Written on July 31, 2018.

Back before “Functional Beverages” was even a thing, we were creating functional beverages.

In the early aughts, a small entrepreneurial company name Ardea approached Flavorman to develop a line of soft drinks. The company’s goal was to offer an ever-expanding line of drinks to provide real wellness benefits, to taste good, and to satisfy four consumer expectations:

  1. Revitalize, with healthy nutrients
  2. Pass the diabetic test with flying colors
  3. Appeal to students as a refreshing alternative to sugar-laden sodas
  4. Mix well in colorful cocktails, mocktails, and smoothies

That was quite a challenge, but Flavorman met and surpassed every one of them. Natural fruit flavors were combined with meaningful levels of vitamins and minerals to improve wellness with every sip. The drinks were sold as Nutrisoda, refreshing carbonated nutrient-enhanced sodas with zero sugar, caffeine, sodium, or aspartame.

With our support, that small company grew and positioned itself for an alliance with a leader in the national beverage industry:  Strong sales led to Nutrisoda being acquired by Pepsi, freeing Ardea’s founders to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures, both times choosing Flavorman as their R & D partner. It is a prime example of how we collaborate with our clients over many years.

Written on July 27, 2018.

In this business, knowledge is a prerequisite for success, and if you’re going to make history, you’ve got to know your history. In that spirit, we present a timeline of major beverage events in the region now known as the United States of America for your edification. It is our hope that the items on this in-no-way-exhaustive list inspire you to dive deeper and discover more about how seemingly modest events and innovations can change what the world is drinking.

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Written on July 20, 2018.

So you’re one of the millions of people who have discovered the miraculous restorative properties of CBD oil. However, you’ve discovered it causes a side effect: an entrepreneurial itch. So how do you scratch that itch and deliver a new CBD product to the market? From the outside, it looks complicated: a fast-growing market with a lot of competition and even more regulation. But with the right help, it’s easy.

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Written on July 6, 2018.

Welcome to the new school – Beverage Boot Camp will teach you how to start a drink company and change what the world is drinking!

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Written on July 3, 2018.

But before you do, you should make sure you know what that means.

If you’re getting ready to enter today’s food and beverage market, you’re going to have to address natural, organic, and ‘clean label’ trends. There are a lot of heuristics for consumers interested in living a ‘clean label’ lifestyle, such as: “Don’t buy products with more than three ingredients”, “Don’t drink anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce”, and “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t have had in her pantry”. There is a large (and affluent) market of consumers that have taken these guidelines to heart and a legion of companies are happy to cater to that market. You may be one of them. That’s great! We love to work with those companies, but our job is also one of education: helping companies and their customers really understand what they eat and drink. If you’re going to change what the world is drinking with your new beverage, you’ll have to navigate the tension between what you are allowed to put on your product’s label and what you are allowed to put in the bottle.

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Written on June 29, 2018.

Meet the interns!

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Written on June 22, 2018.

When developing a drink, your flavor and ingredient choices should be determined more by your chosen target market than by your personal taste. It sounds obvious, but it isn’t unusual to see people making the mistake of creating a product they want instead of what their market wants. One aspect of that market you need to consider is age. As people get older, their sense of taste evolves and preferences change. The beverages you enjoy today are probably completely different than what you drank as a child.

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Written on May 11, 2018.

Welcome to the new school – Beverage Boot Camp will teach you how to start a drink company and change what the world is drinking!

A few years ago, Flavorman hosted a class called Beverage Bootcamp. The goal of the class was to get aspiring beverage entrepreneurs educated on the basics of the beverage industry and help them get up and running as quickly as possible. While the content was strong and our students learned a lot, it wasn’t the perfect tool yet. Our client base is international, and travelling was a bit too much for students other than the most invested (or local) to bite off.

Fast forward to January, 2018. We decide to pull the Beverage Bootcamp curriculum out of mothballs and convert it into a free online course. We’re starting with the basics – How do you turn your idea into an actual product? Can I do this all by myself? What laws do I need to be aware of? After a few episodes of introductory material, we’ll start getting more detailed with episodes on making specific types of drinks, labeling and clean labels, different packaging options, etc. We’ll be responsive too; if you have questions that need answering, please ask in the comments of the video. We’ll answer, and if we get enough demand on a certain topic, we will make an entire episode on it.

The goal is to give you the tools to understand how to start doing this work. We will also provide tips and tricks to picking the best partners and vendors to help you get the ball rolling. Flavorman takes you from start through finish on your product idea and we want to help you realize your dream beverage.

We’re very excited about this opportunity to help educate the world on all things beverages, and we know you will learn something along the way. Watch Episode 1 above to get started, and be sure to subscribe to watch the latest episodes!

Written on May 8, 2018.

As beverage developers for the last 30 years, we’ve seen dozens of ingredient trends come and go. This one is going to last. Cannabis has already started to spin off hundreds of secondary products in legal states, and the geographic sweep of that change is only going to grow. Here are four reasons why:

Of all the functional ingredients we’ve worked with over the years, not one has the proven effectiveness, familiarity, and (lets face it) enthusiastic fan base of CBD oil. As the negative social stigmas associated with the plant itself begin to dissolve, the fastest growing group of users are upper middle class suburbanites, who are replacing a glass of wine with edibles. No functional ingredient has the time-tested pedigree of cannabis.  Except caffeine…

However, CBD oil has the edge on caffeine in the beverage space, as caffeine is extremely bitter, and CBD tastes neutral at worst with most tasters describing it as slightly nutty, grassy, or herbal. In crafting a product, you don’t have to spend time, energy, or money finding the right components to mask the flavor of your key ingredient – you can complement it with chocolate or amplify it with mint. If you’re looking to make a natural functional beverage, CBD is a perfect role player.

While Flavorman deals primarily with beverages, a large part of the appeal of CBD is how many forms it can take. It works beautifully as a powder, an oil, a gel, in aqueous solution, and in alcoholic solution. That last one will need to be avoided for a while, though, for legal reasons. One of the big reasons for the explosion of users in legal states is most people don’t want to smoke it, and this is the moment that technology and the law are conspiring to make this ancient plant more available without smoke than ever before.

We’ve been crafting category-dominating functional beverages for nearly thirty years. We started working with CBD as soon as it was legally feasible. We’re able to provide rapid custom prototypes, thorough nutrition fact panel guidance, scaled formulations, shelf life testing, and – most importantly – incredibly delicious experiences for your customers. If you’re thinking of staking your claim in the market before the looming green rush, we’re your ideal development partner. Call Scott today at (502)301-8121 or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to get started today.

Written on November 20, 2017.

What’s the difference between seltzer, club soda, sparkling mineral water, and tonic? These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are actually slightly different. Watch this video to learn what’s inside these fizzy drinks!


Drink Formulations – Beverage Boot Camp Episode 3
Behind The Line: The Magic of Mass Production
Beyond the Cane: The Science of Sweeteners
40,000 Flavors
1950's Flavorman
The Development Process
Dumante's Story
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