Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on innovative solutions for the food sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, you will discover 5 promising low-sugar beverage solutions.
Heat Map: 5 Top Low-Sugar Beverage Solutions
Using the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally, we looked at innovation in the field of food & beverages. For this research, we identified 154 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & scaleups developing innovative low-sugar beverages. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 154 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Basis – Electrolyte Sports Drink
Sports drinks are increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts. While they contain less sugar than typical fizzy drinks, the amounts often exceed the safety limits set by health guidelines. Additionally, these drinks provide unnecessary carbohydrates that potentially contribute to obesity and diabetes. Food startups are working on low-carb, low-sugar alternatives that aim to supply essential electrolytes without adding sugar or carbs to the body.
The US-based startup Basis produces a low-sugar Clean Hydration Mix. The powdered drink is rich in electrolytes, providing more hydration than consuming similar amounts of water. Basis’ range of products contains less than half the sugar that is found in regular sports drinks. Because the mix is gluten-free, non-GMO, and available in multiple combinations of flavors, including blackberry lemon, cran-raspberry, and grapefruit melon flavors, it serves many diets and tastes.
Shine+ Drink – Nootropic Drinks
Globally, there is a growing demand for nootropics, also known as supplements for the brain. Traditional energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar and often cause a sugar slump after an initial high. Nootropic alternatives, however, are low-sugar energy drinks that help consumers stay focused. Moreover, they improve memory and cognition, reduce fatigue, and enhance learning capabilities.
Australian startup Shine+ Drink develops natural nootropic drinks without added sugars, sweeteners, artificial colors, or flavors. The startup’s low-sugar beverages combine natural ingredients such as ginkgo biloba, caffeine, green tea, turmeric, and B vitamins. Rich in natural nootropics, Shine+ Drinks help consumers stay mentally active.
GROUNDED – Plant-Based Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are highly popular among consumers keen on fitness, particularly those looking to gain muscle mass. Many protein powders available in the market usually contain large amounts of sugar. Moreover, they are usually mixed with milk which also contributes to higher sugar levels. Therefore, the total amount is sometimes high enough to cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar. To address this, FoodTech startups are exploring plant-based, low-sugar alternatives to protein shakes.
GROUNDED is a British startup offering 100% plant-based protein shakes. GROUNDED’s shakes contain lower sugar content than even skimmed milk. Moreover, the shakes are also completely free of gluten, dairy, soya, and pesticides. The startup uses only natural ingredients with high protein content, making the protein shakes ideal for fitness trainers and enthusiasts.
Le PETIT Beret – Alcohol-Free Beverage
People looking to cut down their alcohol consumption often turn to alcohol-free beverages that are essentially non-alcoholic versions of alcoholic drinks. However, in these drinks, sugar provides the flavor that is missing due to the absence of alcohol and may later even ferment into trace amounts of alcohol. Low-sugar, alcohol-free beverages address these issues and provide a guilt-free drinking experience.
French startup Le PETIT Beret provides organic alcohol-free beverages. In addition to low-sugar content, the startup’s beverages do not contain any alcohol at all, are low in carbs, and also vegan. The process used to create these drinks enables a natural reduction in the sugar content of grape juice while ensuring no fermentation takes place. The product lineup includes alcohol-free beers and wines, including chardonnay and pinot noir.
Cove Kombucha – Fermented Tea
Tea and coffee are the two most popular beverage choices globally. However, most preparations of these beverages involve the use of sugar. Fermented tea and coffee provide low-sugar alternatives to the conventional versions. In addition to health benefits, such as improving gut health and managing type 2 diabetes, the fermentation process also leads to a characteristic taste.
Cove Kombucha is a Canadian startup producing kombucha, a fermented tea beverage. The startup ferments green and black teas with a symbiotic culture. The month-long fermentation process eliminates most of the sugar, producing a low-sugar beverage. Before bottling, the startup adds organic juices and herbs to the mix. The drink is certified organic and non-GMO and provides a healthier alternative to regular tea.
What about the other 149 solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence and enable you to achieve your goals faster. The 5 low-sugar beverage solutions showcased above are promising examples out of 154 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.