NPD in functional and fortified beverages

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Crave pinapple and coconut: a 'natural energy drink with immunity support'
Crave pinapple and coconut: a 'natural energy drink with immunity support'

Related tags functional beverages functional beverage beverage

Innovation is in full swing across the functional and fortified beverage category. From natural energy drinks to probiotic seltzers, we take a look at some of the recent launches around the globe.

Cocktail flavors for natural energy drink

Crave Mint + Lime

New brand Crave has launched in the UK with a natural energy drink.

Crave is a “new, healthy energy drink bringing a precise balance of natural and functional ingredients, expertly blended to help health-conscious consumers stay clean, sharp and energised.”

The brand is launching with three flavors drawn from refreshing, popular cocktails aimed at the adult palette: Mint & Lime (Mojito), Passionfruit & Vanilla (Pornstar Martini) and Pineapple & Coconut (Piña Colada).

“Unlike traditional energy drinks that have a very distinct flavour dominated by high levels and caffeine and taurine, Crave offers totally different taste experience,” ​says the brand. “We use a unique mix of high-quality natural ingredients with energy derived from organic green coffee beans, and B and C vitamins to boost daily energy levels and support the immune system.”

The drinks are vegan friendly, gluten-free, sugar-free and contain no artificial sweeteners or flavourings and contain 10 kcal per 250ml can (RRP £1.39).

Liquid breakfast drink


Australian brand UP&GO has created a dairy and gluten free version of its liquid breakfast drink.

The launch from Sanitarium Health Food Company comes at a time when Aussies are increasingly looking for plant-based alternatives for their favorite foods, says the brand.

“UP&GO Dairy Free has retained all the nutritional benefits in the original UP&GO and is packed with nutrients, including protein, fibre, 10 vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin B12, which are important nutrients for people following a dairy free/plant based diet.

“This makes it a great low GI option for busy mornings and active lifestyles.”

UP&GO Dairy Free is available now in two flavors; Choc Ice and Vanilla Ice, in leading supermarkets across Australia.

7-Eleven energy drink

triton energy drink

Convenience retailer 7-Eleven is introducing a new sugar-free energy drink with L-Theanine, called Triton.

The drink contains caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, both sourced from green tea leaves. It also contains B vitamins, ginseng, taurine, guarana and amino acids.

It comes in three flavors: original; strawberry kiwi, and blood orange yuzu.

Other recent private label launches from 7-Eleven include Quake Energy Drink, Skyra Icelandic water, 7-Select organic cold-pressed juice and Replenish Sports Drink.

Functional herbal tea tisanes


US Spiced beverage maker Dona has created a sister brand, Ouli, which will showcase the company’s newer innovative beverages.

Its collection of functional herbal tea tisanes - available in turmeric cherry, elderflower fennel, and cardamom mint – are being re-launched under the Ouli brand.

The tisanes feature a slow-steep method and utilize herbs and spices sourced directly from farmers and growers across the globe. 

Dona launched in 2014 with masala chai concentrate: and now boasts a lineup of turmeric and dirty chai concentrates, spiced sodas, tisanes, and zero waste dusts upcycled from the brewing process.

The tisanes are the first to migrate to the Ouli brand, the sodas will follow suit Q1 2021, with a collection of new beverage innovations looking to launch Q3 2021 and beyond.

Probiotic seltzer


Molson Coors is launching non-alcoholic HUZZAH Probiotic Seltzer in the US, promising more innovations in the non-alcoholic category are to follow.

Huzzah Probiotic Seltzer is a ‘pumped-up, full-flavored seltzer with added probiotics to help support a healthy gut’. The shelf-stable beverage has 3g sugar and 15 calories per 12 ounce can (or fewer, depending on the flavor). The three flavors are Strawberry & Hibiscus; Juicy Pear; and Raspberry & Lemon.

Huzzah launched in the US last month: and is available online and in select Southern California retailers. 

JIN JIN fermented ‘superdrink’

New drink brand JIN JIN has launched its cultured fruit and vegetable drink concentrate as it looks to bring the ancient Asian drink to the UK. 


“Packed full of probiotics and complex enzymes from more than 35 raw and natural ingredients, JIN JIN is a fermented drink containing living beneficial bacteria,"​​ says the brand.

“Using traditional methods of fermentation, JIN JIN is made from different kinds of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and cultures. This ancient process produces beneficial bacteria, supporting gut health which helps introduce balance to the body's functions.” ​​

Low in sugar, JIN JIN is positioned as an alternative to sugary soft drinks and a gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan ingredient. It also contains the probiotic Lactobacillus​.

Unlike fermented tea-based kombucha ready to drink products, JIN JIN is a cordial, similar in consistency to honey, with a recommended ratio of 1 part (20ml) of the concentrate with 10 parts water (still or sparkling). The drink can also be added to smoothies, or used as a mixer in cocktails.

JIN JIN is available online, starting from £25 for 10 x 20ml bottles (10 servings), in 750ml bottles (37.5 servings), or on a subscription basis.

Premium health drinks


UK beverage company The Naked Collective is launching a new range of premium health drinks, based on a ‘clean and simple’ philosophy.

Brewed from plants, vitamins and water, the So-Beer non-alcoholic lagers and Mude isotonic drinks aim to appeal to the increasing number of consumers who are looking for alcohol-free and low-sugar options.

The Light Lager and Grapefruit flavoured So-Beers boast minerals and complex B vitamins that arise naturally during the brewing process, while the Mude range is ‘built around your day’ with vitamin-based functionalities – chill, work, play, sleep, and immunoboost.

The drinks are available in the UK and Ireland.


A new range of premium alcohol-free craft beer is bringing “the ancient wisdom of medicinal mushrooms to the modern mindful drinker with a trio of myco adaptogenic beers that deliver functional and positive benefits with every sip.”


Launched last month, Fungtn is the UK’s first craft beer to be brewed with myco adaptogens.

Fungtn is launching for both the on and off-trade with three SKUs:  ‘Lion’s Mane IPA with neurotrophic benefits; an immunity-boosting Reishi Citra Beer; and a Chaga Lager with antioxidant properties to help fight free radicals.’

“In addition to the health benefits associated with medicinal mushrooms, brewing the beer with myco adaptogens enhances the depth and body of the beer, resulting in a fuller viscosity and classic beer mouth-feel that is not usually associated with alcohol-free beers,”​​ says the brand. “Myco adaptogens have a complex, delicate flavour that blends well into drinks, without the beers tasting of mushrooms.”​​

Fungtn was brought to fruition during the 2020 lockdown​​​ by Zoey Henderson, a mindful drinking consultant with over 15 years experience in the hospitality industry.

“Mindful drinkers are no longer just looking for products that simply mimic the flavour of alcohol, but instead are actively seeking out NoLo drinks that put a little extra into our bodies, performing a functional benefit while also tasting great,” ​​said Henderson.

“Fungtn is a vegan, gluten-free and hangover free way of enjoying the ceremony of an ice-cold craft beer at the end of busy day, whilst also benefiting from the fungi as a natural solution to combat the stresses of our hectic modern lives”.

Karma Wellness Water

Karma Wellness Water is debuting a new flavor, Elderberry Starfruit, in the US.

Karma wellness water

The drink – which stores its blend of health-conscious ingredients in its patented Karma Cap until ready for consumption – contains ‘super-ingredients and vitamins that infuse into the beverage for water that packs on the health benefits’.

Karma Wellness Water Starfruit includes berry extracts from acai, pomegranate and cranberry; vitamin C, zinc and tea polyphenols. A bottle contains 20 calories and 110% of seven essential vitamins. The drink is also non-GMO, gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan.

Karma Elderberry Starfruit Wellness Water can be found in major retailers Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Rite Aid, Harris Teeter, Wegmans and (SRP $2.49).

It joins two other existing products: pineapple coconut and passionfruit green tea. 

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