Thursday, October 10, 2013

Beverage Innovations for Dairy Processors

Three of the largest global beverage trends, as observed at the recent Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland; drinktec in Munich, Germany; and Anuga in Cologne, Germany; are lower-sugar juice drinks, enhanced ready-to-drink iced teas and value-added coffee-milk beverages. All three of these beverage concepts are products that fluid milk processors could…and should be processing and marketing to today’s label-reading, health-conscious consumers.

After all, dairy industry data suggests that 80% of U.S. fluid milk processors also produce juices and juice drinks. More than half manufacture ready-to-drink tea, while, after the surge this summer in ready-to-drink coffee-milk innovations, about half are in this business, too.

To read about all of the drinktec award winners in the Beverage Innovations Awards @ drinktec Showcase special edition, click HERE.

Here are some recent beverage-related articles I wrote for Food Business News/Beverage Business News:
  • Trends in Healthy Beverages. Read it HERE.
  • Beverage Flavor Trends. Read it HERE
  • Ready-to-Drink Iced Tea Innovations. Read it HERE.
  • Juices for Junior. Read it HERE.

And here are 10 beverage innovations that milk processors need to “tap” into.

Private-label retailer Trader Joe’s, and its parent company Aldi, both market a line of light lemonade (regular and pink) beverages. The Trader Joe’s line is shelf stable and is sweetened with a blend of organic cane sugar and stevia. An 8-ounce serving contains 40 calories.

The Aldi line requires refrigeration. It is sweetened with a blend of high-fructose corn syrup, acesulfame K and aspartame and delivers a mere 15 calories per 8-ounce serving. 
Alo Light is a line of shelf-stable, all-natural, reduced-calorie and reduced-sugar aloe vera-infused drinks.

The line comes in three varieties: Bright (orange and passion fruit), Exposed (original with honey) and Refresh (cucumber and cantaloupe). All varieties contain at least 50% less sugar and calories than the original Alo drink lineup. This is accomplished through a sweetener blend of cane sugar, erythritol and stevia. An 8-ounce serving contains a mere 30 calories. For more information, visit HERE.

In the United Kingdom, Del Monte now offers Naturally Light juice drinks sweetened with stevia.

The shelf-stable juice drink line comes in three unique flavor combinations: Mango & Papaya, Pineapple & Lime and Superfruits. A 250-ml serving contains 50 to 65 calories, depending on variety. For more information, visit HERE.

Also from the U.K., BerryWhite organic drinks is a line of fruit juice- and white tea extract-based beverages enhanced with superfruits and/or botanical extracts. The beverages contain no added sweetener or any artificial ingredients. Founder and CEO Andrew Jennings sold his first BerryWhite bottle a mere 18 months ago and since has experienced rapid growth within the U.K., as well as internationally. The shelf-stable product is now exported into 23 countries, with more on the horizon after exhibiting at last week’s Anuga. The four varieties are: Cranberry, Guava and Elderberry with White Tea and Guarana; Goji Berries with Peaches, White Tea and Echinacea; Lemon, Ginger and Açaí Berry with White Tea and Yerba Mate; and Pomegranate Blueberry with White Tea. For more information, visit HERE.
Green Mustache is a new line of organic veggie juice smoothies for children. Made with real fruits and vegetables, each 10-ounce bottle of Green Mustache provides one serving of fruits and one serving of vegetables from spinach and kale, as well as super ingredients such chia and coconut water.  All four “kid tested” flavors--Orange Mango, Mixed Berry, Strawberry Banana and Tropical Twist--are also USDA-certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan and gluten-free.

In addition to focusing on the ingredients included in the product, the company places equal importance on what is not in the bottle: preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors. Green Mustache also contains 20% to 35% less sugar per ounce compared to competing products and only contains those sugars naturally found in the fruits inside the bottle.

For more information, visit HERE.

New LO Fruit beverage lets consumers enjoy the refreshing taste of juice at a fraction of the calories, carbs and sugars. One 10-ounce serving has about the same calories (35 to 45), carbs (8 to 11) grams, and sugars (7 to 10) grams as a whole fruit. LO Fruit is made with premium fruit juices and naturally sweetened with organic blue agave nectar and a pinch of stevia. It comes in four flavors:  Acai-Blue, Mango Mojito, Pomegranate and Pomegranate Mojito. For more information, visit HERE.

MOJO Organics introduces Chiquita Tropicals Exotic Juice. Available in four 100% fruit juice varieties-- Banana Strawberry, Mango, Pineapple and Passion Fruit—with no added sugars. For more information, visit HERE.

King Car Germany GmbH adds Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee Drink Latte to its shelf-stable canned coffee milk line. This is the first value-added “certified” product in its coffee-milk lineup. For more information, visit HERE.

Bolthouse Farms is getting into the holiday spirit early with three limited-edition beverages that celebrate the delicious flavors of the season. All three varieties are sold in 52-fluid-ounce plastic bottles in the refrigerated produce department. Holiday Nog contains low-fat milk, whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, carrot juice from concentrate, egg yolks and traditional eggnog flavors and spices. A 4-fluid-ounce serving contains 80 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein. Peppermint Mocha is a classic combination of frosty peppermint and rich dark cocoa. Based on low-fat milk, coffee and whey protein concentrate, the beverage is enhanced with an array of vitamins and minerals. Each 8-ounce serving includes 7 grams of protein, and provides 130 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Pumpkin Spice Latte is a nutritious upgrade on the coffeehouse seasonal favorite, as it is a vitamin enriched, low-fat treat. Made with low-fat milk, 100% Arabica coffee, whey protein concentrate, pumpkin puree and a blend of four aromatic spices, an 8-ounce serving is an excellent source of calcium and includes 7 grams of protein. A serving also contains 130 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. For more information, visit HERE.

In closing, you can always view the latest and greatest in beverage innovations for dairy processors HERE.

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