Functional beverages infused with vitamins, herbs, and even protein can rev up your daily health quotient, or they can add unwanted sugar and other ingredients to your diet. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to get all the benefits from a functional beverage without the added stuff you don’t want? We think so, which is why we are excited about one of the healthiest functional beverages on the market today – the wellness tonic.
What is a Wellness Tonic?
A wellness tonic is a functional beverage product that gives consumers more of the ingredients they want. These are not just energy drinks in pretty packaging. They are specially formulated, with ingredients believed to improve everything from the digestive system to the immune system.
That makes a wellness tonic a great business opportunity in today’s $1.5 trillion wellness market and growing (at a swift rate of 5 to 10 percent per year). To get started, you’ll need to be familiar with common ingredients in wellness tonics on the market today. You’ll also need to know your competition. Then you can start researching how to formulate a wellness tonic of your own.
Top 5 Ingredients for a Wellness Tonic
Wellness is another word for health, but a wellness tonic is not like every other health drink on the shelves. These drinks are formulated to meet specific wellness needs from the immune system to the nervous system. That requires having the right ingredients at hand. The best way to find out what those ingredients are is to get back to nature.
Herbs, spices, leaves, and mushrooms are the most common ingredients in a wellness tonic today. And why not? They certainly come with good references. Ancient cultures have used these ingredients as traditional medicinals for centuries. Now these same ingredients have found their way into the US wellness tonic industry to be formulated into tasty, healthful drinks.
Here are 5 top wellness tonic ingredients on the market today that you might want to add into your own product.
Chaga is a black fungus traditionally used in tea that is now a favorite in the wellness tonic realm. Rock-like in appearance, this mushroom grows on the bark of birch trees in far northern latitudes like Northern Canada and Siberia. Studies have shown that the chaga mushroom has anti-inflammatory properties and may improve general wellness. Chaga is considered to have a somewhat bitter, vanilla taste.
California-based Black Magic Alchemy has put this far-north shroom to use in its Wild Harvested Chaga Mushroom Rootbeer Elixir – a chaga and herb blend that the company says is designed to improve focus, appearance, and “supercharge your immune system.” This isn’t a drink, exactly, but a tonic by the tablespoonful. Each serving can be added to tea, coffee, water, or another beverage for a chaga boost.
Turmeric + Ginger
When it comes to winning combinations, turmeric and ginger are the PB&J of the functional beverage world and basic ingredients in many of today’s wellness tonics. Turmeric and ginger are used to boost the immune system and may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties effective at relieving chronic pain, according to some studies.
If you are interested in starting a turmeric and ginger wellness tonic brand of your own, it may be a good time to check out the competition. One brand that caught our attention is Doctor Carleton’s Ginger and Turmeric Tonic. A mixture of filtered water and what the brand calls a “time-tested blend” of tart cherries, ginger puree, and turmeric puree, this tonic delivers a wallop of antioxidants in one 30-calorie serving. It also provides 4% of your daily value of iron at the same time.
Algae isn’t an herb or a spice, but this group of plant-like organisms does have nutrients. One of the most nutrient-rich algae on the planet is spirulina. This blue-green alga and popular wellness tonic ingredient is a powerful antioxidant that may help improve blood cholesterol levels in some individuals, according to some studies. It’s also a source of protein, riboflavin, iron, and copper, with decent amounts of potassium and magnesium to boot.
Looking for inspiration? Jajja is a Minnesota-based wellness tonic company that has made spirulina (and ginger!) the star of its Spirulina Ginger Tonic. Spirulina powder, juice, water, and organic cane sugar are combined by Jajja into a mixture that the company says “may promote detoxification, cell health, and anti-inflammation” – all at 100 calories per serving.
The Vitamin C-rich leaves and pods of the Moringa oleifera tree are typically eaten raw in the tree’s native lands of India and Nepal. But here in the US, moringa (as it’s commonly known) is widely sold in capsule form or as a powder. The selling point? Rich antioxidant properties that may improve cardiac health in some individuals.
One wellness tonic company that is putting moringa to use is Florida-based Juicera – a Florida-based company that uses the plant as a key ingredient in its Nutrient Dense Green Energizer. Cold-pressed with no added sugar or preservatives, the tonic is a good source of Vitamin A at 140% of the daily value in each 20-calorie serving.
Today Juicera is a growing brand known for its fruity ingredients and fresh packaging designed by Crème de Mint. Our design team added the brand’s tagline ‘made true for you’ specifically to remind customers of the brand’s whole food content and commitment to health.
Once you are familiar with various wellness tonic ingredients like moringa, why not get to work on your own wellness tonic formula? Experimenting at home allows you to create basic flavor profiles that you can hone later with a professional beverage formulator.
Work with a Beverage Formulator
A beverage formulator is a company that takes your wellness tonic recipe, analyzes the ingredients, and comes up with a formula to ensure that each bottle or can has the same desired flavor and quality. Everything about your tonic – from the ingredients, to flavor, to texture, to nutrition – is condensed into a single formula that you can manufacture and sell.
After your recipe is formulated and approved, it’s time to produce your wellness tonic. Beverage manufacturers like Meta Brand can help you through all stages of the formulation and manufacturing process, including recipe development and production.
An all-inclusive beverage formulator will help you select the best container for your recipe and apply your labels, plus ensure that your wellness tonic meets all regulatory requirements before it is distributed and sold. If you are new to the wellness tonic market, consider hiring an all-inclusive formulator trained to work with new and emerging brands to get you started.
Final Thoughts for Your Wellness Tonic
Today’s wellness marketplace is a trillion-dollar-plus business that invites innovation from manufacturers in every wellness category from beauty supplements to functional beverages, including the wellness tonic market. That means there is a lot of opportunity for new tonics out there, including yours. But making a splash in this exciting industry requires some planning.
Be prepared to do your research before you jump into the wellness tonic market. Knowing what kinds of ingredients and flavors you’ll use to craft your tonic is an important first step. Exploring brands with similar ingredients that are already on shelves is another step. You’ll also want to work with a beverage formulator to make sure your tonic is consistent in color, taste, and texture.
Next, check out our tips for how to get funding for functional beverages, including wellness tonics. Do you need branding and packaging for your wellness tonic brand? Let’s Talk!