This is a recurring series of posts based on new products we find in the marketplace that are fun, different and FLAVORFUL!
Man, oh man, this is a strange time to be alive. If you’re anything like me you’ve been balancing your time between family, doing dishes, working, doing dishes, trying to maintain your sanity, and somehow, more dishes. When the dreaded time comes to venture back to the grocery store to restock on essentials, I find myself noticing the items looking a bit sparse on the shelves. Of course the standard ones – paper products, meat, and eggs – always seem to be running low but I’ve noticed a few others looking less stocked. As you walk down the refrigerated beverage section or the health food aisle you’ll quickly notice the functional products donning claims of immunity, vitamin C, or general wellbeing are looking more scarce than normal.
During this time of uncertainty, its no surprise than many people have begun thinking about their diets and overall health in a more critical manner. They are worried about their physical and mental well being, often turning to foods and beverages to support their needs. While beverages by far lead this space, food products are doing their best to keep up. So what exactly is happening in this space especially during these unprecedented times?
When it comes to the world of Functionality, beverages pave the way. Lets’s check out what drinkable delights we stumbled upon this week.
Publix Ginseng & Honey Tea
This was delicious! That may have had something to do with the 27 g of sugar per serving, however, I thought it was interesting to see a store brand offer iced tea with something other than peach or lemon. The taste of ginseng itself was not detectable so the tea was just a sweeter version of standard iced tea with a touch of floral notes from the honey. If you are a sweet tea fan, don’t miss this one!
Alo Exposed – Aloe Vera + Honey
This hydrating beverage really stood out to me because of the name – EXPOSED. I don’t know about you but I am feeling exposed to a lot of things right now, with COVID 19 being the most obvious. The package reads “Our real aloe vera juice and pulp, harvested straight from the leaf, paired with a touch of honey inspires your body with a boost of positivity.” I’m all for anything positive right now.
This was another winner. The taste was sweet and clean however if texture gets to you, this might not be your beverage of choice. There are small chunks of aloe vera with each sip but I liked it. It was different and unusual. I recommend giving it a try if you’ve never enjoyed aloe water before.
Pukka Elderberry & Echinacea Tea
Individually wrapped tea bags create a fruity and herbal taste experience. Both main ingredients, commonly known to promote overall wellness, can be detected in the flavor. The echinacea is slightly bitter and herbal which is offset by the fruity floral elderberry. Perfect for a chilly afternoon or when you feel your body needing an extra boost to stay healthy.
Mother Kombucha Blue Rose
Blueberry and Elderberry flavored, this is a perfect example of an immunity beverage. Kombucha naturally has active cultures to help with gut health. Both elderberry and blueberry are commonly known to benefit the body in numerous ways. Anyone who has sampled kombucha knows there is a wide range of taste profiles. This one if refreshing and flavorful. Not too acidic or sour it was perfect for working outside on a warm afternoon.
Immunity Boosting Shots
Sol- ti Immuni-C
Shots aren’t new to the functional space however, they continue to grow in popularity. One (or two) large sips deliver a vitamin C packed boost to your day. This bright pink potion was slightly sour and tasted like a mixture of Flintstone vitamins and tart, powdery candy. Calling out organic raspberry and camu camu (known for its high content of certain nutrients and powerful plant compounds, including vitamin C). This herbal supplement is also keto, pale, vegan, and organic.
so good so you
Staying in line with the shot format we sampled two so good so you probiotic shots: Immunity and Longevity. Both had one million probiotic CFUs along with 97% and 93% cold-pressed juice respectively. The Immunity one has ginger, orange, honey, and cayenne. It is no joke. The cayenne comes in swinging boosted by a fresh ginger taste. The Longevity shot is better suited for those who can’t handle the heat. Turmeric orange honey and cinnamon make for a different kind of spice shot. The warm spices complement the honey and orange. I could drink more than one shot of this.
Amazing Grains Overnight Oats + Probiotics
Calling out 7g of protein per serving in addition to probiotics, ancient grains (quinoa and barley), fiber, and iron this breakfast option is designed to start your day off on the right path. Sadly, this product didn’t hit the spot for me. The creamy, fruity aroma wasn’t a match with the actual taste. Perhaps I added too much milk the night before, but the fruit and oats didn’t absorb all of the liquid properly so I found the bowl to be runny and the oats were a bit mushy.
NUT-rition Vitality Blend
Planters launched a new line of snacks called NUT-rition. With most functional products offered in a liquid format I was excited to see something in the snack aisle. I saw this particular variety and immediately inspected the package to find this blend has almonds, blueberries, peaches, pistachios, and a touch of salt. Simple and comprised of ingredients you are familiar with, this blend is positioned to give you healthy energy and nutrition your body needs. It was awesome! Crunchy, chewy, and the perfect balance of sweet and salty, I will definitely be picking this up again.
Pineapple Good Culture Cottage Cheese
This product is probably better suited for a conversation around gut health than immunity but, to me, there are some connections between the two so I picked this up. 17 g of protein and live and active cultures make this an ideal afternoon snack to fill you up and keep your stomach happy. The more I ate of this the better I liked it. The texture took some getting used to but I really enjoyed the fruity pineapple with the salty, creamy dairy. I also like how easy it would be to toss this in your bag in the morning for breakfast or to have with lunch.
Check back next month to see what items foodservice restaurants are bringing to the table!