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January 17, 2024
Mighty Pop, a newly launched digestive and immune health positioned carbonated beverage, taps the power of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics to give consumers the digestive health boost they’re seeking.
Clayton Santos, director of R&D at Beliv, the company behind the Mighty Pop brand, called the new beverage line “progressive” within the soda category, and “the first of its kind to advance pre-, pro- and postbiotics.”
Beliv’s portfolio of brands includes other functional beverages, carbonated beverages, waters and juices. In 2023, Beliv acquired High Brew, a brand of ready-to-drink (RTD) cold brew coffee beverages.
Digestive health is a top priority for consumers, and they actively seek out food and beverage products that provide a gut health boost. One consumer survey by Kerry identified immune support and digestive/gut health among the top five functional benefits consumers look for in their beverages.
Add to that demands for convenience and a holistically healthy halo that can include minimal processing, natural ingredients and low sugar content—making better-for-you beverages a tall order.
“Consumers today expect more than ever from the drinks they choose—it’s not enough to be simply better-for-you with less calories and sugar or more natural ingredients,” Reinaldo Padua, chief brand officer at Beliv, explained.
In the case of Beliv’s Mighty Pop, organic ingredients, fun flavors, low sugar and low calories bolster the functional immune and digestive health benefits.
This comprehensive approach to beverage development, Padua said, gives Mighty Pop the potential to reach new audiences beyond the “core Millennial, female-leaning, brick-and-mortar shopping audience we typically see in digestive health drinks.”
Key to Beliv’s product development method is maintaining flexibility.
“Part of the magic of developing brands in the way we do at Beliv is remaining flexible and agile in our approach,” Padua said. “Mighty Pop is navigating new territory together with our consumers, specifically the ones that care about quality of life and value well-being.”
Also boosting the digestive health beverage category is a broader acceptance of digestive health by consumers.
“Discussions around digestive health were once somewhat taboo, but consumers understand more than ever the importance of a healthy gut now and its relation to overall wellness, not just digestion,” Padua explained. “It’s a topic that’s mainstreaming and there’s interest in optimizing one’s wellness.”
To meet that need, each can of Mighty Pop contains 1 billion live probiotic cultures, postbiotics and 3 grams of prebiotic fiber sourced from carbon-neutral acacia plants.
As live bacteria, probiotics must remain alive during processing and shelf life in order to be effective in providing a health benefit to the consumer. For this reason, formulating with probiotics can be a challenge for product developers.
Mighty Pop developers, too, faced this challenge, according to Padua. Mighty Pop uses probiotics that “have the ability to survive in the product during the manufacturing process, shelf life, and, once in the human body, the harsh gastric environment to finally germinate in the small intestine,” she said.
Rachel French joined Informa’s Health & Nutrition Network in 2013. Her career in the natural products industry started with a food and beverage focus before transitioning into her role as managing editor of Natural Products Insider, where she covered the dietary supplement industry. French left Informa Markets in 2019, but continues to freelance for both FBI and NPI.
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