Trends in the consumption of functional drinks and infant formulas in the United States

How to impact product matrices through lipids

Functional beverages have become a key area of growth for the beverage industry in the United States because they combine convenience, flavor, and potential nutritional benefits1. Currently, consumers prefer to purchase products that contain functional claims, such as potential benefits for the digestive system, vision, stress reduction, or anxiety alleviation2.

Aspects such as taste, functionality, and presentation come together to create products that earn consumer loyalty. Furthermore, low sugar content or even its absence is crucial in the functional beverage market because consumers have become more aware of sweeteners, so they also prefer products without aspartame or sucralose3.

Functional Beverage Trends

The highest number of global beverage launches corresponds to functional beverages, which reached a total of 1,975 placements in the market4. In this sector, we can find beverages enriched with ingredients that provide specific benefits, such as omegas, isolated soy protein, and fibers5. Beverage manufacturers are also driven to innovate in terms of sensory experiences that cater to consumer needs6, where texture and alternative flavors play a significant role. Additionally, it is observed that natural flavors are gaining ground in the market7. In the realm of innovation, manufacturers of functional beverages are inclined to make investments that allow them to gain leadership in the market. As for consumers, it has been identified that they are willing to pay an additional cost if they obtain functional and nutritional advantages through these products8.

What about infant formulas?

The food industry is striving to develop infant formulas that promote growth and development in children and maintain the immune functions9. To achieve this, fats are positioned as a crucial ingredient since they are the primary source of energy for babies and young children. Additionally, n-6 and n-3 fatty acids are essential for normal growth and development10. Furthermore, dietary lipids provide structural components for brain and retina structures, cell membranes, and the transport of lipid components in plasma11.

In the United States, there is a growing number of companies working collaboratively to enhance product features and their impact on children12. It is estimated that these partnerships will contribute to overall market growth in the region. In addition, it has been identified that manufacturers should focus on differentiating their product offerings with unique value propositions to strengthen their presence in the market13.

Lipids in Beverage Matrices

At Alianza Team, we have developed tailor-made solutions that can impact the production of functional beverages and infant formulas using vegetable fats. Based on science and expert knowledge we have developed a vegetable fat with sn-2 palmitate. 

Lipids play a significant role in functional beverages by providing palatability and texture, making them appealing to consumers14. Their influence on flavor is also relevant, considering that, for example, medium-chain fatty acids have been highly regarded by experts due to attributes such as solubility and organoleptic quality15. These sensory attributes are crucial to ensuring that consumers enjoy the beverages.

The application of lipids, developed by experts, can also complement the functional beverages  through the combination of specific polyunsaturated fatty acids, trace elements, polyphenols, and phytosterols16.

To learn more about our solutions and how to apply them to your products, please contact our expert team.


15Akoh, C.C. (Ed.). (2005). Handbook of Functional Lipids. CRC Press.

Bar-Yoseph, F., Lifshitz, F., & Cohen, T. (2013). Review of sn-2 palmitate oil implications for infant health. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 89(4), 139-143.

1 2 3Daily, R. (September 21th, 2023). On-demand webinar: Functional drinks’ account for the value growth’ in US beverage market. Food Navigator USA.

9García-Onieva, M. (2007). Lactancia artificial: técnica, indicaciones, fórmulas especiales. Pediatría Integral, 4(11), 318-326.

16Khoo, H. E., Azlan, A., Tang, S. T., & Lim, S. M. (2017). Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. Food & Nutrition Research, 61(1), 1361779.

14McClements, J. (2016). Fats and Oils. En Food Emulsions: Principles, Practices, and Techniques. (pp.100-115). CRC Press.

10 11Mena, P. y Uauy, R. (2015). Fats. En Koletzko, B. (Ed.), Pediatric Nutrition in Practice (pp. 51-55). Karger.

7 8Mordor Intelligence. (s.f.). Análisis del tamaño y la participación del mercado de bebidas funcionales de América del Norte. Tendencias de crecimiento y pronósticos (2023 – 2028). Mordor Intelligence.

12 13Mordor Intelligence. (s.f.). Análisis del tamaño y la participación del mercado de nutrición infantil. Tendencias y pronósticos de crecimiento (2023 – 2028). Mordor Intelligence.

4 5Naranjo, E. (August 5th, 2022). Bebidas funcionales, «Una necesidad saludable». Noticias IAlimentos.

6The Food Tech. (March 10th, 2023). La innovación se convierte en el principal impulsor de las bebidas funcionales. Tendencias de Consumo.

Valenzuela, A., Sanhueza, J., y Nieto, S. (2002). El uso de los lípidos estructurados en la nutrición: una tecnología que abre nuevas perspectivas en el desarrollo de productos innovadores. Revista chilena de nutrición, 29(2), 106-115.

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