Man cannot live on water alone. Or at least man doesn’t seem to want to. So to meet consumer desires for variety, we now have more beverage options than ever before. The constant introduction of a multitude of healthy juices, specialty waters, and protein shakes is a trend in the beverage marketplace (and healthy food marketing) that’s showing no signs of slowing down. What’s different about these new entries versus the Gatorades and Vitamin Waters of the recent past? It’s not their flavor but their function. What specific thing can each drink do to better your health or your energy, or your overall lifestyle?

Here are some of my favorite recent brands. Take a peak at how they are positioning themselves into this fascinating and crowded category.

Health-Ade Kombucha:
There are many Kombuchas out there but Health-Ade is the only commercial Kombucha fermented in glass. It’s made the all-natural way and the brand touts itself as “The best tasting and highest quality kombucha you can buy.” It’s an approachable product but it also has subtle medicinal look in its design. So it’s for serious Kombucha drinkers. What can Kombucha do for you? It’s packed with probiotics and claims it can help with digestion, gut bacteria and even lower glucose levels. Brand Tagline: A bubbly Probiotic tea.  (check out our healthy food marketing article about Kombucha here)

Vrou: Former professional athletes created this drink and it’s all about functional hydration. This water claims to “Deliver what the body needs and strips out what it does not”. Vrou has six functions, Hydrate, Energize, Strengthen, Drink Clean, Defend, and Taste.. The brand is focused on athleticism and performance optimization. This happens to be one of my personal favorites. It is delicious and refreshing. Brand Tagline: Exceptional Flavor. Unrivaled Function.

Hint Water: Another flavored water in the sea of flavored waters. What is Hint about? Find out everything you could ever want to know about their story at These waters, flavored with fruit oils and essences were created for those of us who are bored with plain water but value health, who want to give up soda, and for anyone who doesn’t want sugar or artificial sweeteners in their beverage (lookout diet soda!). Hint Water is about drinking water, not sugar. And it actually tastes great! Brand Tagline: Drink Water, Not Sugar.

Guayaki: This relatively new beverage may have the most appealing benefits of all-“the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” Get me some of that! Yerba Mate has been popular in South America for centuries and Guayaki is now bringing it here. Yerba Mate has bee called “The Antioxidant Powerhouse”. And the companies mission is truly admirable: to steward and restore 200,000 acres of South American Atlantic rainforest and create over 1,000 living wage jobs by 2020. I’m definitely rooting for these guys. Brand Tagline: Come to Life with Guayaki.

So do these functional beverages actually do what they say they do?

They are sort of like supplements. If you believe they do, they do. And consumers are starting to believe. So much that they are willing to pay between $2-5 per bottle! That’s good healthy food marketing.

When it comes to beverages, consumers want to know "what's in it for them?"