Ingredient Spotlight

Coconut craze expands across categories

 The fictional personal ad in the song “Escape” famously seeks someone who likes piña coladas.  


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Stevia sees surge in applications

Zero-calorie sweetener appeals to health concerns
Growing concerns about increasing rates of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes have bolstered the need for new sweetener solutions. From 2009 to 2010, 35.7 percent of U.S. adults were obese, according to data released in January by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta.
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Herbs and botanicals offer fortification, flavor

As beverage-makers continue to develop products that do more than satisfy consumers’ thirst, the number of beverages that carry a functional claim continues to increase. According to “Functional and Natural Ready-to-Drink Beverages in the U.S.,” a report by Rockville, Md.-based market research publisher Packaged Facts, sales of energy drinks, ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and sports drinks have helped the functional and natural RTD beverage market grow to $23 billion.
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Vegetable juices work behind the scenes

Children can get crafty when it comes to eating vegetables. They can push them around their plates to try to make it look like they’ve eaten more than they have; or they might hide them in their napkins or underneath other food. The last resort for most kids is actually eating the vegetables. However, manufacturers and parents alike are hoping that incentives and constant exposure to vegetables might help these picky eaters adapt.
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Superfruits expand beyond exotic varieties

Nutrient levels highlight more fruits under superfruit umbrella
Better-for-you beverages continue to appeal to consumers, and beverage companies continue to find ways to address that trend. According to Chicago-based Mintel Group Ltd.’s “Juice and Juice Drinks” report, 5 percent of launches from January to June 2011 contained antioxidants, which represents a 1 percent increase from the previous period. The report adds that many launches sourced their antioxidant content from superfruits such as acai berries, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates.
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Reading between the leaves

Tea shows off its colors, benefits and many functions
Hot or cold, bottled or bagged, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc., New York City.
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Searching for the next superfruit star

Will cherry be the next fruit to rise to the top?
In recent years, consumers have embraced superfruits, such as pomegranate, acai, blueberry and cranberry, for their antioxidant content. However, certain cherry varietals also rank alongside the more renowned superfruits in terms of antioxidant content. Although the fruit has long been favored as a pie filling and ice cream sundae topper, cherry is still establishing itself as a beverage ingredient, but suppliers say that’s ripe for a change.
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Fiber gains from a fuller understanding

Consumer awareness, ingredient options for fiber expand
As consumers continue to look for functional food and beverages to supplement what’s missing from their diets, manufacturers continue to offer fortified options. When it comes to fiber, consumers can now find fiber-fortified snack bars, brownies and juice drinks.
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Good inside and out

Aloe gains momentum as a naturally beneficial ingredient
Long known as a skin soother, aloe has a reputation in the United States for its inherent external benefits. Riding the health and wellness trend, aloe suppliers and beverage-makers are working to expand consumers’ knowledge about the benefits of consuming aloe.
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Competing for the limelight

Citrus flavors evolve to entice consumers
With new beverage flavors fighting for consumers’ attention and juice prices higher than usual due to inclement weather, U.S. orange juice sales have declined during the last several years, says Sarah Theodore, global drinks analyst for Mintel Food & Drink, Chicago. More specifically, orange juice sales were down about 9 percent in food, drug and mass retail, excluding Walmart, between 2008 and 2010, she says.
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Dinner with Tequila Don Julio

Diageo is taking its Tequila Don Julio brand on the road this summer with a rolling Airstream Speakeasy mobile craft cocktail bar. The team stopped in Chicago on July 29 to share some specialty tequila cocktails paired with food from Chicago restaurants Honey Butter Fried Chicken and The Radler as well as dessert venues Black Dog Gelato and Baker Miller. (Photos by Jennifer Haderspeck)

9/17/14 2:00 pm EDT

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Gert van Manen, president of iTi Tropicals Inc., shares his insights on the U.S. coconut water market. Citing research from Krueger Food Laboratories, he also supplies information highlighting the difference between products that declare their added sugars and those that do not.

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