Taking Niche Ingredients Mainstream

This week the FDIN (Food & Drink Innovation Network) announced the launch of Treevitalise Birch Water. It’s a soft drink that is made with the sap of the silver birch tree.

This launch is indicative of a consumer need for products that work extra hard to meet their health & lifestyle needs, with no extra effort on their part. 

So what does this miracle ingredient claim to do?

As well as quenching thirst, it is billed as a “delicious, natural, low calorie drink”, and offers an impressive list of additional benefits including: purifying and cleansing, strengthening the immune system, lowering cholesterol, reducing cellulite, assisting with weight loss and contains “micronutrients, brewed inside a tree!”

What additional short-cut health and lifestyle benefits could you offer?

Here are three things we can learn from the soft drink industry, who appear to have their finger on the pulse with this niche ingredient trend. The industry appears to be carving themselves as innovation experts in taking what was once niche, ‘hippy’ or exotic & strange and using it to meet the ever evolving consumer need for short-cut health.

1. Reposition would-be niche products for the masses

As Treevitalise have done using an appealing design aesthetic, trendy bottle, delicious flavours and aligning itself to the beauty industry (in line with some of its benefits).

Tree-treatment - tree vitalise poster

2. Add some ‘hippy health food’ ingredients to your standard products

See Innocent Super Smoothies that use Echinacea, Flax seed, Wheat Grass and Guarana and similarly ‘health food shop products’ to deliver increased energy, immune defence and detox benefits.

innocent energise, defence & antioxidant

3. Trend Hunt

Take a healthy product that is already commercially successful in other, perhaps more exotic markets and reposition it towards your target consumer – see the rapidly increasing consumption of ‘naturally hydrating’ Coconut Water. 

coconut water brands

What strange ingredient or corner of the planet will your ‘easy-health’ inspiration come from?