October 25, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

New year, new you? Discover the latest healthy drink trends

The new year is synonymous with new opportunities. A blank page upon which to set new intentions and objectives. A renewed impulse to eat and drink healthy after indulging in a festive December. And let’s be honest, after surviving 2020 with a global public health crisis, we can be excused if we’ve treated ourselves to a little extra sweetness or fizz to get through, what has been, a turbulent year to say the least.

Staying hydrated in 2021

COVID-19 has, among many things, halted socializing and brought all our unwind-time into our homes. With our usual routines in hiatus and restrictions imposed on our movements, many of us have consequently thrown our healthy living habits out of the window as we tried our best to find our footing in this strange “new normal”. If you are among the rare kind who, on the contrary, has begun making your own kombucha or launched video tutorials on juicing during lockdown – we salute you, wellness warriors!

But for the rest of us, in the wake of the pandemic, and with the promise of a new year round the corner, what better time to (re)focus on health and wellness – starting with how we stay hydrated.

With 79% of consumers planning to drink healthier, 2021 will all be as much about what’s in our drinks (proteins, adaptogens, plants) as what’s not in them (alcohol, sugar, artificial ingredients). Increasingly opting for no-to-low alcohol (ABV) and functional beverages, many people are adjusting their drinking habits, and swapping traditional sodas and juices for better-for-you, nutritious options.

So, whether you’re preparing for a Dry January – a month of alcohol abstinence, part of the “sober curious” movement, or interested in clean living, we’ve got you covered with 2021’s latest healthy drink trends.

Water with a twist

Water has never had so much flavor and sparkle. Whether it’s infused with natural botanical extracts, boosted with probiotics or other nutritional ingredients, sparkling water is getting tastier and trendier.

The global water market is expected to grow annually by 7.4% from 2020 to 2025, and part of the growth is attributed to these enhanced waters with their sugar-free, calorie-free, fruity herbal aromas which, ultimately, encourage rehydration.

So, whether you’re drinking Aura Bora’s herbal sparkling waters, Buxton’s green coffee bean extract mineral water, or making your own fruity mixture at home with a soda stream, H2O will be the way to go.

Immune fortifying beverages

Never have we been so health-conscious and intent on having a strong immune system – a growing interest which is also trickling into our drinks. With demand for vitamin and mineral supplements on the rise, beverages that support well-being using combined formulations promising multiple benefits are going to be top of the list in the new year.

Expect to see more functional beverages like Super DC or drink mixes reinforced with immune bolstering properties. Super-charged with a combination of vitamins, antioxidants, probiotics or plant-based components, these multi-ingredient wellness beverages, shots and dissolvable powders are set to boost our daily dose of vitamins and fortify our body’s natural defenses – taking natural vitamin juice to the next level.

Brain-boosting and relaxation ‘fuel’

Whether you find it hard to focus, manage stress, or struggle to relax and unwind before going to bed – help is on its way in the form of a new range of functional beverages promoting relaxation or mental clarity. That’s right, after an obsession with gut health inspiring a new generation of drinks – cue kombucha – it’s time to focus on brain health.

Drinks like Koios’ selection tapping into natural and nutritious ingredients that improve cognitive functions by using amino acids (L-theanine) or nootropics are tipped to be the next big thing. Much like CBD-infused ready-to-go beverages such as Trip’s lemon-juice and basil-infused sparkling drink or Calm Drinks cold brew coffee.

With one hundred drinks launched in 2020, the CBD beverage industry is expected to reach an estimated $1.4 billion by 2023. Fueled by rising stress, anxiety and depression, teas, coffees, tonics, seltzers and water infused with CBD are a booming market, and one that’s here to stay.

Alcoholic Kombucha

Kombucha – a fermented and slightly effervescent tea-based drink – is a firm favorite when it comes to healthy drinks. While non-alcoholic kombucha is not a new trend, an alcohol-enhanced variety is. Whether on draft, in cans or mixed into cocktails, hard kombucha is gaining momentum and expected to be runner-up to its non-alcoholic ‘cousin’, which has already topped the leaderboard as one of the fastest-growing beverages in the industry.

Low in alcohol content, hard kombucha of the likes of Kombrewcha or Boochcraft promise a balance between refreshing and revitalizing, without the morning-after headache. Cheers to that!

Spiked sodas

Light, revitalizing, low in sugar and calories, generally vegan and gluten-free, original blends, natural ingredients, and convenient – hard seltzers are an appealing choice for those looking for a ‘healthier’ and guilt-free drinking experience. Similar to hard kombucha, this spiked fizzy drink comes in a draft or mixer ready-to-drink format.

And you’re about to be spoilt for choice. It’s predicted that hard seltzer could be a $2.5 billion industry by 2021, and due to triple in size by 2023. Needless to say, the beer, wine and spirit businesses have all being eyeing this fast-growing new category and wasted no time to get in on the latest trend.

Whether you’re a beer drinker looking for an alternative – think Bud Light Lemonade, a spirit lover wanting something lighter – hint Cutwater Vodka, or a casual drinker after something low in alcohol content – introducing market leader White Claw, there’s something for everyone wanting to enjoy a ‘healthy’ drink without abstaining altogether.

Finding healthier ways to consume sodas, juices, and even alcohol will never be as easy as in 2021. With both physical and mental health support being front-of-mind, beverage companies are innovating to propose a growing array of functional drinks offering multiple health benefits. Combining essential ingredients (vitamins, proteins, nutrients) and more specialized add-ins (probiotics, CBD, adaptogens), this new generation of beverages will do more than just hydrate. From reducing stress, enhancing cognitive or physical performance, energizing or relaxing, supporting digestion, boosting moods or fortifying the immune system – the new year will all be about drinking with a purpose.

À votre santé!

About EHL Group

EHL Group encompasses a portfolio of specialized business units that deliver hospitality management education and innovation worldwide. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Group includes:

EHL Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893 with over 25,000 alumni worldwide and over 120 nationalities. EHL is the world’s first hospitality management school that provides undergraduate and graduate programs at its campuses in Lausanne, Singapore and Chur-Passugg, as well as online learning solutions. EHL is ranked n°1 by QS World University Rankings by subject and CEOWorld Magazine, and its gastronomic restaurant is the world’s only educational establishment to hold a Michelin Star.

EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality has been one of the leading hospitality management colleges for hotel specialists for 50 years. The school delivers Swiss-accredited federal diplomas of vocational education and training and of higher education in its 19th century spa-hotel in Chur-Passugg, Graubünden, to Swiss and international students from 20 countries.

EHL Advisory Services is the largest Swiss hospitality advisory company specializing in service culture implementation, business consulting, as well as the development and quality assurance of learning centers. EHL Advisory Services has offices in Lausanne, Beijing, Shanghai and New Delhi and has delivered mandates in more than 60 countries over the past 40 years.


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