Imbibe, an industry-leading beverage development company focused on formulating and commercializing cutting-edge products, released insights from Expo West, which took place Mar. 8 to 11 in Anaheim, Calif. Here are Imbibe experts’ trend observations from the tradeshow:
• Hyper-customization – Products that fulfill individual needs were pervasive across food and beverage categories, and brands were calling out functions on product labels. The most common functions included immune support, increased energy, enhanced beauty, detox and improved cognition. Examples include a range of wellness shots by brands like Vive, Nootra and Brain Juice, and functional product lines by brands like Coffee Blenders, Tea Riot, and Beauty and Go.
• Functional botanicals – Turmeric was the most popular ingredient at Expo West, and was in products from golden milk to corn flake cereal. Lavender, elderflower, rose, and ginger were also very common botanicals featured in products like the Ginger People Turmeric and Ginger Latte, The Bu Lavender Kombucha, Cawston Press Elderflower Lemonade, and H2 Rose Beauty Water. Schizandra, an adaptogen, is an emerging botanical that is in Rebbl Elixir Berries & Cream, Goldthread Schzandra Supreme, and Rise Rose & Schizandra Kombucha.
• Mushrooms – Reishi, lion’s mane, chaga and cordyceps were in products across the show floor as a functional ingredient or as a meat alternative. They were featured in coffee and tea by brands like Rebbl, Wonder Fuel, and Choice, as a powder supplement in Om products and Nutrasumma Plant Protein, and as a meat alternative in Pan’s Mushroom Jerky.
• Collagen – Collagen was very prominent at Expo. It could be found as a powder supplement, in RTDs and in foods like protein bars, jerky and broths. Examples include Vital Proteins collagen powder, Eviva Collagen Elixir and Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bar. There were more powders than ready-to-drink or eat products at the Expo; however – based on the prevalence of the ingredient at Expo – we expect more RTDs to be launched in the near future.
• Organic and/or natural energy drinks – Many brands showcased organic and/or natural energy drinks. Examples include Dark Dog Organic Energy Drink, Zola Organic Hydrating Energy Drink made with sparkling coconut water, and Limitless lightly caffeinated sparkling water.
• Plant-based Products – Plant-based products were widespread throughout Expo. Innovative nut-milks included Malk Cashew Malk (strawberry flavored and original), Elmhurst Milked Peanuts (original and chocolate/peanut), and 137 Degrees Walnut and Pistachio milks. Other innovative plant-based milk alternatives included Mooala Banana Milk, Oat-ly Oat Milk, and Good Karma Flax Milk. Plant-based protein powders were also prominently featured, and pea protein was the rising star. Hemp-derived CBD was widespread across the show floor, and could found in products from enhanced waters to oat bars.
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For more information about Imbibe, contact Imbibe at 847.324.4411, or visit www.imbibeinc.com.
Imbibe is a beverage development company focused on the formulation, customization and commercialization of cutting-edge beverage products. We act as a bolt-on R&D function for companies that don’t have one or an extension of the R&D team for those who do. Through this activity, we design custom ingredient systems that drive differentiation for products in all beverage categories.