12 Functional Drinks and Confection Products

Vitamins

It's not all energy drinks and nutrition bars anymore. Options for products with functional ingredients are growing. And as a result, deciding which to carry and which to leave off the roster is getting harder and harder to decide.

One trend sees packaged vitamin-infused beverages, including ones with “hybrid” ingredient blends, and dispensed fresh smoothies in the functional and healthy department. Gum, mints, gummis and candy also have great potential as products that can offer functional attributes.

A new report from Chicago-based Mintel International reveals that 49% of American shoppers are looking for vitamins and minerals in hybrid drinks. Consumers are, in general, on the hunt for functional beverage options. This creates opportunities for manufacturers of bottled water with added health benefits, carbonated juices and juices with added functional benefits, according to Mintel.

Click through to view a mix of 12 beverages and confections, and see how they’re trying to cater to consumers looking for foods with functional ingredients. 

Misfit Juicery

Misfit Juicery

Startup Misfit Juicery is taking a two-pronged approach to growing concern around sugar. In doing so, it’s setting itself apart from the competition, which starts with a disclaimer, “This is not a juice company,” front and center on the company’s website. The cold-pressed juices are made with 70% to 80% recovered fruits and veggies. Flavors include Carrot Apple Turmeric Lemon and Pear Cucumber Spinach Lemon.

Eclipse mints

Eclipse mints

Wrigley offers Orbit White gum, which the company says offers healthy ingredients. Also in Wrigley's confection portfolio is Eclipse mints, which now contain MBE, a natural ingredient scientifically proven to help kill the germs that cause bad breath, the company said.

Kayco Beetology

Kayco Beetology

Kayco is introducing a line of craft functional beet beverages called Beetology. The lineup of organic, cold-pressed juices comes in five varieties: Beet + Lemon + Ginger; Beet + Veggie; Beet + Tropical Fruit; Beet + Berry; and Beet + Cherry. Beetology is packaged in six 8-ounce bottles per case and has an SRP of $3.99 per bottle. 

Stride Spark gum

Stride Spark gum

Tyler Merrick, CEO of San Clemente, Calif.-based Project 7, a producer of organic gummis and healthy gum, doesn't think people want to “chew their vitamins," thus making gum a hard healthy sell, he said. Suppliers are best served emphasizing flavor and taste first and functionality second, Merrick said. In addition to his company's Midnite gum, another brand demonstrating bold flavor first and functionality second, is Stride Spark Gum, launched in 2006 to give users a fun, unique and long-lasting experience. Mondelez recently infused B6 and B12 vitamins into Stride Spark, giving consumers flavor with vitamins as a secondary booster. Stride comes in such flavors as Sweet Peppermint, Winterblue, Nonstop Mint, Whitemint, Mintacular and Fearless Fruit.

Project 7

Project 7

Merrick of Project 7 also said that making gum a function-first product in the eyes of consumers could be accelerated if a multivitamin brand—think One A Day—were to partner with a gum maker to add legitimacy to the value proposition. The same has happened successfully with other product categories. Brands such as Stride Spark and Orbit are candidates with the scale for that type of initiative. Another is Trident, the top-selling chewing gum brand and the first sugar-free chewing gum.

pureLYFT

pureLYFT

Providing energy through natural caffeine derived from green coffee-bean extract fortified with vitamins A and B complex, pureLYFT (Pure Mix LLC) delivers 125 mg of its patented clean caffeine into various beverages through a convenient stir stick, allowing consumers to skip coffee, sports drinks and artificial energy supplements, according to the company. The packaging gives users the option to either stir or pour pureLYFT into their beverages. 

Energy Bombs Chewing Gum

Energy Bombs Chewing Gum

Energy Bombs Chewing Gum’s new Spearmint flavor joins existing Cinnamon and Blue Rush Mint flavors. At 5 calories per serving and 40 milligrams of caffeine, one piece provides the same amount of caffeine as a half-cup of an 8-ounce energy drink. The gum quickly absorbs in the body, containing essential vitamins B12, B6 and taurine, according to the company.

K’ul

K’ul chocolate

A representative in the functional-chocolate movement, Minneapolis-based K’ul takes the functionality of the bar category and merges it with a high-end candy bar experience, according to the company. Its “bean-to-bar” products contain superfoods such as pumpkin seeds and guarana.

Welch’s Fruit Ciders

Welch’s Fruit Ciders

For consumers seeking healthier alternatives to coffee, hot cocoa and soda, Welch’s Fruit Ciders contain 80 calories per serving, with each an excellent source of antioxidants, including a full day’s supply of vitamin C, according to the company. The Welch’s line of fruit ciders are rolling out in collaboration with Two Rivers Coffee.  

Good Day Chocolate

Good Day Chocolate

Boulder, Colo.-based Good Day Chocolate is having a more than good year, having grown its functional-confection portfolio by 300%. Founders Andy Goldman and Simon Margolis established a vision about how chocolate could serve as a viable option in delivering vitamins, minerals and supplements. Goldman said the company's chocolate infused with turmeric is “coming out of the gate really strong." 

Viactiv Soft Chews

Viactiv Soft Chews

Viactiv Soft Chews (Viactiv Lifestyle) are a doctor-recommended calcium-supplement chew. The individually wrapped chews come in Milk Chocolate and Caramel flavors. The product's important nutrients include calcium essential to bone strength, vitamin D necessary for bones to absorb calcium, and vitamin K that works together with vitamin D for optimal calcium absorption and bone density, according to the company.

Adora Calcium Supplements

Adora Calcium Supplements

Adora Calcium Supplements (from Connecticut-based Thompson Brands) were introduced in 2006 and designed so that “two delicious disks a day provide 100% of the daily value of calcium,” according to the company. The rich, decadent chocolate formulation is made with only organic dark and milk chocolate from Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa and contains vitamin D3 for improved calcium absorption.