2012 Wellness & Functional Beverages in the U.S.

2012 Wellness & Functional Beverages in the U.S.

Published: December 2012
Publisher: Beverage Marketing Corporation
Product ref: 155031
Pages: 318
Format: PDF
Delivery: By product vendor

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Examining marketing activities, trends and issues in this multi-faceted market, this report covers beverages aiming to aid health, quench thirst and provide specific benefits. It distinguishes between traditional and new-era wellness beverage types and covers all segments, including protein drinks and probiotics, antioxidant beverages, hydration beverages, dietary supplements, functional beverages, nutrient provision/meal replacement products, and beverages and supplements targeted to senior citizens. It also discusses the regulatory and commercial issues as well as the leading companies' strategies. NEW IN 2012: Includes expanded analysis of functional beverage classifications.

Report extract:

On more than one occasion, the FDA has signaled that it is taking a tougher stance on manufacturers that add herbal ingredients to foods and beverages - this despite the perception that the FDA lacks the funding and the staffing to undertake vigorous and sustained enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

  • In February 2000, the agency notified SoBe that labels of Lizard Blizzard went beyond allowable structure/function claims by carrying the message "loaded with nature's most powerful cold and flu fighters."
  • In April 2001, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) complained to the FDA about Hornell Brewing Company, a subsidiary of Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons, concerning Arizona Rx Memory Mind Elixir. The complaint centered on the use of ginkgo biloba, which, the BBB charged, has not been proven to improve memory in non-Alzheimer patients despite Hornell's description of the drink as "mind enhancing."
  • Hornell agreed to change the name to Rx Memory Herbal Elixir and to add the standard disclaimer that the product is not intended to cure, treat or prevent any disease.
  • In June 2001, the FDA sent letters to Odwalla (as well as to its subsidiary Fresh Samantha), US Mills and Hansen Natural Corporation stating that certain herbal ingredients used in some of their products had not been tested enough to warrant GRAS status. In other words, the FDA warned them to either conduct such tests or take the ingredients out of the products.
  • In December 2002, the FDA once again announced it would toughen enforcement of the DSHEA and take action against marketers making "false or misleading claims about dietary supplements." Between the time of the announcement and July 2003, the FDA had reportedly seized $9 million in product and issued 73 warning letters to companies making unsupported claims.
  • In December 2006, the FDA held a hearing on functional foods. At the hearing, Bruce Silverglade, Director of Legal Affairs for Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), called for health claims and structure/function claims to be based on "significant scientific agreement." He noted that "the market place is currently bloated with dubious 'functional' foods" such as "energy drinks, herbal medicines added beverages/tonics and snacks of low nutritional value." Silverglade added that the FDA should "crack down on unauthorized ingredients and claims."
  • In late 2009, the FDA rebuked Nestlé in relation to its Juicy Juice Brain Development, a juice targeted to one- to two-year-old kids containing DHA omega-3 fatty acid. The FDA cited Nestlé for trumpeting the drink's sugar content - which apparently is proscribed for beverages marketed to children under the age of two - as well as for making unsubstantiated claims about brain development.
  • In March 2011, Lifeway Foods received a warning letter from the FDA to stop making disease claims for its kefir products. The company said that most of the offending language was on its Website, which would be an easy fix.
  • The plaintiffs' bar has also gotten more active. In October 2011, MD Drinks, which is owned by Sunsweet Growers and markets the Function line of functional beverages, was sued in Los Angeles for "deceptive practices in misrepresenting the dietary benefits" of its Urban Detox SKU. Zico, which is minority-owned by Coca-Cola Company, also got slapped with a lawsuit on the grounds that its bottled products are labeled almost identically with its aseptic products despite the fact that the latter is not-from-concentrate while the former utilizes a from-concentrate formulation.


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Related research categories

By sector: Functional (in Soft drinks), General drinks

By market: United States (in North America)

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