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Unboxed: 9 clean energy beverages for a focused buzz

Caffeinated energy drinks with minimal sugar and plant-powered ingredients are promoting energy and focus in the functional beverage space.

There is a growing thirst for energy-promoting beverages among consumers who are looking to meet multifunctional goals for optimal energy and overall wellness. Consumers in search of long-lasting balance and focus during the day are driving innovation in functional energy beverages that meet multiple daily wellness needs.

The United States functional beverage market has grown to $48.4 billion, according to Euromonitor. Energy beverages comprise the largest section, at an estimated $18.6 billion, with forecasted growth at a CAGR of 6.6% through 2025.

In terms of consumer segments, an April 2022 New Hope Network Ways of Eating consumer survey indicated that younger consumers are significantly more inclined than older ones to rely on functional beverages such as nutritional shakes, vitamin-enhanced waters and more for what they offer in terms of nutritional benefits: An average of 35% of Gen Z and millennial consumers said they "depend on" functional beverages for nutrients, compared with 18% of Gen X and baby boomers. 

Better-for-you options, functional add-ins rule

Plant-based, functional energy drinks that rely on clean, energy-boosting alternatives are driving natural product innovation, as are those with lower or better-for-you sugar profiles. In particular, organic cane sugar, monk fruit and stevia are common sweeteners, while brands are also formulating with functional ingredients such as Peruvian maca, cassava root extract, yerba mate, green tea extract, coffee bean fruit and more.

Brands are also adding functional benefits in the form of ingredients including probiotics, vitamins and nutrient-dense superfoods. 

Click through the gallery to see some noteworthy energy beverages to stock.

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