GREENSBORO, NC – July 17, 2019 – To say that The Fresh Market’s new beverage offerings unveiling in all 161 stores this week have been carefully curated would be an understatement. Over the past three months, the specialty retailer made a bold goal of doubling the number of beverage offerings in-store, from the latest in cold brews, kombuchas, adaptogenics, and energy drinks, to truly clean label sparkling waters.
“The goal we had in mind was to make the beverage aisle like a craft beer experience,” said Dwight Richmond, The Fresh Market’s Director of Grocery. “Our approach was to take into account the latest trends – from functional beverages to non-alcoholic beer and wine inspired waters -- to provide our guests with a hip way to quench their thirst.”
As part of their curation strategy, the grocery team brought in close to 600 beverages and did four different cuttings over two weeks. More than 300 team members participated – being invited to taste and rate different beverages based on taste, functionality and innovativeness. The team then took this feedback, along with vendor suggestions, and industry data to create an extraordinary selection of beverage offerings.
Here are just a few of the many standouts and trends in each category:
Sparkling Waters are the New Alternative Sodas
More than 25 new brands of sparkling waters are being brought in. Some of the qualities the buyers looked for include truly natural flavors with transparent labeling, as well as being sustainably sourced.
- Nixie Sparkling Water from the founders of Late July Snacks, that is made with organic ingredients.
- Found Sparkling Water is an infused sparkling mineral water from Australia with cool down under flavors like Watermelon Basil and Elderflower.
- HyVIDA is the first hydrogen infused sparkling water.
- Pep Talk sparkling water was created by a mom who wanted a healthy alternative to soda. It contains 55 mg of caffeine from green coffee beans, has zero calories and comes in fun flavors like Pineapple Coconut and Tangerine Blackberry.
- Montane, a sparkling spring water, hails from the Blue Springs of Georgia and is made in small batches.
Then there are sustainably harvested waters which include:
- Asarasi, a new organic sparkling water sourced from maple trees.
- Richard’s Rainwater, gathered from 100% pure rainwater that never touches the ground.
- BANU Bamboo Water springs from the extract of bamboo leaves and purified water, sourced from a pristine forest in South China’s Fujian Mountain Range and available in flavors like Orange Blossom and Lotus Blossom.
Also debuting are the new The Fresh Market sparkling waters in flavors like Cucumber Melon to traditional citrus (Grapefruit, Lemon and Lime).
On Trend Mineral and Specialty Waters
From water infused with fulvic trace minerals, amino acids and electrolytes like BLK Mineral Waters, which turns it naturally dark in color, to honey-infused Blume Honey Water, a line of naturally energizing, hydrating waters made with sustainably sourced honey. Both of these waters are also from women-owned companies.
As a natural source of electrolytes, coconut, watermelon and aloe waters continue to grow in popularity. Beverages earning a spot on The Fresh Market shelves include:
- NOOMA, an organic sports drink with no added sugar, made with coconut water that provides electrolytes naturally, along with Harmless Harvest coconut water, Blue Monkey’s Sparkling Watermelon Juice, Sparkling Watermelon Ginger Lime and Sparkling Coconut Watermelon Water, and Lemoncoco, a premium, non-carbonated drink made with a blend of Sicilian lemon and coconut cream inspired from the streets of Rome.
- ALO, aloe waters in flavors like Original + Honey, Watermelon + Peach and Mangosteen + Mango will also make their debut.
Non-Alcoholic Beer and Wine Inspired Waters
A focus on health and wellness has driven the rise in non-alcoholic alternative beverages. The Fresh Market has two new, tasty options:
- H2OPS is a sparkling hop water brewed like a craft beer except it only contains hops. There are no yeasts, sugars or grains used in the process, so it has zero alcohol and zero calories. The result is a refreshing sparkling water with the subtle and complex flavors of grapefruit, lemon, lime, pine, blueberry, floral, mint and earthy spices…all from the hops.
- Napa Hills Vineyard Enriched Waters delivers the antioxidant benefits of one glass of red wine, without the calories, sugar or alcohol. Made with grape skin extracts and available in flavors like Cherry Rose, Peach Grigio and Lemon Chardonnay.
Keto, Iced and Cold Brewed Coffee Continues to Percolate
Innovation in the cold brewed coffee segment, along with craft and artisanal brands coming to market, have made this category explode with consumers. Here are some of the new entries coming into The Fresh Market:
- Snowing in Space, a Nitro cold-brewed coffee from Charlottesville made with locally roasted coffee, water and nitrogen.
- Groundwork Certified Organic Cold Brew Coffee is steeped a full 24 hours for optimal flavor and made without additives or preservatives.
- PicNik is a hip Austin-based company making “butter coffee” -- a keto-friendly blend of organic coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil.
- Califia Farms Iced and Cold Brew Coffee is a plant based cold brewed and iced coffees with almond and macadamia milk, that are also lower in sugar than traditional brands.
- Pop & Bottle Cold Brew Lattes and Matcha are all non-dairy, gluten and soy-free, created by two women originally from London who came to California and embraced a plant-based, healthy lifestyle.
Other brands of cold brews include Secret Squirrel, Big Watt Coffee, Slingshot, a local Raleigh, North Carolina brand of coffee sodas and cascara teas, Red Thread, La Colombe and Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Nitro Cold Brews.
This category has exploded as fitness enthusiasts look to get the most from their workouts and enhance their performance with a natural buzz of caffeine, antioxidants and electrolytes.
- Kill Cliff Ignite is a pre-workout drink that contains a blend of 150mg of natural caffeine, electrolytes and B-vitamins to support hydration and energy.
- Sambazon Amazon Energy is an antioxidant-rich Açaí berry organic energy drink containing yerba mate, green tea and guaraná.
- Matchabar Hustle, a sparkling energy drink containing matcha, a natural source of antioxidants, caffeine and L-Theanine.
- Hi-Ball Sparkling Energy Drink is made with organic ingredients, including guarana, ginseng and caffeine, along with B-vitamins.
- Temple is a supertonic containing adaptogenic herbs to help reduce stress and fatigue, combined with yerba mate, a natural source of caffeine.
- Metta Natural Awareness uses adaptogens herbs to help improve mental and physical performance without caffeine.
- Bing energy beverages got its following in Denver-area farmers markets and has since expanded to retail. Made with real black bing cherry juice, Asian ginseng, and containing five B-vitamins along with 100% daily value of Vitamin C.
- Sunshine, founded in Winston-Salem, NC (The Fresh Market’s home state), is a natural energy drink containing B-vitamins, electrolytes and caffeine in flavors like Blueberry Lemonade, Ginger Berry and Clementine Twist.
- Clean Cause Sparkling Yerba Mate: This Austin, TX based company puts 50% of profits towards helping individuals struggling with substance abuse addiction. It contains 30 calories per serving, naturally occurring caffeine, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Available in Blackberry, Lemon Lime and Peach.
Used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, adaptogens are herbs from plants that may help combat stress, anxiety and boost immunity.
- GT’s ALIVE Adaptogenic Tea is a sparkling drink with three adaptogenic mushrooms: reishi, chaga, turkey tail. Flavors include Pu-erh root, black lemon, cascara spice and maté mint.
- BOS Iced Tea, is made from rooibos, a plant native to South Africa and rich in antioxidants. Flavors include yuzu, pineapple coconut and peach.
- Mr. Mak’s GinBao is a traditional Chinese wellness drink. GinBao means ginger broth, and along with organic Asian ginseng, this beverage helps with digestion along with other adaptogenic benefits.
Sales of kombucha, a probiotic, fermented tea, have been growing double-digits, with new and niche players entering the category, as well as more established brands adding on-trend and seasonal flavors. The Fresh Market is bringing in 60 flavors of kombucha from the best-of-the-best brands, including:
- GT’s Enlightened: more than 10 different flavors, including on trend florals like lavender love, hibiscus ginger, and pink lady basil
- Holy Kombucha: hails from the Fort Worth, TX area and comes in flavors like prickly pear and moondance
- HUMM: An Oregon based company (with a first-in-the nation taproom in Bend, OR) known for their bright, citrusy flavors like hopped grapefruit and coconut lime
- Kevita: Founded by an organic winemaker and holistic nutritionist, Kevita is fermented and bottled in Ventura, CA. The Fresh Market carries both their Master Brew Kombucha and Sparkling Probiotics made with a water kefir culture.
- Buchi: A craft brewed organic kombucha made in Asheville, NC in flavors like Fire, Water and Sovereign
- Buddha’s Brew: An Austin based kombucha brewer with delicious flavors like French vanilla crème and peach mint.
- Kombucha 221BC: A Sarasota, Fl based kombucha in flavors like Mint Matcha Honey and Moringa Lavender
- Big Easy Bucha: A New Orleans based family owned and operated brand made with regionally-sourced and organic ingredients like magnolia blossoms.
- Tribucha: Hails from Cary, North Carolina, this artisanal brew comes in flavors like Brainiac (rosemary and sage) or Controlled Burn (ginger, turmeric and cayenne).
- Brew Dr.: From the founder of Portland based Townshend’s Tea Company, made with raw, organic ingredients in flavors like Vanilla Oak and Strawberry Basil.
- Health-Ade: Started by a husband, wife and best friend team in Los Angeles, this is a small-batch kombucha in flavors like Blood Orange Carrot Ginger and Jalapeno Kiwi Cucumber.
- Rowdy Mermaid: A caffeine-free based kombucha hailing from Boulder, CO using fresh herbs, plants and flowers.
Protein Drinks and Herbal Elixirs
The latest in plant protein-based energy drinks taste so indulgent they are positioned as a healthy alternative to dessert, a pick-me-up between meals, or pre- or post- gym boost.
- Rebbl: Billed as a super herb elixir, their protein drinks are made with coconut milk, 12 - 16 grams plant protein, 11 grams fiber and a blend of maca, ashwagandha and reishi extracts. The elixirs contain the same blend of herbal extracts, along with digestive wellness herbs like turmeric and ginger.
- Koia: A keto-friendly beverage in indulgent flavors like Chocolate Brownie and Cake Batter with a coconut milk base, 12 grams of plant protein, 14 g MCT oil, and 0g added sugar.
- KIITO: KiiTO drinks are free from added sugar and contain 20 g plant protein and come in three “superfood”-based flavors: Vanilla Ashwagandha, Chocolate Maca and Matcha Moringa.
- Remedy Organics: a line of almond milk beverages with 12 g protein, MCT oil, adaptogens like maca and ashwagandha, herbs and prebiotics.
Made with organic raw apple cider vinegar, ginger and maple syrup, switchels originated in the mountains of Vermont hundreds of years ago. Brands like Up Mountain are reviving this beverage as an alternative to tea and kombucha. The Fresh Market also features other brands like Switchle from the UK and Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Drink.
Specialty Soda and Lemonades
The Fresh Market is the first retailer in the country bringing these specialty sparkling drinks and sodas from across the pond, like UK based Bottle Green Sparkling and Dalston’s specialty soda with nothing artificial and 1/3 less sugar.
There are also exquisite artisanal French lemonades like Rieme, and Elixia, along with lemonades for a cause, like Me & the Bees flaxseed and honey with a portion of profits going to organizations that help honeybees.
Locally made Charleston, SC craft soda, Cannonborough is billed as the next generation of soda makers with a culinary-focus in mind. They’ve replaced artificial ingredients with fresh produce and natural sweeteners like Honey Basil and Raspberry Mint.
“You would be hard pressed to find as diverse a specialty beverage offering as The Fresh Market’s,” said Richmond. “Not only is our goal making everyday eating extraordinary, but also offering our guests unique options in thirst-quenching refreshment.”