As consumers expect more and more from their beverages, we’re paying close attention to the ingredients providing these sought-after benefits.
Watch for these 8 functional beverage ingredients we expect to be important players in beverage formulation this year.
Mushrooms, a category of fungi, have long been eaten and used for their medicinal properties. But little attention has been given to them as a functional beverage ingredient until recently. The pandemic-triggered health consciousness and the experimental nature of the younger consumers are some of the reasons for this trend.
Mushrooms have the following benefits:
· Chaga: immunity booster, anti-inflammatory properties
· Lion’s mane: improves cognitive function
· Reishi: relieves stress and anxiety, immunity booster
· Cordyceps: improves stamina and libido
· Maitake: immunity booster, anti-inflammatory properties
· Turkey tail: immunity booster
· Shitake: skin enhancer, immunity booster
· Tremella: good for skin, hair, and nails
Mushroom-supplemented beverages – seltzers, coffees, lattes, and energy drinks – could emerge as healthy alternatives to alcoholic drinks in bars and restaurants this year.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. It’s known to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, control pain (anti-inflammatory), lower cravings for addictive drugs under certain conditions, and help with sleep.
As more states legalize cannabis in 2022, we expect that CBD non-alcoholic drinks such as CBD water, CBD tea, CBD coffee, CBD soda are bound to emerge. We’ve covered the best practices when developing a CBD beverage if you’re looking to learn more.
3. Ashwagandha Herb
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that helps the body adapt to or resist stress. It can also reduce anxiety and induce sleep, and it has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties.
The ashwagandha herb has continued to gain mainstream acceptance year after year. Its sales in the United States rose from $12.5 million in 2019 to $31.7 million in 2020, showing that more people understand its benefits. As the pandemic enters its third year, even more people are likely to embrace the herb.
Ashwagandha extracts, such as KSM-66, are soluble in water, meaning the herb is great for healthy drinks and functional beverages.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is a flowering plant that grows in cold climates, in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. Its roots contain medicinal compounds, classified as adaptogens. Thus, it enhances the body’s ability to resist stress. It also has anti-aging properties. In addition, studies have shown that Rhodiola may stimulate the activity of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, all mood-enhancing hormones.
Beverage makers are likely to utilize Rhodiola’s adaptogenic capabilities to help consumers enhance their moods and relieve stress. Rhodiola can be used as a beverage ingredient in making energy drinks, sparkling water, or tinctures.
Once used singularly as a dietary supplement or as an additive to herbal teas, ginseng is now gaining attention in other areas. Ginseng extracts can be used to make energy drinks and ready-to-drink beverages, adding an aura of sophistication and uniqueness while also offering numerous benefits.
Ginseng is an herb derived from the root of a slow-growing plant in the genus Panax. It’s linked to several health benefits, including boosting energy, promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and lessens pain. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is thought to improve symptoms of arthritis and depression, prevent heart disease, and enhance cognitive function by boosting memory.
In powder form, turmeric is insoluble in water. However, dispersible turmeric extracts are available, meaning turmeric can be added to smoothies, tonics, tea, and juices.
7. Green Tea
Green tea isn’t new; it’s in fact thousands of years old. However, over the recent years, it has garnered attention for its health benefits. With the growing prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases, green tea has emerged as an ingredient that could lower their occurrence.
Healthwise, green tea improves brain function and heart health, lower fat levels, and lower the risk of certain cancers. Watch for it in everything from lattes to alcoholic beverages.
Derived from a Brazilian plant, guarana has been used for centuries by natives for its therapeutic properties. But guarana’s popularity has also grown over the last few years in other parts of the world. That’s because it contains a wide and impressive assortment of stimulants, including caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. Watch for guarana’s stimulant properties to grow in popularity in energy drinks this year.
Are you looking to develop a beverage incorporating any of these ingredients? At Wisebev we’re beverage ingredient experts, let us help you with your next beverage prototype to highlight your ingredient or to develop your beverage formulation and bring it to market. Schedule a consultation today!
Our team of food scientists are beverage industry experts. We’re ready to help you develop your next beverage. From prototyping to market-ready beverage formulation, we’ll help you achieve your goals and get your beverage to market quickly! Book a call today.