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Long celebrated in Asia for its multiplicity of health benefits, green tea has received much attention in Western markets over recent years as consumers become increasingly concerned with overall health and wellness. However, “green” is not everyone’s cup of tea. To appeal to a broad range of consumers, beverage manufacturers in various segments have become more creative with their uses of green tea in beverage formulations. According to Mintel Global New Products (GNPD), global beverages incorporating green tea increased by more than 56% from 2004 to 2007, indicating that global interest in this antioxidant-rich ingredient is increasing.
To appeal to a broader audience of tea and non-tea drinkers alike, many manufacturers globally have formulated carbonated beverages with green tea extracts and flavoring to create unique hybrid offerings. Because green tea is light in flavor, it is an ideal accompaniment to an array of beverages, including soda, carbonated juice and sparkling water.
In Greece, Coca-Cola recently introduced Fanta Verdia, a new extension of the Fanta brand that is made with green apple juice and green tea extracts. Positioned as a healthier alternative to traditional Fanta drinks that are known for their high sugar content, Fanta Verdia is a slightly carbonated juice drink that is free of sodium and low in sugar.
In the United States, the Healthy Beverage Co. revamped its Steaz Green Tea Soda line with new and exotic flavors. Boasting an organic, vegan and fair trade-certified formulation, the Diet Steaz Sparkling Green Tea line is available in blueberry-pomegranate, orange, raspberry and black cherry flavors, all of which are infused with the natural goodness of green tea.