Consumers have become more aware – and more open to – probiotics and prebiotics and their potential benefits. At the same time, ingredient companies are extending the possible applications for probiotic and prebiotic inclusions in beverages.
When the mojito trend hit in 2006, the Cuban cocktail opened a new era in mint’s use in beverages. Traditionally, the cocktail combines fresh mint, sugar, lime juice and rum, but beverage companies launched a multitude of ready-to-drink options capitalizing on the popularity of the mint flavor.
Dr Pepper, which began as a small soda fountain in Waco, Texas, has grown into one of the most popular and recognizable beverage brands in the country. The company celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.
Only recently have American consumers begun to understand probiotic cultures and their health benefits, which have been well-known in other parts of the world. As probiotic awareness has spread, Lifeway Foods, Morton Grove, Ill., has reported yearly growth, especially in its core product lineup of kefir, a cultured dairy beverage containing multiple strains of probiotic cultures.
In seven years, Oskar Blues has grown from brewing one type of beer in the basement of its Lyons, Colo., brewpub to producing 29,000 barrels of beer in five varieties and distributing its products in 25 states.