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JERSEY CITY, N.J. — So many options, so little time to grab and go. The row of cold vault doors is crazy long and consumers don’t have all day to read every label on every soft drink, juice box and bottled water offering. For retailers in the convenience channel, navigating through all the healthy options in beverages is not an easy task either. Where do you start?
You start with the trends, as evidenced by three cool products that were winners in last year’s Convenience Store News Best New Products Awards competition.
Elmhurst Naturals and LALA Dairy have jumped on the healthy beverage trend in America. Their winning products are family-friendly alternatives to juice and soda. Both products illustrate how to make a healthy statement that resonates with today’s consumers.
Infused water has become both a lifestyle and convenience. Who ever thought of Banana Water? How funny is that name? But bananas are a superfood full of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
In addition to its original Banana Water — which won recognition in the bottled water category in the 2015 CSNews Best New Products Awards competition — Elmhurst has created Mango and Passion Fruit varieties. Following in the footsteps of coconut water, alternative water beverages like these and others serve as options for consumers looking for something new and healthy in a single-serve bottle.
The other big lifestyle trend now impacting the cold vault is the popularity of yogurt. A revolution is taking place as marketers invent new ways for people to consume this high-protein product.
LALA, the 2015 Best New Products Awards winner in the dairy products category, started with one yogurt drink and now has nine flavors, including Prune Cereal and Vanilla Almond.
“Our mission for LALA is to transform the dairy industry by creating new and wonderful ways to feed the body and soul, while aiding health and growth for all people — young and old,” the company said.
Yet another product gaining buzz in the cold vault has been popular in ice cream parlors for years. Ready-to-drink, cold milkshakes are more popular and flavorful than ever, and the crazy combinations of flavors and ingredients keep getting funkier all the time.
Last year’s Best New Products Awards winner in the dairy beverages category was a high-quality shake from popular ice cream brand Coldstone Creamery. Called Milk Shakers and made by Steuben Foods, this premium line of ready-to-drink, indulgent shakes delivers a rich and creamy beverage in a convenient, on-the-go bottle. Coffee Caramel Dream, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Strawberry Swirl and Cake Batter are some of the decadent flavors available. These are not the lightest in calories, nor the healthiest, but they are oh so satisfying and high in protein.
I’ll keep reporting on more of the latest in convenience store products as the year goes on. There is a lot of new and exciting developments, so stay tuned. And don’t forget, our 2016 Best New Products Awards competition opens for entries in May. Keep following CSNews.com for announcements.