Prepared Foods takes a look at new better-for-you drinks and supplements introduced in October 2018.


Protein & Probiotics

thinkThin, Los Angeles, says its new thinkThin Protein & Probiotics Oatmeal contains 1 billion CFUs of live probiotics to support overall wellness, 6g  of fiber to help support digestion, plus the benefit of 10g of protein to help provide satiety and energy to start the day. 

The three-item line oatmeal is also Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten free and kosher, with no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Each variety also contains 200 or fewer calories per serving. Varieties include Cinnamon Almond with real cinnamon, sliced almonds and a hint of brown sugar; Maple Pecan with real maple syrup and pecan pieces; and Blueberry Harvest with sweet, whole blueberries.

“thinkThin was one of the first brands to bring the healthy combination of protein and added fiber in an oatmeal,” says Michele Kessler, CEO of thinkThin.  “We continue to innovate in the oatmeal category by launching our first hot probiotic format.  Protein & Probiotics Oatmeal has been crafted for optimal nutritionals that support overall wellness.” 

Kessler says each serving features a wholesome blend of hearty rolled oats, steel cut oats, red quinoa, chia seeds and probiotic cultures.  Served in an easy-to-use bowl that only requires hot water or a microwave.

thinkThin Protein & Probiotics Hot Oatmeal will be debuting in retailers nationwide this summer, starting with Walmart.  


Natural Recovery

O2 Natural Recovery, Columbus, Ohio, used this summer’s 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games to introduce two new Non-GMO, caffeine-free flavors: Lemon Lime and Blackberry Currant.

O2 Natural Recovery Founder & CEO Dave Colina describes O2 as a “high-performance, clean sports recovery drink that hydrates, energizes and helps the body process toxins because it has 7x more oxygen than regular water.”

O2 launched in 2014 with two flavors, Orange Mango and Grapefruit Ginger, which were soon carried by CrossFit gyms as well as Whole Foods (expanding now to 80 Kroger stores). At only 20 calories per full 16oz can, the drink has only 2g of organic sugar.

“We were thrilled with the response to our initial flavors and how they helped athletes hydrate, perform, and recover faster,” says Colina. “We launched the Caffeine-Free Lemon Lime and Blackberry Currant as a direct response to customer demand for an O2 that they could have late in the day, or for O2 drinkers looking for something to offer their kids. So far, the response has been incredible, and we look forward to educating more active audiences and health-conscious retailers on the benefits of our clean product.”

O2 can be purchased online at and in select Whole Foods, Kroger stores, and select specialty retailers, alongside many CrossFit gyms and fitness studios nationwide. The variety four-pack retails for $13.99 or individual flavors can be purchased in cases of 12 for $41.99, with free shipping.


Added Energy

Looking to reimagine the energy drink category, Welch’s, Concord, Mass., launched Welch’s Sparkling Plus Energy into limited release. Officials say the line “delivers delicious, sustainably farmed Welch’s juice with natural energy from organic coffee extract.”

“We saw a need in the market for an energy drink that actually tastes good,” says John Walston, Welch’s senior brand manager. “Welch’s Sparkling Plus Energy delivers a great, bold taste and it’s a product you can feel good about buying because as always, 100% of our profits go back to our small family farmers. The energy drink category is expanding, and we are excited to evolve our portfolio with a new product offering outside of the juice aisle.”

Welch’s Energy expands the brand’s portfolio into a new category with a focus specifically on a male audience. The product is currently available as part of a limited rollout in three markets, including New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore/Washington D.C., with plans to expand into new markets. 

Welch’s Energy is available in two flavors—Sparkling Grape and Sparkling Fruit Punch—with a suggested retail price of $2.19 for a 16oz can. 
Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative.


Active Hemp Extract

Phivida Holdings Inc., Vancouver, B.C., says its new “Oki” line of functional beverages and supplements are infused with active hemp extract and will be available to consumers in up to 2,400 natural specialty store locations within the United States.

Oki beverages are infused with 10mg of active hemp extract per bottle and come in two different formulations: iced teas and flavor-infused water, each ranging in four different 16oz flavors. Water flavors include Water (plain), Watermelon Renew, Cucumber Mint Refresh and Cranberry Revive.

Iced Tea flavors include Mint Relax, Lemon Ginger Harmony, Honey Tranquil and Raspberry Serene.

Oki supplements also are available in tinctures or capsules that range in doses from 600-1800 total mg of Active Hemp Extract.

All products contain non GMO, natural and organic ingredients and are plant based and vegan friendly and packaged in sleek 100% recyclable glass containers.

“We created the Oki line as a powerful new offering that restores balance and focus to our everyday lives when we need it most—whether during recovery from a workout or getting ready for the day ahead,” says Jim Bailey, President and CEO of Phivida. “Following the success of our Vida+ line of full spectrum hemp oil extracts and capsules targeting the clinical market, the Oki launch is the next milestone in our journey to bring premium products to broader consumer and retail audiences.”


Collagen Nut Butters

Wild Friends Foods used Natural Products Expo East to launch a new line of Collagen Nut Butters. Officials say the line is the first of its kind and each serving delivers 8g to 9g of protein, with 30% of protein coming from collagen, and only 1g of added sugar.

Varieties include Vanilla Collagen Almond Butter, Chocolate Collagen Peanut Butter, and Vanilla Collagen Peanut Butter.

Wild Friends says it partnered with Vital Proteins, a Franklin Park, Ill., supplier of grass-fed collagen peptides, to develop the line.

“We incorporate collagen peptides into our diets every day and we know so many of our consumers do as well. Vital Proteins has always been our collagen brand of choice so we were thrilled to develop these products in partnership with them,” says Wild Friends CMO and co-founder Erika Welsh.
Wild Friends’ Collagen Nut Butters hit shelves nationwide this fall, starting with Target, Publix and Sprouts in October.

“These new blends create a Wild Friends ‘elevated nutrition’ line,” says Welsh, “combining the natural goodness of nut butter with the added health benefits of collagen.”


Recovery Powders, Drinks

Optimum Nutrition, Downers Grove, Ill., introduced ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY Plus Electrolytes. Officials say they contain amino acids to help support muscle recovery and natural caffeine for energy plus electrolytes to replace the electrolytes lost through sweat. 

“Athletes love our ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY line for a great tasting, anytime energy boost,” says Trevin Morton, senior brand manager for ON. “The addition of electrolytes, amino acids and caffeine from natural sources means ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY Plus Electrolytes supports performance, endurance and active living.”

Morton says Optimum Nutrition ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY Plus Electrolytes provides 100mg of caffeine derived from natural sources such green tea and green coffee bean extract per serving—plus 5g of amino acids and electrolyte nutrients like potassium and sodium. The product contains zero sugar.

ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY Plus Electrolytes comes in powder and a new, effervescent ready-to-drink formula in a 12oz can.

ON ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY Plus Electrolytes powder is available in four fruity flavors, including Pineapple Twist, Tangerine Wave, Watermelon Splash and Cranberry Lemonade Breeze. Each is just five calories per serving. ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY Plus Electrolytes sparkling RTD comes in Watermelon, Strawberry Burst, Blueberry Lemonade and Grape flavors with just 5 to 15 calories per serving.

Originally appeared in the October, 2018 issue of Prepared Foods as Form + Function.