This month's rundown of the latest launches in the global drinks industry sees innovation in the coffee category continuing apace. In the UK, coffee has been given an aphrodisiac quality, while in Japan, instant coffee granules are being enhanced; both strategies will increase upscale potential. Meanwhile, functional benefits in drinks continue to evolve, from anti-aging to anti-foot fatigue.
In the UK, DeLonghi has launched the new DeLonghi Amore Del Caffe Aphrodisiac Coffee. According to the producer, the creation of the coffee involves roasting Indian Monsooned Malabar coffee beans before infusing them, while still warm, with an oyster essence from the seas of southeast Asia. The product is described as 'seductive' and is positioned in the super-premium bracket, with a price tag of almost GBP40. The oyster ingredient is novel in a coffee product, and while it is not the first in its category to carry an aphrodisiac claim, DeLonghi Amore Del Caffe is the first to make the brave leap of making the claim explicit through its branding.
An upgrade to instant coffee formulation in Japan, meanwhile, sees Nestle developing a new method to boost the flavor of one of its instant coffee products. The new production method used for Nescafe Komi Baisen Instant Coffee entails blending extracted coffee liquid with ground coffee particles, which is then freeze-dried to lock in a rich flavor and fine aroma. Two varieties, Deep Roast and Medium Roast, are available, which are offered in a range of packaging sizes and formats. Instant coffee often suffers from unfavorable comparisons with ground or espresso coffee in terms of flavor, and this launch from Nestle may be an attempt to counter such perceptions.
Over in the US, meanwhile, a new anti-aging beverage shows resveratrol making further headway as a functional ingredient in the drinks category. Produced and distributed by Cellutions, Modjo 4Life Anti Aging Matrix Dietary Supplement Beverage is a non-carbonated drink sold in Grape Pomegranate, Simply Citrus and Island Punch flavors, and is said to contain a combination of vitamins, powerful antioxidants, amino acids and electrolytes which purify the body and eradicate the free radicals allegedly responsible for the signs of aging and fatigue. This latest launch shows how resveratrol's popularity is continuing to rise, and suggests that the trend of drinks products tapping into the lucrative anti-aging market could continue.
Another unusual development in the functional drinks category comes courtesy of House Foods in Japan, with the launch of its new House Sasso Functional Drink. In this instance, however, it is the product's positioning which is the notable feature, as it is designed particularly for those whose work involves spending a significant amount of time on their feet. The product is designed to boost circulation and combat feelings of heavy-leggedness, and contains ingredients such as citrulline, cinnamon extract, vitamin B and potassium. Products designed specifically for the feet could make for an interesting niche in the functional drinks category.
Staying in Japan, Dydo Hyoketsu Purushari Fruit Flavored Drink, launched by DyDo Drinco in Japan, lists a number of different consumption alternatives which make it stand out from the crowd. The product is available in Japanese tangerine and apple varieties and contains 10% fruit juice. The manufacturer claims that the 'drink' changes its texture depending on temperature, and thus can be eaten like a sorbet if frozen and like a jelly if chilled. This could attract consumers who appreciate the extra versatility offered by a 'multipurpose' product.
Finally in the US, the new Rainforest Cola 100% Natural Antioxidant Soft Drink Acai Infused Cola is being promoted as an all-natural beverage which is low in calories and sugar. Launched by Rainforest Beverages, it is described as being made with a zero-calorie stevia sweetener. While many other acai-flavored beverages have been launched in recent times on the back of the berry's purported 'superfruit' benefits, it is the first time that the fruit has been associated with a cola drink. This could entice fans of more traditional soft drinks who are not accustomed to exotic or functional ingredients.