We’ve added a new category to the Beverage Digest Awards. Best Powdered Functional Beverage. In January, I wrote about the emergence of single-serve powdered beverages and one analyst’s view that the category could become a disruptive force. In April, I published a Q&A with the CEO of Nuun, which markets functional beverage tablets and mixes. Weeks later, Nestlé Health Science agreed to acquire Nuun. All the while, an increasing flow of functional beverage samples have come across my desk in powdered form – Celsius, Liquid IV, Hydrant, SunWink, Dandy Blend, Four Sigmatic, Rutual, Mud/WTR, and even Propel and Gatorade Zero.
The format can have a distribution advantage as freight costs soar, since the heavy and bulky water component is not shipped but mixed in by the consumer after purchase. For upstart functional brands, the powders are a great way to deliver ingredients ranging from vitamins to mushrooms. For consumers, singleserve powders are convenient and customizable. Powders go well with reusable water bottles in this era of sustainability.
Of course, for bottlers and other direct store beverage distributors, how and whether they handle these products will have to be sorted out.
A big part of our mission at Beverage Digest is to help readers stay outside their silos. When we see trends emerging, we illuminate them in these pages and reflect them in our awards, so you are aware before you have to be. This is one of those times.
-- Duane Stanford, Editor & Publisher
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