24 Oct 2023 — Private label manufacturer BeverageScouts won an innovation award for its Click4More shots at this year’s Anuga trade show. Available in three categories (Health, Energy and Party), these bottles allow for freshly mixed drinks by pressing the bottle’s cap to release micronutrients and plant extracts in the water.
Food Ingredients First discusses the new concept and potential future developments with Michael Heinzl, managing director of the company.
“Everything you usually buy is already mixed for quite some time,” says Heinzl. For example, classic energy drinks or health shots are mixed, filled, and stored on a shelf for months.
“The big advantage of our concept is that the functional ingredients are stored dry in the product, which means there is no degradation over time,” he explains. “You activate ingredients by clicking and freshly mixing the drink yourself, which is good for the flavor and quality of functional ingredients and provides a user experience.”
“Another advantage of this concept is that we don’t have to use preservatives or stabilizers because the ingredients are dry. That means that we have very clean ingredient lists containing only essential ingredients, especially in the health family.”
All products come in 85 ml bottles with a cap that contains 5.5 g of active ingredients.
Healthy product range
In the health category, Click4More offers shots for detox, immunity, multivitamins and sleep. Energy shots come in three versions: classic, yuzu/apple and blueberry. The party shots have a 15% alcohol level and cover three well-known flavors: gin tonic, cola whiskey and vodka lemon.
“We started with a wide range of applications,” says Heinzl. “We decided on an energy family, because the energy category is still growing. As healthy food is a big market, we also had to have that. The third approach was the party family because many young people drink shots on-the-go.”
All products come in 85 ml bottles with a cap that contains 5.5 g of active ingredients (Image credit: BeverageScouts).The product compositions were developed with global ingredient supplier Symrise and BeverageScouts’ development team. Heinzl explains that Symrise also provided advice on requirements and trends, for example, indicating that for health products, people commonly look for multivitamins.
“Now that winter is approaching, immunity is an important category, especially after COVID-19 everybody needs a strong immune system. Everybody is also looking for detoxifying ingredients,” he continues.
“The sleep wellness shot was a good addition to the other three because more and more people have issues falling asleep or sleeping well.”
The energy shots contain natural caffeine from coffee and guarana extract. Each bottle contains as much caffeine as two cans of a standard energy drink.
“In the energy category, caffeine is the main ingredient, but we always combine it with B vitamins and have different amino acids in every product. In the classic energy shot, we include taurine, using branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) such as glycine and L-carnitine with the other two,” details Heinzl.
In the health range, the products contain well-known ingredients, such as matcha tea powder and inulin dietary fiber in the detox shots. The sleep range includes melatonin and magnesium, both commonly used in sleep supplements.
“In immunity, we use hibiscus flower extract, red beet powder, acerola as a natural vitamin C source, vitamin D and zinc,” adds Heinzl.
The Click4More shots only use natural flavors and colors, explains Heinzl.
“We combine this with flavor compositions that match with the application. For example, in detox, we have apple, lime and cucumber, which is not one of the classic flavors.”
Classic energy drinks or health shots are mixed, filled, and stored on a shelf for months.Heinzl explains that the expertise of Symrise was vital for the caps’ dry ingredients, as most of the BeverageScouts’ current flavor suppliers work with liquid flavors and compounds.
“When using dry flavors, there is a much smaller range of available flavors. For example, our main supplier has around 25 different raspberry flavors in liquid form, but for dry ingredients, you probably have two or three raspberry flavors to choose from.”
Heinzl underscores that because the shots use dry ingredients that are mixed fresh, the products have a long shelf life. Especially for the product’s flavors, vitamins and other active ingredients, adding them as dry ingredients helps to maintain their quality and flavor profile.
The ten Click4More shots cover a wide range of categories, but the concept is not limited to these functions, explains Heinzl. “We might add another few down the line.”
“For example, there could be a kid’s drink or more health drinks for additional goals. We also discussed applications in the pharmacy industry where a tablet could be added to the cap. There will also be private label applications down the road.”