Functional ingredients and healthy beverages aren’t new, but there is often an uptick in ‘health and wellness’ launches that coincide with the new year and resolution season. The first few weeks of 2019 have indicated a continued interest in trendy diets and superfood ingredients.
Ethan’s MCT & ACV shots
Ethan's, known for its collection of apple cider vinegar (ACV) shots, introduced a line of MCT shots this fall. Each one blends 8g of coconut MCTs and organic coconut cream with super spices Turmeric Ginger, Orange Cacao, Matcha and Coffee, available now in Whole Foods nationwide.
Ethan’s launched the original ACV shots in 2017, packaging the beverage into 2oz shots for more convenient use. The line comes in Cinnamon Maple, Ginger Pineapple, Blueberry, Turmeric Apple, Beet and Tart Cherry, and each one contains four teaspoons of ACV.
ACV has purported health benefits, including digestion and immune support, curbing hunger and antioxidants. Beyond consumption, it’s also used in skin care, hair care and cleaning products. But with a notoriously unpleasant taste, those interested in drinking it usually add it to sugary mixes.
Crystal Cascio of Ethan’s said, “Research has suggested taking apple cider vinegar after meals may help with weight loss. The acetic acid content of apple cider vinegar has been linked to a variety of potential health benefits, including curbing hunger. Although further studies on apple cider vinegar and weight loss are needed, apple cider vinegar is relatively safe and contains vitamins, minerals, probiotics and acetic acid.”
Longtime diet industry staple SlimFast got in on the keto action this month with a line of eight products specifically aimed to help consumers lose weight while maintaining ketosis. SlimFast President Doug Reader called it a “quick, easy and super-convenient way to follow the ketogenic diet” that SlimFast’s customers wanted to see more of in 2019.
The SlimFast Keto collection includes Shake Mixes (Fudge Brownie Batter and Vanilla Cake Batter), Meal Replacement Bars (Whipped Peanut Butter and Whipped Triple Chocolate), Peanut Butter Cup Fat Bomb snacks, Unsweetened Keto Coffee Creamer, MCT Oil and SlimFast Keto Ketone Test Strips.
“Every bar, shake and fat bomb in the SlimFast Keto line is made with a balanced amount of high-fat, low-carb, Keto-compatible ingredients, including grass-fed butter, coconut oil, MCTs, and protein from whey and collagen,” SlimFast said.
Just before the new year, plant-based RTD smoothie brand Koia announced its own line of high-fat and low-carb keto-friendly beverages. Koia Keto comes at a time when many consumers are interested in trying these specific diets like keto, paleo or even veganism.
It’s resulted in more brands labeling their products as such, marketing directly to keto consumers to make it easier for them to find what they can eat on the diet. The drinks launched with indulgent flavors--Chocolate Brownie, Cake Batter, Caramel Creme--specifically to fill a sweet treat whitespace in keto, which is strictly low in sugar.
The coconut cream-based drinks have 22g of fat, 12g of plant-based protein (pea, rice, chickpea) with a total of five net carbs and no added sugar.
Jamba Juice ‘immunity’ drinks
New offerings from smoothie chain Jamba Juice feature antioxidants and 100% or more of the daily value of Vitamin A and C, including Jamba's Orange C-Booster Smoothie, Açaí Super Antioxidant Smoothie and the Apple 'n Greens Smoothie.
Also available at select locations: Ready-to-Drink Ginger Shot - Daily Zing, Ready-to-Drink Wheatgrass Shot- Amino On the Go and Ready-to-Drink Turmeric-Tame the Flame.
Claudia Schaefer, chief marketing officer at Jamba Juice, said "The hustle and bustle of the holiday season, coupled with cold weather, can cause many to slow down, preventing them from starting their New Year's Resolutions."
Planet Smoothie functional smoothies
Low-calorie and low-sugar juice joint Planet Smoothie is featuring a collection of limited edition ‘Blasted with Benefits’ smoothies:
- Fat Burner Fit smoothie is blended with cocoa, almond milk, bananas, frozen yogurt, nonfat milk, along with cayenne and a Fat Burner Blast.
- Immune Defense smoothie is blended with ingredients that have essential vitamins as well as an added Immunity Blast. Made with orange juice, pineapple, strawberries and an Immunity Blast.
- Power Protein smoothie is blended with blueberries, bananas, peanut butter, frozen yogurt, nonfat milk, and a Whey Protein Blast. This smoothie features 26g of total protein in just a 22oz. size.
7-Eleven cold pressed juices
7-Eleven’s house brand 7-Select has introduced new varieties of its GO!Smart organic cold pressed juice, now in 100% single juice. It took cues from culinary trends with less common flavors pomegranate, melon and blackberry.
What makes the 7-Select juices different is the cold-pressed method--a premium process rare to find in convenience channels. Each bottle contains 100% with no sugar added, preservatives or additives.
Dion Miliaresis, senior product development manager for private brand beverages, said "Today's juice customers continue to look for more premium options. Pomegranate juice, specifically, has seen significant growth as a premium juice in the US because of its high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients. Both blackberry and melon juices are great-tasting and found at very few other retailers.”