA, agreed. "A positive tea and health consumption media message being broadcast in hundreds of articles each month remains a key driver pushing consumers in search of tea," he said. "Aging Baby Boomers are also reaching for tea as their medical advisors promote the cardiovascular and cancer preventative benefits of regular tea consumption."

The generally stellar media image for all things "tea" has carried over into every type of consumer product with a powerful, positive connotation that is boosting category sales, according to Mr. Keating. This bristling activity has even grabbed the attention of major financial players pondering the perfect timing for investments, mergers and acquisitions.

The "Tea is 'Hot' Report 5th Edition," published by Sage Group International, indicates that the specialty tea industry within the U.S. continues to accelerate and gain momentum. This is what helped push sales for 2004 across all channels and products well over $5 billion (retail values all channels and product types, including conventional teas). Given the tea market's performance over the last several years, Mr. Keating believes the opportunities for launching new product lines, companies and tea related technologies are tremendous. "The next five years look particularly ripe for business development," he said. "In fact, our forecasts indicate that total annual sales for the entire U.S. tea industry will exceed $10 billion in 2010."

The report further indicates that while bottled RTD tea-based beverages are slightly down, sales of organic and specialty teas combined with juice, herbs and nutraceuticals remain strong. In more specific tea categories, Mr. Keating says green, rooibos (herbal tea), organic and flavored longer leaf style (estate, OP grade) teas are steaming past most other specialty categories with sustainable, double-digit growth.

While green tea continues to be a hot item in the U.S. market, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), Washington, D.C., strongly believes that consumers need to drink more of it in order to reap the wide-ranging health benefits. In fact, in its most recent survey, AICR claims green tea is still the least popular non-alcoholic beverage in the U.S. This was echoed by a separate survey, which revealed that only 8% of Americans say that they drink green tea regularly (5 or more times per week). AICR is concerned about this given the mounting evidence pointing to green tea as playing a role in preventing a variety of cancers. "Our survey shows that consumption of green tea in the U.S. is remarkably low. The overwhelming majority of Americans may be cutting themselves off from the very cancer-protective, health-promoting effects that are beginning to show up again and again in the scientific literature," said Jeffrey Prince, AICR vice president of education.

Beverage Round-Up

This month Rockstar Energy Drinks, Las Vegas, NV, and Coca-Cola will join forces to launch a new energy drink called Von Dutch. Coca-Cola will not own the new brand, however, Coca-Cola's largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), will distribute it, and both Coke and CCE will get a share of the profit. Rockstar, the company that makes Rockstar and Diet Rockstar energy drinks, will own Von Dutch Energy Drink through a licensing deal with Von Dutch, a clothing company known for expensive blue jeans and trucker caps. This is Coca-Cola's third attempt to get involved in the energy drink segment--its first was KMX and its second was Full Throttle (now available in a sugar-free version), which was launched this past January and is currently the number five energy drink on the market, according to Beverage Marketing Corporation, New York, NY.

In other developments, Coca-Cola recently teamed up with Bravo! Foods International, North Palm Beach, FL, to grab a share of the recently popular fortified milk drinks market. In August, Bravo! signed a 10-year distribution agreement with CCE. Over a period of three years CCE will have the opportunity to become a minority shareholder in Bravo! Foods. Distribution of Bravo's Slammers line will commence later this year. The specific channels through which the Slammers line will be available include vending, convenience retail, education and small independent stores.

Last month Bravo! Foods also launched a new line of breakfast beverages. The new beverages, Breakfast Blenders, are represented as a line of fortified milks designed to provide the nutritional benefits found in a "good" breakfast. Breakfast Blenders use 100% milk and a blend of breakfast fruits and flavors. In addition, they are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Chocolate Raspberry Breakfast Blenders are fortified with antioxidants naturally found in raspberries and chocolate, while Vanilla Peach Breakfast Blenders contain fiber found naturally in peaches. Double French Vanilla and Double Chocolate varieties are both rich in calcium. Bravo! Foods and 7-Eleven collaborated on the development of these new products, which will be launched in November at participating 7-Eleven stores nationwide.

In the realm of sports drinks, Coca-Cola has rolled out Powerade Option, which is a new low-calorie version of its Powerade offering. The water/sports drink hybrid provides electrolytes and B complex vitamins at comparable levels to regular Powerade, but with fewer carbohydrates and calories. An 8-fluid ounce serving contains 10 calories, 35 mg of potassium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of sugar, 10% of niacin, vitamin B6 and B12. Powerade Option is available in Strawberry, Black Cherry and Lemon flavors.


According to Brandweek magazine, Coca-Cola has also formed a collaboration with Nestle, Glendale, CA, to launch Enviga, which will be positioned as a diet drink. Reportedly the drink will contain green tea and caffeine, and will be described as having the ability to burn 50-100 calories just by drinking it. Brandweek also claims that the drink has undergone clinical testing, which has proven its ability to speed up metabolism. It is scheduled to launch in the coming months and will be offered in two to four different flavors. Nestle has applied for the Enviga trademark, which covers "nutritional and dietary supplements," "energizing and energetic drinks," "green tea" and "isotonic beverages."

Following on the heels of the fortified milk trend, PepsiCo, through its Quaker Oats division, Chicago, IL, launched Quaker Milk Chillers in early August. The milk drinks are made with 2% milk and are fortified with calcium and other vitamins. They are available in Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors.


Earlier this year Chicago, IL-based Gatorade, also a Pepsi company, launched a new product called Gatorade Endurance Formula, a specialized sports drink containing a unique blend of electrolytes designed to meet the needs of athletes during longer, more intense workouts and competitions when fluid and electrolyte losses become substantial. According to the company, Gatorade Endurance Formula contains a specialized five-electrolyte blend, including nearly twice the sodium (200 mg) and three times the potassium (90 mg) of Gatorade Thirst Quencher, as well as chloride, calcium and magnesium. Like Gatorade Thirst Quencher, Gatorade Endurance Formula contains a scientifically balanced 6% carbohydrate blend that helps speed fluid back into the body and fuel working muscles. Gatorade Endurance Formula is nationally available in a 34-oz. bottle at grocery, convenience and mass merchants nationwide. It comes in three flavors, including Lemon-Lime, Fruit Punch and Orange.

Cadbury Schweppes, through its Snapple Beverage Corporation Unit, White Plains, NY, has launched a variety of new white teas. Snapple White Teas are lighter tasting, decaffeinated and full of antioxidants. Snapple White Teas are all natural and available in three flavors, Raspberry, White Nectarine and Green Apple.

In other developments, Cadbury's 7Up Plus line has expanded with two new flavors. The beverage, a combination of 7Up and fruit juice with added calcium, is available in Cherry and Island Fruit flavors. The new releases bring the number of 7Up Plus varieties to three, along with original Mixed Berry.

Pushing the envelope a bit with its brand name and marketing premise is a new beverage called Energy 69, produced by Energy 69, LLC, New York, NY. It contains a variety of ingredients meant for enhancing libido and reaction time, including taurine, guarana seed, green tea leaf, caffeine, d-ribose, epimedium (whole plant), schizandra chinensis seeds, damiana leaf, L-carnitine and elutherococcus senticosus (root). It also comes in a sugar-free version.

With a mission to empower college students of all ages to become healthier, feel more confident and function at their highest level, The Nutritional Institute, Grayslake, IL, offers a new line of energy drinks/meal replacements and whole food supplements to help them get the nutrition they need. The company's Student Formula natural health products are available in college bookstores around the country and online. The new beverage offerings include Beyond Berry "Just Shake it," which contains organic berries and organic protein from rice and peas, as well as a vegetable complex and Green Latte "Momma would be Proud," which contains chlorella, spirulina, a vegetable complex and other nutrients that help facilitate digestion and detoxification and provide energy. Rounding out the line are the supplement offerings, which include Brain Boost "Genius in a Bottle," Bounce Back "Super Immune Enhancer," Inside Out "Beauty in a Bottle," Just Chill "Relax to the Max" and Enzyme Time "Gas and Bloat Buster."


Hoping to help consumers lose weight, Creative Enterprises, Inc., Bryn Mawr, PA, recently launched Jana Skinny water. Combined with Jana's Natural European artesian water, the beverage is positioned as a no-calorie water enhanced with the weight loss ingredient Super CitriMax. According to the company, drinking Skinny Water 30-60 minutes before each meal helps suppress the body's appetite, increase metabolism and block carbohydrate absorption. Furthermore, the company claims researchers found that drinking Skinny Water resulted in an average weight loss of 8-10 pounds over a period of eight weeks when combined with moderate daily exercise. Jana Skinny Water rolled into 7-Eleven stores on August 1st.

Enhanced water pioneer, Glaceau, Whitestone, NY, has added Perform to its Vitamin Water line-up. The lemon-lime flavored beverage contains electrolytes like calcium, magnesium and potassium, which Glaceau says helps move water cells throughout the body, speeding up the hydration process. It also contains B vitamins and vitamin C, along with other nutrients.

Taking the functional beverage concept to the next level, YES!, containing 12 vitamins, 8 antioxidants, 10 fortified minerals, 70 trace minerals, 22 amino acids and other essential nutrients, was recently launched by Natural Precepts, LLC, Winnsboro, LA. YES!, short for "Your Essential Source," is a drink that provides a 75% absorption rate for these needed nutrients, which is approximately five times the absorption rate for multivitamin tablets and capsules. The beverage became available exclusively to 7-Eleven stores in August.


Universal Food & Beverage Company, St. Charles, IL, has released a line of healthful drinks to complement its flavored water selection. The new brand, Frost20, is designed particularly for diet consumers. Frost20 is a no-calorie, sugar-free, vitamin enhanced and naturally flavored alternative to sugary sodas and juices. Flavors include Peach, Lemon Lime, Mixed Berry and Tropical Fruit.

Tuff Guyz Corporation, Park City, UT, has launched a premium line of vitamin fortified isotonic beverages called Tuff Guyz Sports Drink. The Tuff Guyz Sports Drink contains a blend of B vitamins and vitamin E. An 8-ounce serving includes 25% of the RDA of vitamins B12, B6, B5, B3 and E. Made from 100% natural flavors, Tuff Guyz is a non-carbonated, electrolyte isotonic drink designed to re-hydrate, vitamize and refresh. Tuff Guyz Sports Drink is available in five flavors, including Orange Mango Fire-Basketball, Citrus Berry Blue Fire-Football, Lemon Lime Green Fire-Skateboard, Grape Berry Deep Purple Fire-Easy Rider and Fruit Punch Red Fire-Soccer.

Hansen Natural Corporation, Corona, CA, has launched three new energy drinks in 16-ounce cans--Monster Energy Khaos, Lost Five-0 and Lost Perfect 10. Monster Energy Khaos and Lost Five-0 are both carbonated and contain fruit juice, while Lost Perfect 10 is a low-carb energy drink.

A new energy enhancing drink called Slender Energy has been launched by Fuze Beverage LLC, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Slender Energy is a low-calorie, low-carb beverage containing 5% real juice infused with weight loss and energy enhancing ingredients. It contains vitamin C, Super CitriMax, L-carnitine, chromium and taurine, and is available in five flavors, including Tropical Lemon, Passionfruit, Dragonfruit Kiwi, Green Tea and Tangerine Grapefruit.

In other news, the company has launched a new tea within its line of healthy "infuzed" teas. Fuze's new Diet Orange Ginger Green Tea is a no-calorie, zero carbohydrate beverage that is fueled with a powerful antioxidant capacity equal to three servings of vegetables per each 18-oz. bottle. The tea contains no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors or flavors, and includes six essential vitamins (C, E, B3, B5, B6 and B12), folic acid and natural polyphenols.

Norway-based Tine BA has launched a new range of juice drinks to the Norwegian market. Biola fruit juice drinks contain the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) and are available in Orange-Mango and Apple-Pear flavors. According to the company, two glasses provide an effective daily dose.


FulLife Natural Options, Inc., Boca Raton, FL, has introduced Charantea Ampalaya Tea, an all-natural, caffeine-free tea meant to help stabilize the blood sugar levels of diabetics. In Asia the ampalaya herb is officially endorsed by the Association of Municipal Health Officers of the Philippines as an adjunct to their patients' diabetes care and it is the official food supplement of Operation Diabetes, a national program on diabetes prevention and control. Also known as bitter melon or bitter gourd, the ampalaya herb is traditionally used in Asia as both a nutritious vegetable and medicinal herb.


Appearance is everything and no one knows that better than California-based Borba Nutraceuticals, which produces a line of Skin Balanced Waters and Aqua-Less Crystalline Packets available in three varieties--Firming, Skin Calming and Anti-Aging/Clarifying. Firming Borba is targeted toward cellulite and stretch mark prone areas and it contains yerba mate extract and cherimoya extract, which are combined with biogenic amines from green tea extract to stimulate thermogenesis. They also increase cell metabolism to boost stored dermis fat conversion leading to smoother skin appearance. Soy isoflavones mimic hormonelike action to balance internal cellular aging activity. Skin Calming Borba was designed to reduce redness and environmental exposure and it contains longan and green tea extracts to help soothe and calm skin by reducing inflammation and strengthening capillaries, which reduce the appearance of small visible blood vessels. Lastly, Anti-Aging/Clarifying Borba is for aging skin with fluctuating pore impurities. Retinyl palmitate helps keep skin clean while promoting skin clarity. Mangosteen extract with selenium AA complex renew the epidermis, minimize wrinkles, soften fine lines and increase skin elasticity.

Leading Brands, Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has launched three new varieties of its TrueBlue blueberry juice cocktail in both the U.S. and Canada. The new juice varieties include Blueberry-Green Tea, Blueberry-Pomegranate and Blueberry-Cranberry. A 16-ounce bottle of TrueBlue juice cocktail contains as much juice as a full serving of fresh blueberries. The company also recently introduced a reduced-calorie blueberry cocktail called LiteBlue. As with TrueBlue, each 16-oz glass of LiteBlue contains as much juice as a full serving of fresh blueberries.

Finding a niche serving healthy pregnant women and healthy moms, Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, OH, has expanded its Ensure line of products to include Healthy Mom Snack Bars and Nutrition Shakes. The lactose-free shakes contain 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat, and are available in Creamy Milk Chocolate and Homemade Vanilla varieties.

Weight loss supplement company Goen Technologies, Cedar Knolls, NJ, makers of TrimSpa, has signed a licensing agreement with Lifestyle Beverages LLC, Whippany, NJ, to begin manufacturing and distribution of TrimWater, a new nutritionally enhanced flavored water beverage. The beverage is set to launch this month primarily on the East Coast, with another launch planned in 2006 for the western U.S. The beverages contain a variety of nutraceutical ingredients, including chromium picolinate, citrimax, glucosamine hydrochloride and caffeine. They are available in four flavors, Passion Fruit Berry, Lemon Ginger, Raspberry Vanilla and Peach Mango.


Guru Energy Drink is a 100% natural energy drink that has been launched in the U.S. market by Guru Energy Corporation, Montreal, Canada. Guru was designed to promote energy, alertness and vitality, improve concentration and increase physical stamina. It contains a standardized botanical complex of guarana, panax ginseng, ginkgo biloba and echinacea. In addition, it contains no refined sweeteners, preservatives or additives.

Ardea Beverage Company, Minneapolis, MN, has unveiled its new beauty beverage, airforce Radiant Nutrisoda (see below). The new beverage was designed to help improve the skin's natural elasticity and firmness. Radiant contains skin health nutrients, including the amino acids L-lysine, L-proline and L-arginine, plus the herb gotu kola to help stimulate and maintain the body's production of collagen and facilitate soft tissue repair. Antioxidants vitamin A, selenium and green tea were added to help protect the skin against oxidative tissue damage and signs of premature aging, while alpha lipoic acid (ALA) was included to enhance the performance of these antioxidants. In addition, vitamin D was added to provide nourishment for the skin and rhodiola rosea was included to help relieve the stress and anxiety that contribute to skin stress.

In other developments, the company recently introduced its new slimming soda, airforce Slender Nutrisoda. The weight management soda is designed to help manage appetite, burn fat and speed up metabolism. It provides nutrients such as folic acid, calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamins and minerals often lost during weight loss, in addition to other nutrients like Garcinia cambogia, amino acids L-carnitine and L-tyrosine, and calcium. With water filtered four times for extra purity, natural colors and fruit flavors, Slender has only 10 calories, 1 carbohydrate, and is sugar-, caffeine-, sodium-, aspartame- and ephedra-free. airforce Slender Nutrisoda is available in Pink Grapefruit and Guava flavors.


Socially and environmentally responsible tea manufacturer, Honest Tea, Bethesda, MD, has launched two new organic white teas--Mango White Tea and Pearfect White Tea. The latter combines white tea and pear with organic cane sugar. Mango White Tea contains a blend of white tea and mangos, is sweetened with organic sugar and agave syrup, and includes organic Sambazon Acai, a Brazilian palmberry.

In a departure from its traditional tea line, Honest Tea also launched a new line of organic citrus quenchers called Honest Ade in late May this year, just in time for the summer. The first two varieties in the line include Cranberry Lemonade and Limeade. The beverages are sweetened with natural organic cane sugar and contain 50 calories per serving.


Revolution Tea, Phoenix, AZ, has introduced a line of certified organic teas under the name T-Organics. The new teas come in 100% biodegradable pyramid bags and the tin packaging is also reusable and recyclable. The new line includes Scottish Breakfast Tea, Green Earl Grey Tea, Huckleberry Red Herbal Tea and White Chai Tea.

Looking to capitalize on the power of antioxidants, Lipton, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, has introduced the AOX Seal (a proprietary mark that indicates a substantial level of antioxidants) on its tea beverages. Issued by the Unilever Health Institute in The Netherlands, the AOX Seal is unique to Lipton products and can be found on many of the company's green and black teas, including tea bags, new Green Tea Iced Tea Mix, new Lipton To Go and most RTD bottled iced teas. Lipton Teas, made from real tea leaves, naturally contain flavonoid antioxidants.

Pharmanex, Provo, UT, has introduced g3, a nutrient-dense fruit juice that contains high levels of antioxidants. g3 includes gac, which is known as the "fruit from heaven" by the indigenous people of southern Asia and has long been prized in the region for its ability to promote longevity and vitality. According to the company, gac provides 70 times more lycopene than a tomato and 10 times more beta-carotene than a carrot. Among gac's potent phytonutrients are highly bioavailable forms of carotenoids called lipocarotenes. In addition, gac contains high levels of long-chain fatty acids, which attract and dissolve antioxidants, making them more easily absorbed by the body. Along with the nutrients from gac, the g3 formula contains three additional fruits--Chinese lycium fruit, cili fruit and Siberian pineapple.

Riding the green tea wave, TeaTech, Salt Lake City, UT, has introduced a line of Instant Green Teas. The products include: Instant Green Tea Beverage Mix offered in Original, Lemon and Raspberry; XtraGreen Tea boxes available in Original, Lemon, Raspberry and Variety; InstaGreen Tea boxes available in Original, Lemon, Raspberry and Variety; and XtraGreen Tea To Go, which mixes directly into a half-liter bottle of water, and is available in Lemon and Raspberry. Each serving of Tea Tech Instant Green Teas provides 300 mg of polyphenols.

The Republic of Tea, Novato, CA, has joined forces with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) in the crusade to save men's lives, with the introduction of Man Kind Tea--Blueberry Green Tea. The company will contribute $.75 to the PCF from every tin of Man Kind Tea sold. Man Kind Tea has a base of premium China green tea, blended with wild blueberries.

Suntory International, Osaka, Japan, and Allied Domeq Spirits, North America, New York, NY, have introduced Zen Green Tea Liqueur, a blend of Japanese green tea leaves, herbs and natural flavors. Infusing neutral spirits with whole and ground green tea leaves, Zen Green Tea Liqueur is then blended with several herbs, such as lemongrass, along with other natural flavors. The line includes Zentini, which includes one part Zen and two parts Stoli Citros and a splash of fresh lime juice; Zentonic, which includes one part Zen and three parts tonic water; and Zen Saketini, which includes one part Zen and two parts sake. Zen cocktails contain an alcohol content of 20%.

Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO, has rolled out Tilt, a new malt beverage featuring a blend of caffeine, guarana and ginseng. Marketed as a "5 p.m. after-work drink," Tilt contains 4% to 6.6% alcohol depending on state laws. Tilt is brewed with two-row malt, natural grains, hops, yeast and water, and is infused with raspberry flavor, caffeine, guarana and ginseng. The beverage comes in 16-ounce silver cans and is available nationwide.

By Rebecca Wright


RELATED ARTICLE: This article in a nutshell:

* General market dynamics

* An update on tea trends

* Beverage round-up

RELATED ARTICLE: PeptoPro: The 'Consumer-Friendly' Protein

PeptoPro, a casein hydrolysate ingredient manufactured by DSM Food Specialties, Delft, The Netherlands, has become increasingly popular in the realm of sports nutrition. What really catapulted it into the spotlight was its inclusion in a recovery drink utilized exclusively by Dutch athletes in the Summer Olympic games last year. And its popularity continues to grow. In fact, one of Europe's largest sports nutrition companies has launched a recovery drink called Multipower Recharge Drink, which includes PeptoPro, and many more products likes bars and protein powders are on the way.

PeptoPro is mostly made up of tiny peptides. These peptides consist of only two to three amino acids, so they have the right size for rapid uptake. The result is that PeptoPro works immediately without waiting for the digestive process--it does not sit in the stomach. The patented PeptoPro enzyme breaks proteins down into many small pieces. These di- or tripeptides comprise two or three amino acids. They are unique in that they are now water soluble, no longer bitter and can be immediately taken up in the body, which means the user can take PeptoPro before, during or after exercise.

So is there life after sports nutrition? While the sports nutrition segment remains a large focus for PeptoPro, Reto Rieder, national accounts manager, hopes to take the ingredient in new directions. He says PeptoPro can also fit into more mainstream markets where it could be used as a protein source in teas, juices or waters. As far as consumers go, he said, "There are two other types of segmentations that we are looking to target. We are focusing on the elderly population because as you get older you continue to lose muscle mass but you can reduce that effect by taking protein. PeptoPro offers this segment of consumers a seamless way to get their protein in a great tasting drink giving them fast absorption."

The other categories being targeted include adolescents and children. "If you take a look at the school system today, while it is getting better in its food and beverage offerings, it still has a long way to go," Mr. Rieder said. "There are still a lot of soda and sugar drinks at kids' disposal. DSM is already in discussions with major foodservice companies that cater to schools and universities. We believe that PeptoPro can be used to develop a healthy fruit juice by lowering the sugar and carbohydrate content, and adding to the protein content."--R.W.

RELATED ARTICLE: Coffee with a Twist

Interest in coffee alone and in combination with other nutrients is really brewing among consumers.

It may look slightly different from what your grandparents once drank but chilled or frozen, fortified with vitamins or just doused with extra caffeine, coffee is as hot as ever. More than just a morning beverage, coffee is now marketed as a drink for any time of the day. As it subtly shimmied its way into aluminum cans and glass bottles on grocery store shelves across the U.S., this age-old drink once consumed mainly by working adults now competes with other beverages for a younger consumer base. As a result, manufacturers of functional coffees are targeting health conscious consumers of all ages through a variety of distribution channels.

According to a 2005 survey from the National Coffee Association, New York, NY, 53% of Americans drink coffee daily. So, is there room for growth? According to Jose Antonio, chief scientific officer, Javalution, Fort Lauderdale, FL, significant growth will take place in certain segments. "The category that will experience enormous growth over the next few years is 'functional' or 'fortified' coffee," he said. "For regular coffee drinkers, they will seek added benefit to their daily cup of java and 'functional coffee' is how they'll get it."

The Latest Functional Coffee Offerings

New research from the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, indicates that a lot Americans are filling up on antioxidants from coffee. Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, conducted a study that examined antioxidants from a wide variety of sources. According to the results, coffee came out on top as the most plentiful antioxidant source. Specifically, he said, adults consumed nearly 1300 mg of antioxidants daily just by drinking coffee. Ranking second to that was tea, which provided only 294 mg of antioxidants.

In their natural green state, unroasted coffee beans are rich in antioxidant polyphenols. However, certain antioxidants, such as chlorogenic acid, are destroyed when the beans are roasted at high temperatures to make a nice dark roast "cup of Joe." Although other functional beverages often add antioxidants, the makers of Caffe Sanora created a process that minimizes the destruction of naturally occurring antioxidants in coffee beans without affecting the taste or aroma of the coffee. This patented brewing method, HealthyRoast Process, was developed by Applied Food Sciences (AFS), Austin, TX. HealthyRoast modifies the roasting process in a way that allows the healthful compounds in the antioxidant-rich green coffee beans to be protected from the heat thereby producing a coffee that contains more antioxidants than most green teas. AFS sends each batch of Caffe Sanora to an independent lab where the coffee is brewed and each cup is analyzed for its antioxidant content. The product is available in light, medium and dark roasts.

Going one step further, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Caffe Sanora is given to nonprofit cancer research.

Caffeine is known to increase thermogenesis and fatty acid oxidation post consumption. What happens when you add chromium polynicotinate, garcinia cambogia and citrus aurantium to coffee? Preliminary data presented at the International Society of Sports Nutrition's 2nd Annual conference suggests that this combination, found in JavaFit Burn, could increase metabolic rate after consumption by up to 30%. Want even faster results? Reach for JavaFit Burn Extreme. Just make sure you can handle the extra 150 mg of caffeine added to each serving.

Looking for a way to meet your daily calcium requirement without dairy? Try drinking 3-4 cups of calcium-fortified coffee. Integrated Pharmaceuticals, Fitchburg, MA, has developed proprietary technology for adding calcium to coffee and tea in a way that has no noticeable affect on the taste or flavor of the beverage. This beverage additive will be marketed by a yet-to-be named Massachusetts-based distributor that has signed both a non-exclusive license and exclusive product supply agreement with Integrated Pharmaceuticals. Javalution also makes coffee with calcium--JavaFit Lean with Calcium and JavaFit Complete.

Catapult coffee aims to increase mental and physical energy through its blend of Arabica beans and flavorings, along with yerba mate, dong quai and guarana seed powder. Coffee already contains caffeine. In addition, guarana and yerba mate contain caffeine, so this beverage just may give consumers the extra caffeine buzz they need to get through the day.

New Concept's Healthy Coffee boasts four functional coffees, all of which contain coffee beans and ganoderma extract (from the red reishi mushroom). In addition, they may also contain cream or milk, cocoa, sugar, vitamins, minerals, ginseng or eurycoma longifolia Jack (also known as Tongkat Ali).

Healthy? Maybe. Maybe not. Although there is not enough evidence on the red reishi mushroom to give it any claim to fame, researchers are looking into its potential for lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, as well as performing as an anticoagulant and immune system booster. Numerous compounds have been isolated from ginseng, which has subsequently linked it to several potential health benefits, most notably lowering of postprandial glucose levels and immunomodulating effects.

So next time you reach for a cafe latte at your local coffeehouse or brew yourself a Cup of Joe at home, branch out and try a functional coffee. Your favorite beverage may end up delivering more than the myriad health benefits already associated with this age-old drink. The future is indeed piping hot for functional coffee!

About the author: Marie Spano is a registered dietitian with a MS in Nutrition and a BS in Exercise and Sports Science. She has counseled hundreds of individuals on weight loss, sports nutrition and bodybuilding. She is also a food industry consultant and spokesperson for the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). She can be reached at 404-663-7289; E-mail:

By Marie Spano, MS, RD

Contributing Editor
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Author:Wright, Rebecca
Publication:Nutraceuticals World
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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