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Beverages Chill Out

By: Meredith Hollihan, Mintel
Posted: November 16, 2009

On average, consumers feel more overwhelmed today than they felt several years ago. The current recessionary economy has caused many to lose their jobs and be hit by a rapid succession of major declines in home and stock prices. These taxing events have resulted in a need for more remedies that help individuals cope with stress. Instead of depending on energy drinks to handle daily pressures, some now take an opposite approach to face their hardships—that is, with beverages claiming to calm and ease the mind. The calming trend’s increased prevalence within the drink sector certainly comes at a good time.

Drinking for Tranquility

A stiff cocktail used to be the beverage of choice to help “take the edge off.” Now individuals can choose from a variety of non-alcoholic drinks designed to soothe the mind and body in order to retreat from a stressful world. Though still somewhat niche, the calming attribute is gaining ground in the global beverage category as more manufacturers introduce drink products in various formats, featuring ingredients associated with relaxing properties. General convenience and affordability make beverages an ideal category to adopt calming functionality.

One of the first calming beverages to come to market is RelaxCo’s Blue Cow drink in the United States. The makers of Blue Cow maintain the relaxation drink can be consumed to face any type of situation that raises stress levels. Blue Cow houses a proprietary blend of ingredients to promote relaxation without drowsiness—chamomile, hops, passion flower, hawthorne berry, lemon balm and Suntheanine—a patented brand of the primary amino acid, L-theanine, found in green tea. Blue Cow does not contain caffeine, calories, carbohydrates or sugar.

Recently in the United States, iChill Beverages put a spin on the energy shot concept after providing consumers with an option to quickly calm their moods. The iChill Berry Flavor Relaxation Shot contains a range of mood-enhancing ingredients that include melatonin, Valerian root, rose hips and B-vitamins to relax the body and mind. The drink is free from sugar, carbohydrates and calories and retails in a single-serve 2-oz. shot-style bottle. This iChill Berry Relaxation Shot is one of the first shot-style beverages designed to instantly reduce stress. The shot directly targets stressed working individuals, as it reads “unwind from the grind” on-pack.

While working adults are the most likely demographic target for calming drinks, children have also been a point of focus among products asserting mood easing. Australia’s Balance Water Co. extended its beverage lineup with the launch of Balance Water for Children. Balance Water for Children is pure spring water that contains four subtly infused flower essences, each specifically selected with the kid consumer in mind. Black-Eyed Susan aids in focusing, concentration and energy control, Crowea eases children’s worries, Bush Fuchsia balances the brain’s left and right hemispheres, and Paw-Paw helps prevent feelings of being overwhelmed and also promotes healthy digestion.

More health studies revealing stress’s harmful side effects and toll on the body have surfaced, causing some to revaluate their daily habits and lifestyle choices. Relaxation drinks are one convenient means for helping consumers come to grips with a nerve-racking situation or deal with ongoing tension. In the coming months, this beverage segment can expect further expansion in products formulated with the latest botanical and herbal extracts proven to calm the senses.

Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracks new product launches, trends and innovations internationally. For more information, click here or call 1-312-932-0600.