What's hitting the shelves: New beverage launches at Expo West

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

New beverage launches at Natural Products Expo West

Related tags Innovation

Functional beverages have been out in force at this year’s Expo West: as has a host of fancy and exotic flavors ranging from Tahitian lime to raspberry lychee and lemondrop hops. With the show serving as a key launchpad for the latest innovations in natural, organic and healthy foods, take a look at some of the new beverages at this year's event.

Held in Anaheim, California (March 12-16), Natural Products Expo West - which boasts some 3,000 exhibiting companies - acts as showcase for emerging and pioneering brands across the natural and healthy food and beverage space. Here's some of the new beverages debuted at this year's show.

Huxley: Cascara power

Minneapolis’ Huxley has launched a new plant-powered energy drink, designed for anyone seeking a natural, eco-conscious boost.

Harnessing the natural power of Cascara – ‘coffee’s forgotten superfruit’ – the drink promises ‘a new kid of vitality, one that is as sustainable as it is stimulating’.

Huxley’s mission began by spying a void in the energy drink market.

The functional drink is powered by cascara: with around 90mg of natural caffeine (around the same as a cup of coffee).

The beverage is balanced by the calming properties of L-theanine, hydrating electrolytes and 5g of organic cane sugar.

Huxley-Energy-Drinks-Group-Produt-Shot

The cascara fruit – the outer husk of the coffee bean – is known for its antioxidants, polyphenol content and natural fruity flavor. In line with its eco-ethics philosophy, Huxley has upcycled this typically discarded superfruit to harness its powerful source of energy while also reducing food waste and CO2 emissions.

In an effort to avoid a midday caffeine crash, each can of Huxley contains 75mg of L-theanine, an amino acid found naturally in green and black tea with relaxing GABA-boosting properties. Known for its ability to harmonize with caffeine, L-theanine helps to enhance focus while mitigating overstimulation. Recognizing that caffeine dehydrates the body, the brand has also added 100mg of electroyles to maintain essential hydration levels.

Hoplark explores vanilla bean, hops and lemongrass

hoplark

Hoplark – a non-alcoholic beverage brand – has announced the expansion of its sparkling hop water product line with the introduction of two new flavors: Vanilla Bean + Simcoe Hops and Lemongrass + Lemondrop Hops.

Starting of with HopTea, the brand now offers a diverse range of offerings across teas, sparkling waters and 0.0 non-alcoholic brews. Each product line is designed to cater for different occasions, with a focus on delivering authentic flavor and real ingredients while showcasing hops in a new light.

"In our journey to innovate within the non-alcoholic beverage space, we've always aimed to push the boundaries of flavor and ingredient integrity," says Betsy Frost, CEO.

"With the introduction of Vanilla Bean + Simcoe Hops and Lemongrass + Lemondrop Hops, we're not just expanding our product line; we're redefining the possibilities of beverages brewed with hops. Our goal is to provide options that have a complexity to them with the simplest of ingredients. We have been playing around with flavor expansion in our limited release program for a while and consumers have been asking for more permanent options to expand the variety across occasions.” 

Cloud Water's latest launch

cloud water

Organic functional beverage brand Cloud Water used Expo West to reveal its rebrand, reformulation and new flavor.

Cloud Water’s new silver cans feature new fonts and colors that better highlight its ingredients and benefits.

In tandem with its rebrand, Cloud Water enhanced its existing formulas of +Immunity and +Energy lines as part of its commitment to continuously evolve. Cloud Water +Immunity, now called Daily Defense, will include prebiotics to support gut health. Cloud Water + Energy, now called Peace Love Energy, will include coconut water and electrolytes for optimal energy and hydration.

Additionally, Cloud Water has launched the newest flavor of Peace Love Energy, Passion Fruit & Pineapple. Cloud Water launched its energy line at the end of 2023 to address consumer demands for natural energy and lower caffeine content. Peace Love Energy is a clean, fully organic, functional energy drink that delivers a natural boost without the use of synthetics and sugar. Like all Cloud Water products, Peace Love Energy is lightly sweetened with organic wildflower honey and under 40 calories per can.

The rebrand and new flavor is set to roll out nationally starting April 1.

Wildwonder's Raspberry Lychee

wildwonder

wildwonder – a sparkling beverage brand that contains both prebiotics and probiotics – turned to Expo West to debut a ‘whimsical new flavor’ with Raspberry Lychee, a bubbly, pink drink that celebrates the founder’s Chinese heritage.

“Raspberry Lychee is a sentimental fusion of Eastern ingredients with an all-American fruit,” said Rosa Li, founder and CEO of wildwonder.​ “Crafted with jammy raspberry puree, juicy lychees, and fresh-brewed honeysuckle flowers, it’s subtly botanical and tart with just the right amount of fragrant sweetness. This new flavor offers a delightful solution to satisfying soda cravings with added gut supporting benefits and less sugar.”

Raspberry Lychee joins the existing mix of big fruit flavors seen on Shark Tank, including Strawberry Passion, Guava Rose, Mango Gold, and Peach Ginger, as well as Pineapple Paradise, which hit the market in June 2023. Like all other wildwonder sparkling drinks, Raspberry Lychee is an effervescent, lightly carbonated beverage with gut health benefits. 

As a better-for-you alternative to soda, wildwonder Raspberry Lychee contains only 6 grams of sugar and 40 calories. wildwonder is USDA Organic, vegan, and GMO free. 

Greens On The Go

greens on the go

BEAM be amazing, a Tennessee health and wellness brand, has unveiled Greens On The Go.

The patent-pending RTD greens product – ‘meticulously crafted over nearly two years’ – wants to set a new standard in convenience, nutrition and flavor.

"Greens On The Go represents a bold leap forward for BEAM be amazing, introducing a completely innovative category of RTD beverages that seamlessly blends convenience, wellness, and unparalleled taste," remarked Russell Saks, CEO of BEAM be amazing.  

Each can of BEAM Greens has antioxidants, immune and gut support, electrolytes, essential vitamins, minerals, and hydration support, all in a convenient ready-to-drink format.

Containing a blend of 10 fruits and vegetables per can, Greens On The Go is free from added sugars and contains only 25 calories per serving. Ingredients include Organic Cucumber Juice, Organic Celery Juice, Organic Broccoli, Organic Kale, Organic Spinach, Organic Orange, Organic Banana, Organic Papaya, Organic Shiitake Mushrooms, and Organic Jerusalem Artichoke.

BEAM be amazing is at Booth #3898C, while Greens On The Go will be available for purchase later this year.

Mananalu: Tahitian Lime and Lilikoi Passion

manananalu landscape

Mananalu – the sustainable aluminum-bottled water brand founded by actor and ocean activist Jason Momoa – is launching Tahitian Lime and Lilikoi Passion in its 22 ounce refillable aluminum bottles.

The brand’s 22 ounce Pure (unflavored purified water) is the fastest growing SKU in the aluminum bottle category at a key natural retailer and now represents 14 of total unit sales in this category, based on SPINS Period 1 data (January 2024). The ‘heavy duty’ bottles are refillable, resealable and fast chilling.

Furthermore, Mananalu is removing more plastic from the supply chain with new display-ready 12-pack boxes (while the brand has offset any plastic used in production or shipping through rePurpose Global’s plastic waste removal program, its goal is to remove it from the supply chain). It will turn to prototyping a biodegradable stretch film to replace the plastic wrap used to protect pallets during shipping and storage.

Mananulu is at N2007, and a nationwide rollout will follow later this year.

Beer salts

twang beer salt

San Antonio-based flavored salt, sugar and seasonings manufacturer, Twang, launches new flavors for its Beer Salts line.

The new Chile Lime Beer Salt is a variation on Twang’s popular Beer Salts: and combines chile and lime flavors for a ‘unique kick’ that can be added to beer, seltzers, canned cocktails and more. Twang’s Beer Salts come in mini 1 oz or 1.4 oz beer shaped bottles and can be taken on the go with ease.

Twang – which also debuts snack salts to pair with fruits, chips, pocorn, candy and more – also debuts a fresh new look at the show.

REBBL launches new lineup of functional lattes

rebbl landscape

REBBL, a Californian organic plant-powered beverage brand, has introduced AWAKE+ PROTEIN: a line-up of three protein and caffeine-fueled lattes with the added benefits of Lion’s Mane mushroom extract.

Crafted with invigorating organic ingredients, each 12 oz. ready-to-drink AWAKE+PROTEIN latte is fortified with 10g of plant-powered protein and 200mg of Lion’s Mane mushroom extract, a nootropic for cognitive function. This ‘powerful, revitalizing combination’ is complemented by the natural caffeinated benefits of ceremonial and premium-grade blended matcha green tea, fair-trade certified Assam black tea, and organic fair-trade certified cold-brew coffee.

“The AWAKE+PROTEIN lineup stands as the Swiss army knife of our portfolio, embodying true functional fuel with added benefits to kickstart your day and sustain stamina,” said Mike Quinones, CMO of SYSTM Foods. “In response to customer demand, we’ve combined our AWAKE and PROTEIN lines, creating a hybrid ‘proffee’ collection that seamlessly unites plant-based protein and caffeine. As a bonus, we’ve elevated these beverages with a nootropic, providing our customers with a functional edge that exceeds the ordinary coffee or tea.” 

The drink comes in three versions with varying caffeine sources and doses: Lion’s Mne Matcha Latte; Lion’s Mane Lavender Tea Latte; and Lion’s Mane Cold Brew Latte.

The new drinks launch in Sprouts stores across the US later this month. 

Michelle Obama's kids' drink

Michelle-Obama-s-PLEZi-expands-with-sugar-reduced-tweens-drink

Michelle Obama’s PLEZi Nutrition brand has expanded its kids’ drink range with PLEZi FiZZ: a carbonated fruit drink for tweens and teens.

The drink follows the launch of PLEZi in May last year, with a still drink for ages 6+.

The brand wants to not only lower sugar in drinks, but adjust kids’ palates to less sweet food and drinks in general.

PLEZi FiZZ contains 70% less sugar than the average leading soft drink (coming in at 8g per 8.4oz compares to 28g). It has no added sugar.

The drink also contains 2g fiber and nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C.

The drink launches in three flavors: Cherry Limeade, Lemon Lime Squeeze and Strawberry Lemonade. It will be available for purchase across Amazon and select convenience stores and club stores in the US this Spring.

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