By using healthful whole foods, the latest functional beverages are spinning this notoriously sugar-laden, synthetic ingredient–reliant category on its head. Chia, coconut water and oats are the big players delivering the nutrition consumers require. Major benefits such as increased energy and reduced cholesterol continue to drive category growth; and by using ingredients that shoppers already know to be healthful, manufacturers can skirt potentially litigious functional claims.
This doesn’t necessarily mean lesser-known, clinically backed ingredients are getting the boot. As consumers seek products to support weight management, brain function, eye health and other areas of wellness, beverages such as Nawgan, boosted by an efficacious dose of citicoline, won’t fade into the periphery. Just expect increased scrutiny at the shelf as consumers weigh inherently natural options against their traditional, fortified counterparts.