Barry Callebaut, a manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, is introducing a nutraceutical fruit drink made with the cacaofruit itself, called Elix.
The new beverage has a zesty, fruity flavor that claims to promote circulatory health. In addition, the company created a product that keeps all the nutrients of the cacaofruit intact in order to provide the consumer with a nutraceutical beverage.
According to the company’s press release, cacaofruit naturally contains flavanols to optimize blood flow around the body. Cacaofruit is also a good source of iron, magnesium and potassium.
Elix upcycles the whole cacaofruit creating a positive impact on the planet. Additionally, the drink provides health benefits to the consumer. In combination with other herbs and fruits, the drink will explore a wide range of flavors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated consumers’ interest in their own health as well as in the health of their environment. The introduction of this new category of nutraceutical fruit drinks is another proof point of how Barry Callebaut, through its innovation capabilities and its profound knowledge of the cacaofruit, is able to cater to evolving consumer trends,” said Peter Boone, the CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group.
The company targets those in the Generation X age group who believe they need to “nurture their nature.” COVID-19 accelerated the interest in healthy living and nutraceutical beverages. Gen X are people born between the mid-1960s to the early 1980s. As they get older, they believe that they need to look for whole foods that are scientifically proven to keep them healthy and strong.
According to Nature’s Path Foods, cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk and it is densely packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. Consuming it may also benefit mental health and help with depression, stress, blood pressure, and heart health issues.
The seed of the cacaofruit is one of the most complex foods and has almost 20,000 different compounds. As a result, the company took 15 years to create the Elix product, going through a vigorous R&D process, which also studied data from 100 human clinical studies looking into the health effects of the cacaofruit flavanols.
Nutraceutical vs. Functional Beverages
Unlike functional drinks, where the market was expected to reach $93 billion in 2019 and have a CAGR of 6.1 percent, the nutraceutical market is larger and was valued at $417 billion in 2020 with a predicted CAGR of 8.9 between 2020 and 2028.
According to Fior Markets, the functional beverage market is expected to reach $216 billion by 2028. This category includes probiotic drinks, energy drinks, fruit and vegetable juices, rehydration solutions, fortified water, dairy beverages and more.
The report also states that besides healthier beverages being a trend, being an active consumer taking part in gym activities and fitness training is also a growing trend within the millennial generation, which further influences their food purchasing habits.
A functional beverage can be defined as a liquid that keeps the body hydrated while providing nutritional benefits. Moreover, this category overlaps the plant-based trend as many functional beverages also cater to that market, making it popular in various fields.
On the other hand, nutraceuticals refer to specific foods that offer health benefits and nutrition by using the whole foods rather than modifying them. Moreover, this category has been gaining significant interest in recent years because consuming nutraceutical products may help prevent diseases.