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Tapping Into the Power of Powdered Drink Mixes

Developers must understand the nuances of formulating powdered drink products, especially within the context of clean, natural labeling.

Consumers turn to powdered mixes for a variety of reasons, including convenience, pill fatigue and lowers costs.

“From our experience, consumers that choose powdered drink mixes over other delivery systems do so because of price and flexibility of use, such as [with] shakes and smoothies,” said Tom Hirschbeck, director of R&D-Powder Division at Nellson. “In addition, single serve formats are favorable as convenient, on-the go alternatives to RTDs [ready-to-drink] as a particular temperature does not need to be maintained.”

Additionally, powdered mixes offer reprieve for consumers who struggle with pills. “Many people have trouble swallowing pills, and much prefer to drink things instead,” said Robin Koon, executive vice president at Best Formulations. “Taste is a key factor that determines the palatability of this oral dosage form and patient compliance.”

Among the benefits to formulation, per Koon, is the larger payload offered by powdered mixes. “Powders can deliver a larger payload than that of other oral dosage forms (tablets, capsules, etc.),” he said. “So, powders work well when large dosage amounts are needed, such as protein-based or meal replacement formulas.”

The bestselling powders are those positioned for sports nutrition (e.g. weight gainers, workout drinks, etc.) and weight management (e.g. meal replacement, weight loss and weight gainers), according to Koon, who described beauty-from-within as an emerging area of innovation within the powdered mixes category. “Due to the larger dosage amounts required, it certainly easier to drink than swallowing multiple tablets or capsules.”

Per Wanda Jurlina, technical service manager, North America, CP Kelco, protein is among the most highly sought ingredients in the powdered drink mix category, which not only provides benefits to sports nutrition, but also supports satiety.

But today’s consumers aren’t satisfied with a simple “high protein” claim. “From there, you’re going to see people start making choices based on the types of proteins that are in products,” Jurlina said. “You’ve got the consumers who are going to be well aware of the benefits of a whey protein and are going to be specifically looking for that, [and] you’re going to have another group that’s going to be really focused on non-animal-based proteins; they’ll be looking at what they can get not only from soy, but from some of the newer protein sources, like pea, that we’re seeing on the market.”

For more information on powdered mix beverages, download INSIDER’s Powders Digital Magazine.

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