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Americans want to be healthier and also discover the fountain of youth and longevity. The food industry is rushing to fulfill this new desire. The new buzzword is "functional health beverages and foods." Functional beverages (also known as "neutraceuticals") are beverages fortified with dietary supplements and herbal medicines. And they are becoming a multi-billion dollar industry. Experts predict Americans will buy more bottled water than coffee or beer. Artificial flavors are losing ground to drinks with "all natural" claims. Antioxidant tea products are now the rage. And at least one brand of coffee is adding herbs and minerals to its beans. Energy drinks are the fastest growing supermarket category -- with sports drinks right behind.
This move proved to be very effective with a 30% decline in alcohol consumption however soon people reverted to illegal ways of producing and transporting liquor as criminal activities began to rise. Although there have been certain advancements since the prohibition none of them have had serious implications on how alcoholic beverages are perceived. It is however important to note that commercialization and globalization has made it easier for consumers to enjoy a wider variety of liqueurs spirits and other alcoholic beverages. Improve your memory? Lift your mood? Relieve tension? A growing market of "functional health beverages" enhanced with herbs and other ingredients promise to improve your health. But do these drinks really offer health benefits? Judging by the reaction to these products the answer is a resounding yes.
All this goes well for the functional beverages industry. Functional health beverages are going more mainstream because consumers have become much more holistic-minded so companies are now meeting them in the middle. There is a consciousness out there now that very small amounts of something can have a very significant effect. The functional beverages industry has attracted the attention of traditional beverage manufacturers focused on expanding their product ranges in the face of falling sales of old stand-bys such as carbonates. Pepsi s purchase of Gatorade and South Beach Beverages Sobe Cadbury Schweppes purchase of the Snapple and Mistic brands are a few examples. Products affiliated with major sporting brands such as Reebok and Umbro sports and performance drinks also are infiltrating the market.