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The Power of Powders

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To be sure, the era of "one size fits all" in the beverage industry is long gone. Some recent product introductions aren't even liquid. They're energy-promoting mixes and tablets.

jones.jpgAmong the newcomers: Jones Soda is in Whole Foods Market stores with 24c, a line of vitamin-enhanced powder drink mixes. Veteran mix companies are also present: 4C has introduced Totally Light 2Go Vitamin Stix; and Kraft’s Crystal Light has added three new varieties to its On The Go Enhanced line introduced last year.

“Traditionally people would buy powdered beverages for their value over ready-to-drink, because they provided the consumer with more beverage on a per-ounce basis at a much lower cost,” said Gary Hemphill, managing director of Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York-based consulting firm.

You know what? He right! It's just not childhood without summers guzzling Kool-Aid and ice tea mixes. That's why parents hate rainy days. All that sugar and nowhere to run it off...

Now, health and wellness is the single most important driver in terms of beverage choice. All these products share a functional aspect, and they also emphasize their convenience and portability. The tubes, tablets and powders are all designed to be carried in a pocket or knapsack until needed, and then added to bottled water.

What's timely is that, given the ongoing debate over plastic bottle waste, the powder sachets reduce the need to repeatedly purchase ready-to-drink performance beverages, and therefore, reduce bottle trash. Pretty neat.

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