7 Intriguing New Beverages

As a primary driver of gross profits, packaged beverages carry a lot of weight in convenience stores, and there seems to be no end to the variety of innovation aimed at the cold vault.

In the hydration and workout recovery category, Powerade in January expanded its product platforms for the first time in over a decade with two new zero-sugar innovations, plus a new packaging design.

“We’re responding to the shifting demands of the sports drink category with innovations that deliver on sports drink users’ demands for zero sugar and a range of hydration solutions for broadening sweat occasions,” said Shane Grant, president of Coca-Cola North America stills business unit. “The definition of sports and athletes are constantly evolving. Hydration needs are no longer limited to traditional sports, and we are moving with this consumer trend.”

Meanwhile, in a licensing agreement, Jacksonville, Ore.-based Joffer Beverage Co. is bringing the iconic flavors of Jelly Belly jelly beans to flavored sparkling water. “We were on the back patio, drinking a couple of the more popular sparkling water brands, when I said, ‘If only someone could nail a sparkling water with really stand-out flavors,’ ” said Stephen Joffer, a co-founder of Joffer Beverage. “The light bulb came on when my dad suggested (deploying) our own Jelly Belly flavors. We are known for flavor innovation, after all.”

From there, five Jelly Belly Candy Co. family members banded together to start Joffer Beverage Co.

And there’s much more. Read ahead for more on those rollouts and a snapshot of five other drink innovations arriving to market.

Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Powerade

Coca-Cola Co.’s Powerade began the year with the launch of new packaging inspired by its proprietary Powerade Ion4 Advanced Electrolyte System, followed by the January rollout of Powerade Ultra, an innovation for the sports drink category that includes creatine, branched-chain amino acids, vitamins B3, B6 and B12 and 50% more Ion4 electrolytes compared to original Powerade. In mid-February, Powerade Power Water brought an Ion4 electrolyte and B vitamin-enhanced sports water to the water aisle.

Photograph courtesy of Powerade​

2. Jelly Belly Sparkling Water

Joffer Beverage’s launch of Jelly Belly Sparkling Water includes eight flavors: French Vanilla, Lemon Lime, Orange Sherbet, Pina Colada, Pink Grapefruit, Tangerine, Very Cherry and Watermelon flavors. Each has only two ingredients: carbonated water and natural flavors with zero sugar, zero calories and zero sweeteners. Jelly Belly Sparkling Water will be available in cartons of eight 12-ounce cans.

Photograph courtesy of Joffer Beverages​

3. Ocean Spray

A first-of-its kind hybrid drink that blends real fruit juice with cold-brew coffee, Ocean Spray Brew from Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. debuts in two flavors: Cranberry Lemonade With Cold Brew Coffee and Cranberry Blueberry With Cold Brew Coffee. Brew features 100% Colombian Coffee, with each 8-ounce serving containing 40 mg of naturally sourced caffeine from green coffee beans, equal to one half-cup of coffee. “Consumers are looking for natural ways to increase their energy, and Ocean Spray Brew provides an option to reap other health benefits while having their caffeine. We’re bringing together the benefits of both health and energy in a delicious and innovative way,” said Rizal Hamdallah, chief global innovation officer for Ocean Spray.

Photograph courtesy of Ocean Spray​

4. Mountain Dew

Built on a formulation intended to preserve the taste of the original brand, Mountain Dew from PepsiCo Inc. introduced Mountain Dew Zero Sugar, offering the charge and flavor of Mountain Dew but containing no sugar. Mountain Dew Zero Sugar is available in 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles, 12-packs of 12-ounce cans and a variety of other single and multipack sizes.

Photograph courtesy of Mountain Dew​

5. Gruvi

Gruvi is line of craft nonalcohol beers and wines. The line includes an IPA brewed with citra, galaxy and mosaic hops; a nonalcohol sour that is a classic take on the Berliner Weisse wheat beer from Germany; and a prosecco that is gluten- and sulfite-free. Gruvi offerings contain as little as 26 calories per serving.

Photograph courtesy of Gruvi​

6. Pepsi Cafe

PepsiCo Inc. is appealing to both cola and coffee drinkers with Pepsi Cafe, a blend of flavorful coffee with the crisp taste of cola, according to the company. Launching in April 2020 and available in Original and Vanilla flavors, Pepsi Cafe is made with roasted Arabica coffee, containing nearly double the caffeine of a regular Pepsi-branded cola. Available in 12-ounce slim cans, Pepsi Cafe Original offers sweet caramel undertones of a Pepsi, while Pepsi Cafe Vanilla presents a refreshing twist on indulgent vanilla flavor, the company said.

Photograph courtesy of PepsiCo​

7. Sated

Building on Sated’s mix-it-yourself version, Sated Meal Drink from Keto and Co. is the first nutritionally complete ketogenic meal in a bottle on the market, the company said. Available in naturally sweetened Chocolate and Vanilla flavors, Sated Meal Drink contains all the nutrition of a balanced meal that keeps users fuller for a longer duration, the company said.

Photograph courtesy of Sated​