CHICAGO — Banana peanut water, mango flavored aloe water, and organic white tea with honey were among new beverages showcased by LiDestri Food and Beverage at the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s private label trade show held Nov. 15-17 in Chicago. LiDestri, a Fairport, N.Y.-based private label and contract manufacturer, developed the range of functional, flavored waters and ready-to-drink organic teas to help retailers target the multibillion health and natural market.
“Shoppers continue to want convenience in ready-to-drink beverages, but more and more, they are looking for healthy, natural, functional and less-sweet options,” said Tony Bash, vice-president of beverage sales. “Our premium organic teas and functional aloe and banana waters offer retail brands a way to target that growing segment of the market.”
In mango and tart cherry flavors, LiDestri’s water with aloe touts such benefits as vitamin absorption, improved immunity and digestion and anti-inflammatory properties. Containing 15% aloe, the beverages are lightly sweetened and have 50 calories per serving.
Boasting a boost of potassium and electrolytes, LiDestri’s banana water blends are available in banana strawberry and banana peanut flavors. The products are described as crisp with a taste that is “less polarizing than coconut water.”
For the ready-to-drink tea segment, LiDestri presented three organic options, including unsweetened black tea, green tea with honey, and white tea with honey. The products are set to launch in a major convenience retailer soon, company representatives said.
LiDestri aims to further accelerate innovation in the market for healthy and natural food and beverage products with the addition of high pressure processing (H.P.P.). The company is installing a H.P.P. tolling station at its Lee Road facility in Greece, N.Y., which will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary called Finger Lakes Fresh Press.
“H.P.P. has been described as the closest possible processing to fresh squeezed,” said Alan Davis, vice-president of business development and contract manufacturing. “Demand is clearly rising for technologies that make it possible to safely process products with natural ingredients and cleaner labels.”
H.P.P. extends the shelf-life of juices, deli meats, wet salads, seafood, hummus, guacamole and cold soups without the use of chemical preservatives. The processing also inactivates foodborne illnesses and retains the fresh characteristics of food and beverage products, LiDestri said. Eventually, the company said it plans to add a filling line with its H.P.P. line to create convenience and transportation savings for customers.Additionally, LiDestri said it is installing another aseptic bottling line at its Pennsauken, N.J., plant to accommodate increasing demand for cold fill aseptic processing, which is used for protein drinks, smoothies, premium teas and nutritional drinks and juices.