With more and more people around the world taking charge of their health and well-being, Joanne Ma from Naturally Good looks at the thriving natural health beverages sector. This artic e was first published in Food & Drink Business April 2021.
The global natural health beverages sector is now worth more than $20 billion with an average 5.5 per cent annual growth rate. In years to come, it is expected the market will continue to expand given the heightened emphasis on health due to shifting attitudes and the impact of COVID-19.
“Traditional sodas, juices and alcohol are no longer the sole players in the market both here and abroad,” Lynn Ormiston, commercial and digital innovation manager for Naturally Good says.
“Many consumers nowadays are more health conscious – particularly millennials – so they’re keen to try new and different alternatives to the usual refreshment offerings.”
Packing a punch
Functional beverages such as vitamin infused waters, kombucha, plant-based waters, low-carb drinks and nutritional tonics have all gained popularity. Consumers are looking for more ways to pack vitamins and nutrients into their bodies, and drinks are quick and easy to consume.
Ormiston explains, “Customers are prepared to pay more for high quality ingredients and are also increasingly swayed if the product has a strong ethos, has solid research behind it and has been produced sustainably.
“As there are a lot of products in this space, store owners and retailers in particular, really need to educate themselves on what’s currently trending with natural beverages so they can offer customers more variety.”
No more hangovers
When Brian Forster-Jones, Elliot Khan and Michael Ellis embarked on a trip to WA’s wine region Margaret River three years ago, little did they know they’d have an idea for a natural health beverage by the end of the holiday.
Michael mentioned a CSIRO study he’d read about Korean pears and how they could help reduce the effects of a hangover if consumed before alcohol. Curious to see it if was true, the group ate three Korean pears each before drinking each night.
“It really worked – we felt so good the next day and were all snorkelling by 9am!” said managing director Brian Forster-Jones. “We kept doing this every night and just knew that we had to make a hangover drink out of Korean pears.”
The trio, along with another friend Sami Chaudhary, started researching and came up with Prepear (No Rough Mornings) – a 330 millilitres juice containing Korean pear and Japanese raisin – which is consumed 30 minutes before alcohol for maximum effect.
Forster-Jones, said studies show that consuming at least 220 millilitres of juice from Korean pears priors to drinking alcohol can help reduce hangover effects such as lethargy and headaches the next day. Phenolic acids in Korean pears act on the livers key enzymes to speed up alcohol metabolism and the elimination or inhibition of alcohol absorption.
The compound Dihydromyricetin (DHM) in Japanese raisin also boosts the efficiency of enzymes to convert ethanol into simpler forms, which the body can then eliminate easier.
“We researched the formulation with the help of some experts and started marketing as soon as the product and website was ready.
“We conducted social media marketing and also had assistance from the Griffin Accelerator – a three-month intensive coaching, mentoring and funding program for selected ACT businesses, as we are all originally from Canberra.
“We’re thrilled that Prepear sold well throughout 2020 through our website, no doubt helped a bit by the fact that alcohol sales were strong throughout COVID. Our product probably helped people get through as well!”
Having recently revamped the product’s packaging, the beverage, which is Australian-made and sustainably packaged, is now sold online through liquor giant Dan Murphy’s. “That’s been huge for us, and we’re now hoping to get into more retail stores by the end of the year,” he says.
Naturally Good run an annual expo for the natural health market. This year it is being held at Sydney’s ICC on 30-31 May.
Message in a bottle
Prepear (No Rough Mornings) juice
Key properties of Korean Pear and Japanese raisin help keep a hangover at bay and reduce inflammatory agents called cytokines. Excessive alcohol releases cytokines in the liver, contributing to cellular damage.
Before You Speak
The OG 4.5g Colombian coffee sachets deliver a caffeine hit and different nutrient blends. The OG contains MCT oil, ginseng, turmeric, black pepper and stevia leaf. There’s also a collagen coffee and thermogenic variety.
Kunitara Roobibos Tea
Japanese company Kunitara has a range of wellness teas featuring Roobibos – a South African bush, which is a caffeine-free alternative to black and green tea. It claims Roobibos antioxidants can protect against various diseases.
Hemp Oz – Kombucha and assorted flavours
As Australia’s first hemp kombucha, hemp is rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins. Each 330ml brew is said to control blood sugar levels, improve gut health and boost immunity with the addition of a live culture.
The Natural Edge – Fulvic Acid tonic
Fulvic acid comes from humic substances and is a rich source of natural minerals and nutrients. The tonic is rigorously tested, with low sodium and a high degree of purity.
Shojo – Red Ginseng Tonic and Tumeric Tonic
Named after a mythical Japanese sea spirit, these 100ml drinks contain a mix of minerals, vitamins and superfood juices to decrease inflammation, increase energy and brain function.
Fermio – PT Molecure
With 66 plant-based ingredients in each 50ml bottle, the triple fermenting process is said to ensure maximum absorption of nutrients and a gentle cleanse.
Dr V – Brain Storm
Developed by doctors and naturopaths, each 300ml contains wild Siberian herbs and berries used for centuries in Europe for focus and energy.
Famous Soda Co
These guilt-free sodas are 100 per cent Australian made and have only 33kj per 330ml, with no carbs or sugar and just 1mg of sodium. Other flavours include blood orange, passionfruit lemon, ginger beer and cola.