Matt Murray, a GreenAcres Market owner, defines “functional beverages” as those having additional vitamins and minerals added to the core product. “Think enhanced,” explains Matt. “Products that have become popular with consumers who are seeking ‘a quick-fix’ to address a certain health issue.” The functional market is being driven by both convenience and health, and if an enhanced product will boost energy and improve immunity, well, all the better!
Functional beverages, introduced on the market five years ago are the fastest growing sector of the functional food category. As we’ve seen a decline in soft drinks because of the sugar content and empty calories, the functional beverage market has risen to meet demand.
There’s nothing like consumer ingenuity; and many a runner, mountain climber and sports enthusiast has dived into a burgeoning “functional” market to produce the perfect all natural “pick-me-up” to improve performance. The reward has been a steady 20% growth in functional products which the inventor enjoys in an ever-expanding wave of consumer demand.
Forecasters see this trend in consumer choice gaining momentum, but GreenAcres buyers are seeing a much larger market in cold-pressed juices such as:
- Suja—made by grinding produce into a fine pulp, then applying thousands of pounds of pressure to the pulp extracting every ounce of juice that the fruit or vegetable has to give without heating it in the blades of a conventional juicer. This results in the consumer receiving the most nutritional value possible.
- Kombucha—a beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir,” having a rich anecdotal history of health benefits such as preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases. Made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria, Kombucha has recently been introduced to the West and embraced enthusiastically by customers at GreenAcres.
Other products we sell in our stores are: Rebbl drinks which can be fortified with turmeric and maca (medicinal herbs), and mushrooms (of the powerhouse healing fungi variety) which modern medicine is really taking a look at, as well as dairy products such as GoodBelly and Bio-K Plus which add a host of good bacteria to the gut to fight intestinal damage and inflammation.
Look at the Farmhouse Culture drinks that give energy and reduce inflammation. You’ve got to acquire a taste for vinegars, though, but if you want good gut health, you’ve got to give them a try.
You still have to watch the sugar content in functional beverages, but pure ingredients, liquid or whole, offer a step in the right direction!
Functional moves beyond beverages – look at coconut oil which can hydrate your hair and smooth your skin all with one product. Now that’s ‘function’!”