Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Food and Beverage Products for 2011 at 14th Americas Food and Beverage Show, Miami Beach, Fla.

Think wine, water, and energy drinks don’t mix then you should have been at the 14th Americas Food and Beverage show—organized by the World Trade Center Miami--held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Florida. Food has become the “hot” category in our depressed economy as witnessed by the 10 percent increase in attendance this year. There were many new products from new companies.
Over 7000 people in the hospitality food and beverage industry, from the Americas and around the world, came together for two days of workshops, business deals, and exposition displays. I was lucky enough to attend. Here are some of the companies of interest to me.


Native Vines Winery, a North Carolina based company showcased several award winning wines at the convention. Started in 1998 by Darlene Gabbard and her husband Nick, it is the first Native American owned winery in the United States. I particularly liked the sauvignon blanc wine.

Bellaforma Caribbean Wine, a Trinidad and Tobago based company, served three types of wine: passion fruit, pineapple, and red papaya. There was supposed to be a fourth—sorrel--but it got held up in customs. Bellaforma attended the Americas Convention for market research on the American pallet. The winery, started in 1991, was Laurence Saunders dream--be the first company in Trinidad and Tobago making wine exclusively from tropical fruit. The company is now run by his daughter Celise Bell. Pineapple was the show favorite. I preferred the passion fruit because the ripe fruit nose carried on all the way through to the last drop.


Aruba Crystal Drinking water--reverse osmosis (RO) desalinated saltwater--started back in 2001 when owner Marlon Martinez noticed the water of his home country of Aruba helped his wife with her morning sickness. Three years later the company was formed. This water has a pH at 9.2 (alkaline), because part of the filtration process involves coral. It was enjoyable to drink with little to no aftertaste.

Aquamare Purified Water, a Brazilian based company, claims their reverse osmosis desalinated seawater is the only one in the world to have a carbonated version as well as a flat. The saltwater is sourced by boat, one hour off the Brazilian coast and 35 meters deep. Ten years in the making including eight years research and development Aquamare says their water has 63 minerals and a pH of 7.3.

Once a year the people of Newfoundland, Canada are allowed to harvest ice from icebergs that drift into their harbors. Berg Water is one company profiting from this practice. They claim their water is made from a 25,000 year old iceberg. It tasted clean without any aftertaste.

Energy Drinks

Chillo Energy Drink—made by Chill Drinks an Austrian based company--is bright orange in color. Made with Swiss grown hemp, caffeine, and sugar it is a fairly new product in the United States. It was the most pleasant energy drink I tasted although it did not give me as much energy as I expected.

RAAW, is an aseptic processed (cool pasteurized) fruits and vegetables blended juice. Not really an energy drink but it does have a lot of nutrients according to Paul Gregg, Executive Vice President of Raw Foods International (RFI) the manufacturer of RAAW. The juice contains only non-GMO produce. It was developed in 2008 by Jamaican restaurant owners from the Brickell Avenue area of Miami. Their best seller is cucumber pineapple juice because it is, “refreshing,” according to Gregg. I agree. Two new flavors are expected in January: lemongrass and wheatgrass.

Most of the companies I talked to at the 14th Americas Food and Beverage Show said they hope to be available in the United States market early 2011.

Sources: www.worldtrade.org/

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