Calories. Obesity. Sugar. Organic. All natural. Bottom line: consumers are looking for healthier options when choosing their beverages. This June, there is a trade show that will be held in Las Vegas to provide a stage for all things health and wellness in the beverage world—Healthy Beverage Expo. For the first time, this three-day trade show (from the 7th to the 9th) will be the destination for suppliers and buyers alike. Kim Jage, director of marketing and sales for Healthy Beverage Expo, organized by World Trade Media, which also produces the World Tea Expo (co-located with this event) and World Tea East (co-located with the Atlanta Foodservice Expo), talks to Beverage World about this much anticipated show.
BW: Who is the target audience?
JAGE: Those interested in leading the healthy beverage segment of the market, those who intend to profit from healthy beverages and those who intend to drive the marketplace. The specific audience for Healthy Beverage Expo includes manufacturers, beverage buyers, distributors, retailers, food service professionals, product developers, health practitioners, dietitians, and scientists.
BW: How many do you expect?
JAGE: Most shows launch with 30 or fewer exhibitors and have under 500 people in attendance. We will launch with nearly 100 exhibitors and 1,500 buyers—the “bigger” buyers already among them. Combined with World Tea Expo, the co-located event, we will showcase 300 exhibitors and host 4,000 buyers.
BW: What will attendees find?
JAGE: Attendees can expect a focused marketplace where they can sample a hundred new products, engage in cutting-edge education and network with key leaders and innovators.
BW: What trends are you seeing?
JAGE: More function in already functional beverages, better beverage sweeteners, healthy alcohol-based beverages, healthy beverages for the under-18 set, gastronomically seasoned beverages, and better RTD coffee beverages.
BW: Where is the most innovation?
JAGE: I see a slew of beverages containing fruits I never heard of. As a matter of fact, I need to [sit in on] “Super-fruits, Super-foods and Super-ingredients: Bringing Real ‘Health’ to “Healthy Beverages” moderated by Thor Harris, president of Percepture. Certainly, the adoption of High Pressure Processing (HPP) technology has changed the landscape, not only for manufacturers, but for lucky consumers like me as well. I am excited to watch the innovation happening in juice beverages.
BW: Why was the decision made to create this show?
JAGE: We realized there was a strong need. Consumers are demanding healthy beverages in the marketplace, and retail sales of these drinks—whether nutritional, functional or enhanced—are climbing. This segment of the industry needed its own community event.
The Real Raw Coconut
The Real Raw Coconut has been unprocessed other than being shaped to have a tea cup-like roundness and to have a pre-scored hole at the top designed for easy removal by the consumer who can then drink the coconut water straight from the nut. SRP$2.65.
The Define Bottle is a portable water bottle that has a lower chamber to hold fresh fruit so consumers can have naturally infused fruit water on the go. The bottle will officially debut at the show and comes in two versions: a BPA-free plastic bottle and a glass and bamboo bottle, which retail for about $29.99.
Tea’s Tea Latte
Ito En’s Tea’s Tea Latte is a guilt-free latte available in Black Tea and Matcha Tea, with zero grams of fat. Brewed with premium loose tea leaves and non-fat milk each bottle has 80 calories per serving. The company will also showcase its new Tea’s Tea Half & HALF in acerola cherry, a superfruit that is known to have more vitamin C than an orange—SRP: $1.99.
Real Water is an alkalized water that is created using patented technology. What makes this water different from other waters is that it can maintain its alkaline pH levels, notes Laurel Fee, VP of public relations. Alkalized water is believed to have health benefits and hydrates better than other, more acidic waters with a lower pH.
Kombucha meets soda in LIVE Soda, a 99 percent organic raw Kombucha that has the flavor of soda. Introduced nationally earlier this year, this beverage is designed to bridge the gap between kombucha drinkers and non-kombucha drinkers offering them something more palatable. “What we’ve done is we’ve tried to solve that problem by making kombuchas taste like sodas,” says Trevor Ross, founder and creator of LIVE Soda. Available in flavors such as Living Limon, Culture Cola, Revive Rootbeer and Dr. Better, LIVE Soda is sweetened with stevia and contains 60 calories per bottle. The brand has a retail price between $2.49 and $2.99, and a portion of profits are donated to cancer research in memory of Ross’ sister, Courtney Ross Dickson.
• Format: As tea is one of the healthiest beverages next to water, Healthy Beverage Expo is co-located with World Tea Expo, which also takes place June 7 - 9, 2013. Attendees registered for Healthy Beverage Expo can also experience the latest tea trends – hot or cold – at World Tea Expo.
• Education: The educational program—27 sessions—is designed to help retailers make the right beverage buying decisions, merchandise better and increase sales, while developers and C-level executives can find solutions in the “Executive & Technical Series,” where topics such as M&A activity, the use of specific ingredients, and sourcing are discussed.
• Keynote: Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert surveyed more than 110,000 consumers on beverage consumption habits, preferences, knowledge of healthy beverages and what’s most important to them. He’ll share the results of the study, along with his insights on the state of beverages, opportunities and the future.