More than 22,524 representatives of the global convenience and petroleum retailing industry turned out for this year’s NACS Show â€” a 6 percent increase compared to 2008 NACS Show attendance, according to the show’s organizers. The NACS Show took place Oct. 20 to 23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and featured 1,222 exhibiting companies â€” including a record 338 new companies, 66 workshops and three days of general sessions.
New energy, relaxation and protein beverages, particularly in shot form, ruled as leading new product trends at the show. The tea and juice categories also stood out with new innovations.
One sports nutrition leader, CytoSport Inc. (cytosport.com), Benicia, Calif., added to its line of Muscle Milk products with the new Muscle Milk Refuel Protein Power Shot. Initially available in select markets, the 3-ounce shots feature 5 grams of protein, 100 mg. of caffeine and 90 mg. of EGCG from green tea. The shots offer branch chain amino acids to support muscle recovery and use alpha L-polylactate as an energy source. Muscle Milk Refuel Protein Power Shots are available in Raspberry, Tropix and FruitSour flavors.
For a slightly larger size, Integrated Sports Science (issresearch.com), Charlotte, N.C., expanded its portfolio of 14-ounce OhYeah! Nutritional Shakes with a line of 8-ounce bottles. OhYeah! Good Grab RTD Nutritional Shakes contain 18 grams of protein and 30 calories, and are lactose free. The shakes are available in Vanilla Crème, Bananas & Crème, Cookies & Crème, Strawberries & Crème and Chocolate Milkshake flavors.
One dairy also is getting into the protein drinks category. Shamrock Farms (shamrockfarms.net), Phoenix, released Rockin’ Refuel, a protein-fortified, low-fat milk that helps rebuild muscles after exercise, the company says. Available in Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors, Rockin’ Refuel offers 20 grams of protein, naturally occurring electrolytes and calcium in a 12-ounce bottle.
Coca-Cola North America (CCNA) (thecoca-colacompany.com), Atlanta, also showcased Powerade Zero now featuring ION4, an advanced electrolyte system that aims to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat. The formulation contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins. Powerade Zero with ION4 is available in Lemon-Lime, Orange, Mixed Berry, Strawberry and Grape flavors.
MD Drinks Inc. (functiondrinks.com), Redondo Beach, Calif., unveiled its new package design for its line of Function Drinks. The new design gives increased prominence to the brand’s created-by-physician messaging, key functional platforms and the ingredients contained in the dietary supplement formulations, the company says. Function Drinks’ new package will launch nationwide in early 2010.
With a healthful product launch in the juice category, Hero/WhiteWave, a joint venture between Switzerland-based Hero Group and WhiteWave Foods Co., a subsidiary of Dean Foods Co. (fruit2day.com), Broomfield, Colo., displayed Fruit2day. The beverage is a drinkable and edible fruit snack with real fruit bits in its 6.75-ounce bottle. Fruit2day is made with a combination of fruit pieces, puree and juice, and contains no added sugar or preservatives. Each bottle of Fruit2day offers two servings of fruit with 110 to 120 calories. Fruit2day is available in four flavor combinations: Strawberry Orange, Mango Peach, Pineapple Banana and Cherry Grape.
CCNA also displayed its new Minute Maid Enhanced – Natural Energy. Set to launch in March 2010, the juice drinks feature yerba mate as a natural energy source. Available in 12-ounce PET bottles, the line will include Strawberry Kiwi, Pomegranate Berry and Mango Tropical flavors.
Adina for Life Inc. (adinaworld.com), San Francisco, created a new line of USDA-certified organic herbal elixirs called Adina Holistics. Five herbal-infused varieties â€” Blackberry Hibiscus, Peach Amalaki, Mango Orange Chamomile, Grapefruit Goji and Pomegranate Acai â€” contain ayurvedic herbs that offer a natural way to restore balance, harmony and wellness, the company says. Adina Holistics are low in sugar and contain 50 calories per 8-ounce serving.
The tea category also had new innovations on display. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (ab-inbev.com), 9th Street Beverages, St. Louis, created a line of Margaritaville Paradise Key Teas brewed with natural tea and sweetened with cane sugar. Packaged in 16.9-ounce glass bottles, the line includes Citrus Green Tea, Pomegranate White Tea, Lemon Sweet Black Tea, Tropical Black Tea, Sweet Peach Red Tea and Diet Peach Red Tea.
Arizona Beverages (drinkarizona.com), Lake Success, N.Y., featured its new offerings and expanded lines at NACS. Arizona released a line of 2-ounce shots called FastShot that includes Rx Energy, A.M. Awake and P.M. Relax. The shots each use green tea, and include additional vitamins, minerals and other ingredients. Rx Energy includes green tea for energy and B vitamins. Arizona says A.M. Awake’s energy blend promotes mental clarity, supports a healthy immune system and enhances endurance, vitality and stamina. P.M. Relax’s evening blend formula aims to relax the body and mind naturally and includes chamomile and GABA. A.M. Awake and P.M. Relax were formulated with nutritionist Oz Garcia.
Arizona also expanded its line of $1 pre-priced, 20-ounce PET products with two new flavors, Southern Style Unsweetened Brewed Tea and Black Tea with Ginseng and Honey. The company also expanded its organic 20-ounce tea offerings with Organic Arizona Diet Green Tea with Ginseng, Southern Style Sweet Tea and Iced Tea with Lemon flavor. For its 23-ounce can line, Arizona added a Cranberry Tea variety and Arnold Palmer Zero Half & Half Iced Tea Lemonade that offers no calories. Next year, Arizona will release a new entry in the enhanced water category as well with Arizona Rescue Water that is Arizona- and Twinlab-engineered.
Sweet Leaf Tea Co. (sweetleaftea.com), Austin, showcased its new line of 16-ounce cans in six flavors. The new line includes two new flavors, Lemon Iced Tea and Citrus Green Tea, along with Original Sweet Tea, Mint & Honey Green Tea, Peach Iced Tea and Raspberry Iced Tea varieties.
Reily Foods Co. Inc. (luzianne.com), New Orleans, also released a line of Luzianne Authentic Southern Iced Teas in 16-ounce plastic bottles. Available in Lemon, Sweet Tea, Diet Peach, Green Tea with Mint and Raspberry varieties, the teas are made with Luzianne Tea, spring water and cane sugar. In addition, Tradewinds Beverage Co. (tradewinds-tea.com), Cincinnati, announced that its company is switching its line of teas to be formulated with sugar.
Energy and Relaxation
CCNA also showcased its new fountain-dispensed Full Throttle Twisted that includes ginseng extract, caffeine, taurine, guarana extract and a berry guava flavor. In addition, the company debuted its reformulated and renamed products Full Throttle Black, Full Throttle Acai and Full Throttle Red. Full Throttle Black replaces the Original formula adding an extra boost of caffeine, CCNA says. Full Throttle Acai replaces Blue Demon, and Fury changes its name to Full Throttle Red. The company also added a Loaded Cherry flavor and a sugar-free version of its NOS High Performing Energy Drink.
Targeting a specific niche in the energy drink market, Shadow Beverages and Snacks (shadowbev.com), Tempe, Ariz., partnered with Ironclad Performance Wear Corp., the leading manufacturer of premium work gloves in the United States, to introduce Ironclad Energy & Hydration. Developed for the “industrial athlete,” the beverage is a hybrid between a sports and energy drink. Offered in three flavors, Triple Citrus, Goji Berry and sugar-free Black and Blue with Black Currant, Ironclad comes in a 16-ounce can.
Living Essentials LLC (5hourenergy.com), Farmington Hills, Mich., displayed its newest 2-ounce 5-Hour energy shot flavor, Grape, at NACS. Grape joins 5-Hour Energy’s growing line that includes Berry, Lemon-Lime and Orange flavors, as well as Decaf and Extra Strength versions. Next year, the company will roll out a new Pomegranate flavor.
Several relaxation shots also made their debut. iChill Beverages LLC (ichill.com), Irving, Texas, developed iChill Relaxation Shot featuring a blend of melatonin, valerian root, rose hips and B vitamins. The shot, with a Blissful Berry flavor, aims to help consumers relax, reduce stress and sleep better, the company says. Innovation Beverage Group (drankbeverage.com), Houston, also displayed its new Drank Deuce, a 2-ounce version of its Drank beverage. Drank Deuce contains melatonin, valerian root and rose hips.
In the beer category, Anheuser-Busch InBev featured its new Bud Light Golden Wheat, a light beer brewed with coriander and citrus peels. For flavored malt beverages, the company displayed its new Bacardi Silver Signature Sangria that it says updates Spanish charm with the taste of tropical citrus and red grapes. Bacardi Silver Signature Sangria is the second entry in the Bacardi Silver Signature Cocktail line that also includes Lemonade.
MillerCoors (millercoors.com), showcased a new at-home packaging option for its Miller Lite and Coors Light brands. The company released a 5.7-liter keg that MillerCoors says fits in the refrigerator and stays fresh for 30 days.
The NACS Show 2010 will take place Oct. 5 to 8 at Georgia World Congress Center. Online registration will be available April 1. News and updates about the NACS Show are available at nacsshow.com.
The December year-end issue features a cover story on “Innovations of the Year” and check out the companies honored with “best packages of the year.” The issue also includes a special report on contract packaging, the growth of private-label products and why “Opportuni-Teas” continue to abound for tea ingredients. As usual, the latest trends in new products, packaging and ingredients are highlighted. Happy Holidays to all!
Check back throughout the month for additional content.