Drink up, it’s good for you

Drink up, it's good for you

It seems the drive for health and wellness claims in drinks is unrelenting, and in the current climate, it’s unsurprising.

In our feature this week, Chris Banks CBE at Cracker Drinks Co examined some of the emerging post-Covid drinks trends and of course one of the trends was a greater focus on health. Chris relayed findings from an FMCG Gurus poll in May of more than 23,000 people across 18 countries – a reported 80% of consumers said they were planning on eating and drinking more healthily because of Covid-19.

Drinks manufacturers are certainly attempting to tap into this rising demand. You only have to glance at the New Products section of our website (including this week’s roundup) to see an array of new drinks products with various health and wellness claims. Gut health and immunity-boosting seems to be popular, with brands adding probiotics and prebiotics to the mix to focus consumers’ attention on more natural, good-for-you ingredients. Pea protein is quickly becoming a strong vegan alternative in the food industry so it will be interesting to see if a new alternative emerges in the drinks world that’s not the obvious oat, wheat or barley.

The low to no alcohol market I think will see some steady growth, with mocktails becoming a more popular option, however, as Chris Banks commented, there are currently “few premium alternatives to the same old artificial, sugary options.” Innovation in this category could prove tough, especially in the UK: the government’s latest obesity strategy may mean that some of us start taking more notice of calories and sugar content, even if we’re only out for a couple of socially-distanced drinks.

I think the tea category is in a strong position, especially on the wellness side of things. Who doesn’t love a good cuppa with added physical and mental health benefits? In the past year I’ve substituted my usual English breakfast tea and spoonful of sugar to an organic lemon and ginger herbal tea instead.

Personally, I’m all for the healthy drinks, as long as they deliver on taste. However, with so many healthier food products already out there boasting the tag line ‘without compromising on flavour’, I don’t doubt that future drink options will be able to make the same claim.

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