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Functional Beverages & Supplements

Modern consumers are increasingly excited by the functional food and drink industry, and it’s becoming one of the most popular and innovative sectors of the beverage industry. 

Supplement drinks and functional beverages are formulated to provide the consumer with added health or wellness benefits. These beverages can take on any number of forms from gut-healthy kombucha, brain-powering mushroom coffee, or collagen water to make your skin glow. Today’s beverage creators are asking what more their drinks can do for their customers. 

Categorizing 

Often these types of beverages fit into two categories in the US: standard beverage or supplement beverage. The differences between what makes a beverage vs. a supplement can be a bit complicated, but the guidelines set out by the FDA indicate that there are several factors that play into whether a drink is classified as a supplement or  a beverage, including:  

  • labeling and advertising, 
  • product name, 
  • product packaging, 
  • serving size recommended daily intake, 
  • recommendations and directions for use, 
  • marketing practices, and ingredients 

Supplements and functional beverages are both popular categories in the beverage industry, but neither is without their challenges. Functional beverages that are not classified as supplements are not always allowed to make health claims on their packaging. Brands who market more popular beverages, like kombucha, can generally get around this as long as there is enough consumer awareness of the general health claims of the beverage category. 

Supplements are generally subject to less stringent guidelines than food and beverage, but every batch of finished product must be tested in order to verify supplement facts label amounts, which can cost time and money.