Drinking it in

Beverages were flowing throughout the 2012 NACS Show in Las Vegas, setting new trends and delivering exciting new flavors.

This year’s National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show reached near-record heights, drawing more than 24,000 attendees. “Our record numbers reaffirm the value the NACS Show delivers to our industry,” said NACS vice chairman of convention Pat Lewis. One of the stars of the show was the functional beverage sub-segment, which includes everything from enhanced waters to anti-hangover drinks. These offerings are gradually finding their way into the mainstream and many grocers have begun to take notice. Below is a sampling of what just some of the beverage exhibitors had to offer retailers.

Use the Old Nawgan
Fresh on the heels of its designation as a 2012 Beverage World Breakout Brand, mental-focus-enhancing Nawgan has been opening up new markets across the U.S. “We’ve been growing very rapidly over the last 12 months with distribution now in Arizona and Florida and we’re getting into the Northeast and also beginning some distribution in California,” said Rob Paul,  the St. Louis-based company’s founder and chief science officer. The company also unveiled several flavors, including a zero-calorie lemonade. Other flavors include Strawberry Kiwi, Red Berry and Mandarin Orange. All are powered with Cognizin citicoline, which the company says studies have shown to improve attention when consumed daily.  “We’re looking forward to continued growth throughout the nation,” Paul added, “and really bringing this great quality science to consumers.” www.nawgan.com.

Sparring partners
One of Beverage World’s 2011 Breakout Brands, Xyience Xenergy has been enjoying some solid momentum of late. Last year the brand cracked the list of top 20 energy drinks across retail channels, based on SymphonyIRI data, with nearly $40 million in sales for 2011 and growth of close to 43%. At NACS the brand, which is the official energy drink of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), showcased a trio of new hybrid product formats: Xenergy + Tea, Xenergy + Hydration and Xenergy + Lemonade. “Each of the products has two flavors in them and what makes them consistent with the Xyience Xenergy is the fact that they have zero sugar and zero calories,” said Las Vegas-based Xyience president John Lennon. “At their very core they’re still an energy drink, but we’ve now blended energy with a tea product, a hydration product and a lemonade product. We’re very excited about these new product offerings because the notion of mixing an energy drink with other beverage formats was a fantastic idea.” www.xyience.com.

Coo-coo for coconut
Modjo put the Lemon Lime in the coconut—as well as many other flavors—in its line of coconut water-based sports drink. Fortified with sea salt, Modjo’s Hydrate Elite is made will all-natural ingredients and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The multi-award-winning beverage is available in four flavors— Artic Crush, Island Punch, Lemon Lime Ice and Orange Rush—in 20- and 32-ounce bottles with a suggested retail price of $1.79 and $2.79, respectively.

“We are right in the middle of the market, an affordable alternative to coconut water,” said Victor Diaz, president and founder of Sunrise, Fla.-based Cellutions, maker of the Modjo brand. “Coconut water is polarizing; people either love it or hate it. This is a smooth taste with nothing artificial.”

Maintaining momentum is the brand’s defense line Modjo forLIFE. The health and wellness beverages come in four varieties that aim to support Immunity (Citrus Burst), Age (Grape Pomegranate), Heart (Island Punch) and Weight (Lemonade & Green Tea). The suggested retail price is $2.99 for a 10.5-ounce bottle. www.modjolife.com.

Life-saving energy
Pink Lemonade is the flavor of the month for 5-Hour Energy. Introduced in October in support of the Avon Breast Cancer Foundation, the flavor sold out within the first week of the month.

“It has far exceeded our sales goals; everyone loves the flavor,” Jill Blair-Turner, director of retail activation, told Grocery Headquarters. “The breast cancer crusade inspired Pink Lemonade and the pink packaging definitely appeals more to women.”

Some big names are standing behind the cause, added Blair-Turner, such as NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer. Bowyer wore pink and drove a pink car for three races in support of the Avon Breast Cancer Foundation and to bring attention to the 5-Hour Energy flavor. The Farmington Hills, Mich.-based company will also be participating in Avon charity walks. www.5hourenergy.com.

Taking flight
Red Bull is expanding its wings. Packed with the same ingredients as the original Red Bull, three new Red Bull Editions will offer fruity alternatives in a new can design that highlights the individual flavors and color of the liquid. Red Bull Red Edition has a cranberry flavor and comes in a red can, Red Bull Silver Edition is a lime version of the original in a silver can and Red Bull Blue Edition has a fruity blueberry flavor and comes in a blue can.

The new Red Bull Editions offer a taste for every palate, while delivering the identical functional benefits and energy of Red Bull as they contain the same ingredients, say officials for the Santa Monica, Calif-based company.

The 8.4-ounce single cans, as well as the 8.4-ounce 4-packs, are priced in line with the original energy drink, the sugar-free variety and Total Zero. www.redbullusa.com.

Keep on adding on
Officials at Coca-Cola never seem to take a break from introducing products to the marketplace. The Atlanta-based company was aggressively promoting a number of items at the NACS show.

They announced that is expanding its line-up with the introduction of a collection of teas and juice drinks. The new line-up features a blend of natural flavors and offers consumers a source of vitamins B6 and B12, company officials say. The 1-liter packages are available in five varieties: Lemon Iced Tea, Honey & Ginseng Green Tea, Half Iced Tea Half Lemonade, Berry Punch Juice Drink and Strawberry Juice Drink.

Also, Coca-Cola is launching the NOS Active Energy drink, a non-carbonated drink that contains caffeine from natural sources, vitamins B6 and B12 and electrolytes. It is available in three flavors—acai-blueberry-pomegranate, raspberry lemonade and fruit punch—each 22 fluid-ounce bottle contains 20 calories.

Coca-Cola is distributing Core Power, a protein drink, in select markets. Core Power is a real milk protein drink made from low-fat, lactose-free milk and real honey. Its protein-to-carb ratio and nutrient-rich profile make it ideal for the last stage of every workout, company officials say. Flavors include chocolate, vanilla and honey, light chocolate and light strawberry banana. www.coca-colacompany.com.

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