Motto, a carbonated matcha green tea, took first place in BevNet's New Beverage Showdown 5, winning $5,000 and distribution in Kroger stores. Second place went to Koa, an organic water blend with nine juices.
The shift by some brands toward emphasizing the organic attributes of their products is a rising trend in cold-pressed juice, according to BevNet's CEO and managing editor. They observed this and other trends at the Natural Products Expo West, including brands turning to smaller sizes to increase their distribution in mainstream retail. Companies are looking to add value through functional ingredients, such as Uncle Matt's infusion of probiotics into its line of juices.
More beverage companies are embracing nut- and seed-based proteins to make protein drinks that appeal to vegan consumers, according to this trend report from Natural Products Expo West. Other trends flooding the market include probiotics for gut health and matcha tea, which is showing up in plain tea formulations and lemonade blends.
Products featuring natural functionality, such as cold-pressed juices, coconut water and kombucha drinks, were the big winners in BevNET's Best of 2013 awards. Suja was named Product of the Year, and Project Fresh was named Best Juice or Juice-Based Product for its cold-pressed juices blended from organic fruits and vegetables. Califia Farms Almond Milk was named Best Non-carbonated Beverage, and Kevin Klock, CEO of Talking Rain, was awarded Person of the Year.
Koa Organic Water is raising money through Kickstarter to fund plans to produce the water in towns across America using sustainable and seasonal fruits and vegetables. "People have told us that they have been searching for a healthy, natural and sugar-free juice. At Koa, we're proud of the work we've done to create a unique alternative to both drinking water and juice products," said Koa's president and CEO Adam Louras.
The gazpacho-inspired Spacho vegetable juice beat out 19 competing drinks to win the New Beverage Showdown 4 at BevNET, winning a $5,000 prize plus $5,000 toward advertising. CoGo, a smoothie made with coconut milk, was the runner-up.