Natural Products Expo West/SupplyExpo took place March 11-14 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. New tea offerings dominated the beverage scene at the show, while probiotic drinks, juices, waters, herbal infusions and performance beverages also made a strong showing.
Natural Products Expo West/SupplyExpo are co-located with Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace, Healthy Baking Seminar and Nutracon, which encompassed more than 1 million square feet of education, business-building events and exhibits, including 654 new exhibitors for brands entering this market. This year, the event drew nearly 56,000 attendees.
Tea for tons
Tazo (tazo.com), part of Starbucks Corp., Seattle, debuted a line of Tazo Zero Calorie Naturally Sweetened Bottled Teas featuring stevia. The new line, which is the first of its kind for Tazo, includes Passion, Zen and Refresh varieties. Beginning this month, Tazo Zero Calorie ready-to-drink teas in 13.8-ounce bottles are available at Whole Foods Markets and select natural food retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $1.49 to $1.79. Tazo also introduced a line of Well-Being Teas that offer a blend of botanicals and tea. Available in Rest, Thrive and Focus, Tazo Well-Being teas include 16 tea bags per box.
New Leaf Brands (newleafbrands.com), Orangeburg, N.Y., announced four new beverages, launching this month, and an updated look for its whole lineup. New Leaf’s new look places more emphasis on the flavor of each variety. In addition, the company will enter into lemonade beverages with the release of New Leaf Homemade Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Black Cherry Lemonade and Tiger Half & Half Iced Tea Lemonade. New Leaf natural lemonades include 10 percent fruit juice and are sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice.
Honest Tea (honesttea.com), Bethesda, Md., introduced six new products at Expo West. Building on its launch of Honest Kombucha, the company added Maqui Berry Grapefruit and Apple Jasmine varieties. Maqui Berry also is featured in Honest Tea’s new Maqui Berry Mate, which is brewed with organic unsmoked yerba mate. The company also showcased its new Half Tea & Half Lemonade beverage, which is certified organic and Fair Trade. For its kids’ line, the company debuted Honest Kids Berry Berry Good Lemonade in 64-ounce bottles and Super Fruit Punch in pouches and 64-ounce bottles.
The Hain Celestial Group (hain-celestial.com),Boulder, Colo., entered into the kombucha market with the release of a Celestial Seasonings line of raw, organic Kombucha Teas. Each of the five fermented teas feature a blend of fruits, herbs, botanicals and a light effervescence, the company says. Beginning this month, the new line, including Digestion: Meyer Lemon Ginger, Antioxidant: Superfruit, Metabolism: Berry Guava, Energy: Pomelo Citrus and Super Green: Tropical Blend, will be available at Whole Foods Markets and other natural foods stores for $2.99 to $3.49. The company also expanded its Celestial Seasonings boxed tea products with Sweet Zinger Ice Herbal Teas that are sweetened with stevia and Sleepytime teas with Sinus Soother, Night Moves and Green Lemon Jasmine Decaf.
For an on-the-go option, Hansen Beverage Co. (hansens.com), Corona, Calif., released Hansen’s Natural Tea Stix and Fruit Stix. Sweetened with Truvia, the drink mixes are available in Iced Tea, Strawberry Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Berry and Blackberry Tea varieties.
Inko’s (healtywhitetea.com), New York, debuted its new Inko’s White Tea for high school vending. The natural white iced teas contain 25 calories per 8-ounce serving, and are packaged in 12-ounce cans. Sweet Leaf Tea (sweetleaftea.com), Austin, Texas, also introduced Citrus Green Tea, Diet Citrus Green Tea and Lemon Iced Tea for its 15.5-ounce canned, 16-ounce glass, 20-ounce PET and 64-ounce PET lines. In addition, Steaz (steaz.com),Newton, Pa., displayed its new graphics featuring a centralized look for the brand. Steaz also reformulated and renamed its Diet line of sparkling green teas to Zero Calorie, which now includes stevia as a sweetener.
Ito En North America (itoen.com), Brooklyn, N.Y., expanded its tea shots with Mate Sencha Shot. The shot features yerba mate and the antioxidants of green tea, it says. Ito En also launched Teas’ Tea Matcha, a powdered green tea in a 0.7-ounce tin.
Sunsweet Naturals (sunsweetnaturals.com), Yuba, Calif., which also recently invested in Ayala’s Herbal Water, released a line of herbal beverages at the show. Herbal Blends in Calming, Energizing, Replenishing and Focusing varieties feature exotic and traditional herbs steeped in water and lightly sweetened with organic white grape juice, the company says.
PurBlue Beverages (drinkpotion.com), Pittsburgh, Pa., added Potion Herbal Remedy to its offering of products. Potion Herbal Remedy is a concentrated all-natural functional health shot made with herbs and botanicals. The 2.5-ounce shots are available in Immunity, Calm, Focus, Burn, Power and Detox formulas that retail for $2.99.
Viva Beverage LLC, Southfield, Mich., announced the debut of its Marley Beverage Co. (marleybeverages.com) brand of all-natural, healthful and organic beverages. Its first release in May will be Marley’s Mellow Mood, a line of brewed relaxation teas and carbonated beverages. The brand also will include other ready-to-drink teas and coffees and juices. In addition, Teeccino Caffé (teeccino.com), Santa Barbara, Calif., released a new single-serve, filter bag of its top-selling coffee alternative brand, Teeccino Herbal Coffee.
Juice, CSDs and waters’ appeal
In the juice category, Odwalla (odwalla.com), a brand of The Coca-Cola Co., introduced Haiti Hope Mango Lime-Aid, a blend of mango and lime. All of the profits from every bottle sold will go to the Haiti Hope Project, which aims to help build a sustainable mango juice industry with Haitian farmers.
Zola (zolaacai.com), San Francisco, introduced two new products at the show, Zola Light Acai Juice and Zola Acai Daily Wellness Shot. Zola Light features 50 percent less sugar and 40 percent fewer calories than Zola Acai original juice, the company says. Daily Wellness Shot offers 3,000 ORAC units of antioxidants per ounce, it says.
Acai Roots (acairoots.com), San Diego, launched its ready-to-drink Pure Acai Juice at Expo West. Pure Acai Juice expands on the company’s line of acai smoothies, energy shots and liquid concentrates. The acai juice is available in 32-ounce and 10-ounce bottles.
Lakewood Organic (lakewoodjuices.com), Miami, launched a line of 32-ounce glass bottled U.S. Department of Agriculture organic dragon fruit juices. Blue Dragon Blueberry, Dragon Fruit and Lychee; Red Dragon Pomegranate, Dragon Fruit and Goji; and Black Dragon Black Currant, Dragon Fruit and Acai retail for $5.99 to $6.99.
For the carbonated soft drink category, Utmost Brands Inc. (drinkgus.com), New York, expanded its line of GUS - Grown-up Sodas with Grape Black Currant. Maine Root (maineroot.com), Portland, Maine, also featured its new seasonal flavor Pumpkin Pie Soda. In addition, Waialua Soda Works (waialuasodaworks.com), Waialua, Hawaii, debuted its new flavor KonaRed, a flavor sourced from Hawaiian coffee fruit. BCGA Concept Corp. (freshgingerale.com), New York, displayed its line of natural ginger ales in Original, Pomegranate with Hibiscus and Jasmine Tea flavors.
This year, coconut waters continued to be a hit at the show. One Natural Experience (onenaturalexperience.com), Los Angeles, developed a new line of performance coconut waters called O.N.E. Active Coconut Water. Launching June 1 in GNC stores, O.N.E. Active includes natural botanicals for active bodies and minds to help people with active lifestyles stay hydrated and alert, the company says. Available in Grape Berry, Lemon Lime and Cranberry Grapefruit, the beverages are 55 percent coconut water and also include ginseng for energy, ginkgo biloba for mental focus, catuaba for vigor and stamina, calcium for bone health, and antioxidants to fight free radicals, it says. The varieties are sweetened with stevia and are packaged in 16.9-ounce Tetra Pak cartons.
Blue Point Marketing Inc. (bluemonkeydrinks.com), Las Vegas, introduced a line of all-natural, isotonic coconut waters under the Blue Monkey label. Blue Monkey is available in an assortment of packages and flavors from powder packs, cans, bottles and pouches in flavors including Young Coconut Water, Mango, Guava, Tropical, Lemon Lime and Acai-Pomegranate.
Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water (zico.com), Hermosa Beach, Calif., displayed its new 14-ounce re-sealable bottle. The new Zico bottle features 100 percent natural coconut water, but also contains 20 percent fewer calories per ounce and additional sodium to help prevent dehydration and muscle cramps, the company says.
Hint Inc. (drinkhint.com), San Francisco, also debuted new packaging and updated labeling that features more prominent flavor and nutrition information on the front of the bottle. Along with new branding, Uncle Matt’s Organic (unclematts.com), Clermont, Fla., released a new 6-ounce carton of its organic orange juice.
Probiotics and performance
Known for its probiotic products, Lifeway Foods (lifewayfoods.net), Morton Grove, Ill., expanded its line of ProBugs Organic Whole Milk Kefirs for kids with Strawnana Split. The Strawberry-Banana flavored smoothie is high in protein and calcium and contains 10 live and active probiotic culture strains, the company says. Lifeway also debuted a line of Organic Green Kefirs with Phytoboost, the company’s exclusive blend of phytonutrients. Available in Kiwi Passion Fruit and Pomegranate Acai Blueberry, the cultured-milk smoothies contain 10 green vegetables, green tea and 10 live and active probiotic culture strains. Lifeway also introduced Chocolate Truffle Low-Fat Kefir, seasonal flavors Pumpkin Spice and Cranberry Crème Brulee and Greek Style Kefir and Greek Style Strawberry Kefir. The company also displayed its new Helios Goat Milk Kefir in Blueberry, Vanilla and Plain varieties.
NextFoods (goodbelly.com), Boulder, Colo., expanded its lineup of GoodBelly probiotic products with GoodBelly Splash, GoodBelly Organic Kids and GoodBelly To Go. Splash is a line of probiotic fruit drinks in single-serve bottles that contains 20 billion live and active cultures, the company says. The line includes Mango, Blueberry Acai and Pomegranate Blackberry flavors. Organic Kids is a probiotic fruit drink in Grape and Cherry flavors that features 10 billion live and active cultures, it says. GoodBelly To Go is a probiotic fruit drink mix that can be mixed with 6 ounces of water or juice.
In the non-dairy beverage category, WhiteWave Foods (whitewave.com), Broomfield, Colo., expanded its Silk brand with Silk Pure Almond and Silk Pure Almond Vanilla. The company also lowered the calorie count of its Silk Chocolate Light Soymilk to 90 calories with the use of stevia and added DHA to its Horizon Organic Chocolate variety. In addition, Pacific Natural Foods (pacificfoods.com), Tualatin, Ore., released three varieties of hemp beverages at the show. Unsweetened Original, Unsweetened Vanilla and Chocolate Hemp are a natural source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, calcium, protein, vitamins and amino acids, the company says.
Co-packer California Natural Products (calnaturale.com), Lanthrop, Calif., launched its own CalNaturale brand at the show with the release of Svelte, an all-natural sustained energy protein drink. Svelte contains 16 grams of organic protein from soy milk along with organic complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, the company says. In addition, the products are a good source of fiber and are dairy and gluten free, it says. Packaged in 15.9-ounce Tetra Pak cartons, CalNaturale Svelte is available in French Vanilla, Cappuccino, Chocolate and Spiced Chai flavors.
Everlast Sports Nutrition (evernutrition.com), New York, expanded its performance offerings with HyperPlex high-performance shakes in Rich Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla flavors. The ready-to-drink shakes offer 40 grams of protein and are lactose free. The drinks are packaged in 17-ounce Tetra Pak cartons.BI
June 2009 Tea sales slow, but innovation is up
Jan. 2010 Category Focus: Health trends dominate juice innovations
Feb. 2010 Cover Story: Lifeway Foods’ culture craze