March 15, 2023
The better-for-you soda category stood out at this year’s Natural Products Expo West. The category took on classic flavors such as cola and lemon-lime, while real fruit flavors brought bubbles with no added sugars. These beverages were low in calories and sugar, but high in functional ingredients.
Many of these drinks focus on gut health. Remember being told to drink ginger ale when you had an upset stomach? Now sodas are packed with pre-, pro- and post-biotics to support digestion and gut health. Plant-based superfoods, adaptogens, herbs and botanicals also filled ingredient lists. Rowdy Mermaid, known for its mind and body-supporting kombuchas, debuted a completely new product line of functional sodas starring the stress-reliever ashwagandha and aptly named Good Mood Soda. New Hope's Nutrition Business Journal reports that functional beverages are estimated at $74.2 billion this year with 10.5% growth. The strongest growth is in sports/energy drinks and soft drinks with added function.
These sodas, seltzers and other sparkling RTD drinks deliver on taste without leaving you sluggish or left in a sugar crush. Instead, they elevate the experience by offering more benefits. Check out the gallery of new drinks New Hope Network editors got fizzy over at Natural Products Expo West 2023.
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