Words like “light,” “portable” and “convenient” only begin to describe the appeal of powdered and tablet drink mixes hitting store shelves. Pioneered by companies like Alacer Corp., which in 1978 introduced its Emergen-C effervescent drink mix, the category today is sprinting into the mainstream as manufacturers like Kraft Foods, 4C and Jones Soda Co. race to be first to market with their own versions of energy-promoting mixes and tablets. “The era of ‘one size fits all’ in the beverage ...

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