Every year, Natural Products Expo West is one of the industry’s top exhibitions for discovering new products and analyzing trends. Although year’s spring event in Anaheim, Calif., was canceled, beverage products developer Imbibe has identified five headline-making trends and tastes.



Naked Juice launched a line of fruit smoothies enhanced with 18g of soy and pea protein. It’s the first fruit-forward, plant-based protein smoothie launched by a major player. Flavors include Peach Mango and Blueberry Banana.  

Protein2O will be launching the first plant-based protein water, an innovation that has been a challenge for product developers because of solubility and opacity issues. Each can contains 15g of a proprietary pea protein isolate. The line includes flavors novel in the sports nutrition category like Blackberry Basil, Key Lime Coconut, and Lemongrass Chamomile.  


Coffee & Tea

Elmhurst 1925 is expanding its plant-based portfolio with a line of coffee, tea and botanical oat milk lattes. SKUs include Matcha, Cacao, Golden Milk, and Flash Brew coffee. Flash brew is an emerging trend, and proponents of the brew method claim it results in a bright, crisp and full-flavored product. 

Sparkling tea continues to gain traction because consumers are embracing carbonated beverages with less sugar and more natural ingredients than traditional CSDs. Several brands have introduced bubbly teas, including Tama Tea, Rishi Tea & Botanicals, and Sound Sparkling. 


Functional Finds

Adaptogenic beverages that are suggested to aid with stress relief, energy, and cognitive function continue to proliferate. Bala Veda launched smoothies enhanced with 13 adaptogenic roots, fruits and leaves. Other adaptogenic beverage launches include Dewdrop adaptogen and superfood sparkling beverages and Vive Organic energy and focus wellness shots. 

Collagen is being used in beverages ranging from water to coffee. Premium mineral water brand Flow Alkaline Spring Water is adding extra functionality to their product by launching a line enhanced with 10g of grass-fed collagen. Other recent collagen launches include Alo Jen collagen and aloe vera-infused waters and Reneva Collagen Protein Drinks. 


Nitro Innovation

Several brands have introduced nitrogen-infused lattes with oat milk, including Califia, La Colombe, and Rise Nitro Brewing Co. Rise is also adding a tea latte to their lineup with the London Fog Earl Grey Oat Milk Latte. 

Upriver Cacao launched nitrogen-infused coffee alternatives made with cold brewed cacao. The brand claims that the theobromine content naturally occurring in cacao provides gentle energy among other health benefits. SKUs include Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, Strawberry Hibiscus, Vanilla Cream, Matcha Mama, and Chocolate Chai. 


Favorite Flavors

Many brands are gearing up for summer by launching watermelon flavored beverages. Brands like Brew Dr., Harmless Harvest, Loveau, Rowdy Mermaid, La Croix, White Claw, and Matcha Bar Hustle are launching watermelon flavored SKUs. 

Citrus flavors with a twist are also expected to be a summer favorite. LaCroix launched a LimonCello SKU that has a bright and slightly sweet lemon flavor. Other products that incorporate citrus flavors with a twist include Loveau’s Yuzu, Lemon and Lime sparkling water, Positive Beverage Prickly Pear Lemonade, and Vita Coco Infused Cardamom Lemon Sparkling Coconut Water with hemp extract.  

Rose is an emerging botanical flavor that has been used in several new products over the last year. Products that incorporate rose flavor include Harmless Harvest’s new line of lightly flavored coconut waters, Waku Plant-Based Tonic, Atay Iced Tea, and Smartwater Sparkling.

Imbibe is an industry-leading beverage development company focused on formulating and commercializing cutting-edge products across all beverage categories. 

Visit www.imbibeinc.com for additional details.