CHICAGO — Traditional carbonated soft drinks and fruit beverage consumption continues to decline while bottled water (regular and enhanced) and energy-type drinks are on the rise. With the latter, the naturally occurring caffeine in coffee and tea is fueling the growth of ready-to-drink (R.-T.-D.) tea and coffee beverages.
Bottled water likely will surpass carbonated soft drinks within the next two years as the largest beverage category by volume in the United States, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp., New York. And although the overall fruit juice beverage category is down, super-premium juices, such as those described as cold-pressed or raw — and come with a hefty price tag — are gaining traction as health- and wellness-seeking consumers pursue nutrient-dense beverages.
This is exemplified by Mamma Chia Organic Chia & Greens. The new line combines the nutritional powerhouse of chia with vibrant greens, including kale, spinach, broccoli, spirulina, barley grass and wheatgrass. Mamma Chia Organic Chia & Greens offers one of the most nutrient-rich green beverages on the shelf, according to the company, and commands the price. A 10-oz bottle retails for $2.99.
Chia & Greens is available in four flavors: kale and mint, ginger and lemongrass, beet and ginger, and cayenne and lemon. Like all other Mamma Chia products, the new green drinks do not contain genetically modified ingredients and are gluten-free, kosher, vegan and certified organic.
Frozen yogurt and smoothie chain Red Mango is getting in the premium packaged juice business with its new one-day nutrition plan branded Raw6. The plan is comprised of six drinks — four juices, one nut or soy milk, and one enhanced-flavored water — and includes a recommended list of healthy snacks and a well-balanced meal. The plan has a suggested price of $42 and is sold in select Red Mango stores nationwide.
“I have always been very frustrated by the way juicing programs are marketed to consumers, especially when they involve dangerously long periods of fasting, little nutritional value and false claims of biologic functions,” said Erika Bernhard, president and founder of Crave Nutrition Solutions L.L.C., Missouri City, Texas, and the registered dietitian who assisted with the development of Raw6. “I was pleased when Red Mango asked me to help them craft a plan that would offer consumers the most nutritional benefits without making them go a whole day without eating.
“We worked to design this one-day program to be very easy to follow for people who have wanted to try juicing, but were deterred by the often unpleasant side effects of so called juice cleanses, detoxes and fasts that have become so popular. Each Raw6 plan has been carefully designed to include the specific nutritional values of each juice, but also to incorporate healthy snacks and a meal to provide fiber, healthy fats and a higher level of protein than most other competitors’ juicing programs.”
Jim Notarnicola, chief marketing officer for BRIX Holdings, the parent company for Red Mango, said, “Consumer demand for high-quality, healthy snack and meal options are continually growing as we all become more aware of what we put into our bodies.”