Superfoods take center stage in specialty beverages

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Today’s consumers are expecting function, taste, affordability and convenience all rolled into one beverage. Pic: ©GettyImages/baibaz
Today’s consumers are expecting function, taste, affordability and convenience all rolled into one beverage. Pic: ©GettyImages/baibaz

Related tags superfood functional beverage Functional ingredients Fancy Food Show

Functional beverage launches were common in 2018, and their popularity is only expected to grow in 2019. At the Winter Fancy Food Show (WWFS) in San Francisco, small-scale brands showcased new drinks packed with functional ingredients like rose extract, green tea and apple cider vinegar.

The WFFS (held in San Francisco, January 13-15) exhibited 1,400 companies and hosted more than 25,000 attendees looking out for the latest trends in food and drink. Today’s consumers are searching for more out of their beverage choices, expecting function, taste, affordability and convenience all rolled into one.

Fire Cider Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is transformed into a versatile drink with Fire Cider, an organic ACV tonic company in production since 2010. It comes in Original (spicy sweet tangy), Honey-Free (tangy tart spicy) and African Bronze (smoky spicy sweet). The blend includes other powerful ingredients like garlic, onions, horseradish, ginger and turmeric.

“While our apple cider vinegar recipe has been updated for modern palates, it harks back to the traditional tonics our ancestors … used to drink for daily health,”​ Fire Cider said.

The tonics are sold in sizes ranging from 8oz to 128oz, with a 1oz individual shot launching soon. The brand uses fully recyclable shipping boxes and paper packing tape, as well as packing material made from 100% recycled fibers.

“We originally intended Fire Cider to be taken functionally as a straight shot, but it is just as tasty when mixed with your favorite beverage or added to recipes for sauces, salad dressings, marinades and more.”


Deep Rose

On the lighter side, Deep Water USA has launched pink drink Deep Rose just in time for Valentine’s Day with the tagline: “Ever wondered what love tastes like?”​ The beverage contains real rose extracts, 10g of sugar and 50 calories per bottle.

It’s described as a premium rose lemonade with no artificial ingredients and a distinct rosy aroma. The company sources roses from all over the world and uses “1,001 rose petals to formulate one bottle of Deep Rose.”

The functionality comes through the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals from the green coffee bean extracts and rose petals. Deep Rose is designed as an alcohol alternative in mocktails or at social events, or mixed with liquor like vodka, gin or tequila.


Render Foods partnered with chef Nicolaus Balla to create Bryner, a savory and spicy drink made from pickled vegetable brine. Bryner helps sustainably minimize food waste and functions as a natural way to replenish electrolytes after exercising.

“It takes a lot of brine to fully submerge cucumbers for pickling, so even a small, artisanal pickle operation will have barrels of brine leftover from every batch,”​ Render said.

Bryner is available in Beet Horseradish, Carrot Aji Pepper and Smoky Tomato Chipotle. It can stand alone or mix with alcohol like vodka, gin or beer for a “Bloody Mary, updated.”​ It contains between 70-85mg of sodium per ounce.

Render Bryner 1

Davidson's Organics The Handshake

Davidson’s Organics has specialized in hundreds of teas, herbs and spices since 1976. Beyond traditional blends like black, oolong, green and herbal, it also dabbles in teas with a more focused purpose.

In late 2018, Davidson’s introduced The Handshake as the first addition to a new Barkeep’s Blend collection. It was developed in collaboration with bartender Michael Moberly “to provide hospitality professionals with natural, sustainable energy and recovery.”

According to Davidson’s, they were looking for a new way to caffeinate members of the service industry during late or long shifts without sugary energy drinks. Bartending has transitioned from less of a temporary job to a long-term career, and brands are trying to accommodate this unique beverage opportunity.

The tea blend contains organic yerba mate, organic green tea, organic ashwagandha root, organic guayusa leaf, organic spearmint leaf, organic gotu kola, organic licorice root.

“Hospitality professionals give on a daily basis, and sometimes their own health and interests may be sacrificed for their customers'. That's why Davidson's has teamed up with esteemed hospitality professionals throughout the US to create blends that challenge service industry workers to start taking care of themselves,”​ Davidson’s said.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

What consumers are looking for in alcohol drinks

What consumers are looking for in alcohol drinks

Content provided by ADM | 12-Apr-2024 | Application Note

Are you ready to understand the consumer insights driving the future of the alcoholic beverage market? We've assembled a consumer insights report...

Redefine resilience with IMMUSE

Redefine resilience with IMMUSE

Content provided by Kyowa Hakko (US) | 02-Apr-2024 | White Paper

IMMUSETM is a universal postbiotic — the first of its kind to activate pDC cells for year-round immune support.

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more