Trend spotting: Holistic hydration a hit across demographics

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By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Protein Water hydration

'Holistic hydration' and 'hydration+' appeared as popular concepts across the Vitafoods tradeshow in Geneva earlier this month, with Arla Foods Ingredients and PharmaLinea offering dynamic options.

Speaking to NutraIngredients about Arla's new range of 'holistic hydration' clear whey protein drink concepts, Thomas Anderson, the firm's global head of sales, health and performance, said the firm aimed to tap into the growing audience of on-the-go protein consumers looking to gain multiple health benefits from products. 

"One of the things we’ve seen in recent years, especially since Covid, is sport nutrition going more mainstream as everybody wants to stay more healthy and as part of that process taste becomes more important," he said. “Also, it’s not enough to have one benefit—you want to have multiple benefits...when you are hydrating with water you want benefits on top of that.

“That’s what we are tapping into with these protein waters. There’s no taste of protein, and they have additional benefits.”

The team showcased a kiwi and mint protein water, a lemongrass flavour protein water with coffee berry for a natural energy boost—a solution Anderson argued could rival the likes of Red Bull—and a white peach hibiscus flavor protein water with added zinc, allowing for a range of functional claims.

“We’ve seen that clear whey has taken of,f and in our opinion this is the next generation of this trend," he added. 

Nutrition Integrated recently revealed Clear Whey Protein​ as a front runner in the protein market today, with the clear whey protein category experiencing a 12% increase in the number of products available in the 12 month period to December 2023.

Nick Morgan, managing director at Nutrition Integrated, noted that the category nets a wide audience thanks to the appealing, refreshing flavors available.


Meanwhile, PharmaLinea representatives noted a particular interest in its new >Your< Hydramin Sticks.

“Everyone is asking us about hydration," Matevž Ambrožič, the firm’s marketing and PR director, told NutraIngredients. "We knew it was a trend as we have been following it for some time, especially in the U.S., but I had no idea it would be so huge here."

He added that Liquid IV, the brand selling powdered electrolyte, vitamin and mineral stick sachets to add to water, is leading in this space, and there are many other similar products on that market.

Pharmalinea hydramin stick

"So we decided to come up with something a bit different, something sugar free,” he said.

He explained the reason most electrolyte drinks contain added sugar is that it improves absorption of the electrolytes, but as "no one wants sugar", PharmaLinea developed an electrolyte powder with added amino acid to boost absorption.

While hydration powders used to only be part of the supplement repertoire for athletes and perhaps the most serious weekend warriors, Ambrožič explained a growing number of brands want to play in this space and open up this sort of product to the mass market.

“There are so many life stages where this comes in to play—this is for the businessman, the gamer, the mum, for a hydration hit on a busy day.”

He added that many brands are interested in providing ‘hydration+’, meaning they want to create electrolyte powders with additional functional benefits.

“With this product, formulators can add a variety of additional active ingredients: a probiotic for gut health, B vitamins for energy or add more electrolytes for sports nutrition,” he said.

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