Nutritional beverages: Everything you need to know

Not only food but also daily beverages can have a significant influence but direct on our health. For a couple of recent decades, together with the development of society and the growth of global economics, people have considerably changed the concepts of good beverages. Drinks that they intake should have harmony between two main dimensions, which are healthy and tasty.

In other words, apart from satisfying the customer’s need for body, they want to meet their desire in taste and enjoyment.

Generally, this article will fulfill your knowledge about some outstanding aspects: an overview, common types, current on-trend situation, and the potential for running a business of nutritional beverages.

What exactly are nutritional beverages?

Now, let’s investigate the nutritional beverage from its definition to understand this basic concept:

We can easily understand the nutrient drink in the beverage industry as a combination drink with functional and healthy ingredients by various flavors. From that, nutritional beverages can ease adapting both two requirements above and have been becoming the favorite drink of a large market worldwide.

As the name suggested, the nutrient drink provides us a rich menu of nutrition and necessities. It includes a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fat or protein.

Moreover, thanks to enhancing the beverage quality of the new product line, these drinks have appealed to the consumer’s health seekers and target convenient benefits.

Nutritional beverages satisfy both impressive tastes and needed benefits
Nutritional beverages satisfy both impressive tastes and needed benefits

8 common categories of nutritional drink

Here are eight common categories of nutritional drink that are familiar to customers on the current market:

  • Nutritional shakes
  • Yogurt smoothies
  • Weight loss
  • Meal replacement shakes
  • Low carb nutrition
  • Organic high protein nutrition
  • Breakfast to-go shakes
  • Sports nutrition

Aseptic process and quality assurance

Thanks to the advanced technology of aseptic processing, sterilization techniques have been applied on a commercial scale. During the production, the manufacturer quickly heats and cools the product, taking action in optimal ways to ensure the maintenance of nutrient-rich, safe, and flavorful. After creating the full version of the product, it would be developed and tested, then placed into pre-sterilized packaging materials and sealed.

Like most other kinds of beverages, Nutri-drinks also provide samples to ensure product standard consistency and avoid the risks. Due to being the nutrient products, which have a concentration on quality and benefits for customers, these processes will take place in the strict procedure. As a result, the customers can consume the nutritional product with the same high quality.

Primary requirements for nutritional beverages is ensuring quality
Primary requirements for nutritional beverages is ensuring quality

Who is suitable for nutritional beverages?

From the incredible advantages that a nutritious beverage brings to health, everyone can receive these beverages regardless of ages, genders or health situation. The only concern here is the amount of drink that we intake.

Here’s why:

As we all know, nutrition and vitamins are extremely important for completed development. However, it can be a danger if people overuse when they consume too many minerals or vitamins.

The nutritional beverage has a wide range of market segment regardless of ages, genders or health situations
The nutritional beverage has a wide range of market segment regardless of ages, genders or health situations

Dr. Suzanne Salamon at Harvard Medical School stated: “If you use the drinks as meal substitutes, that might be okay. It’s not okay to eat a full meal and then drink a supplement unless the goal is to gain weight or stop weight loss. It’s too many calories.”

Anything will be performing its best function with an adequate amount.


Nutritional beverages are known as the best use for people coping with some obstacles below:

  • Losing weight involuntarily
  • Being malnourished
  • Lacking daily nutritional values from food only
  • Having difficulties in swallowing or digesting
  • Recovering from surgery or illness
  • Being diabetes and looking for managing sugar amount (Glucerna products only)
  • Having no breakfast

Why is nutrient beverage on an upward trend in the beverage industry?

Coming back to the story of economic development, the more stress of workload, the more energy we need to adapt to these requirements. Because the demand for beverages increases, more and more businesses are getting engagement in this industry for profit margin.

Guess what?

Nutritional beverages witnessed a surge in demand due to the outstanding benefits that other drinks cannot replace and the convenience they bring to customers’ behaviors. Apart from some subjective reasons, there are several objectives leading causes of growth in the nutritional beverages market.

Potential growth of nutritional beverages market
Potential growth of nutritional beverages market

First of all, the global population boom leads to the enormous demand for services and products, especially the beverage. Furthermore, with the development of marketing strategies in the beverage industry, beverages are brought closer to clients. The third cause is increasing the middle-class income worldwide, quality of life has been improved considerably, driving concerning health raise corresponding.

2 main types of nutritional beverage

When investigating deeper, you can be overwhelmed by hundreds of varieties of nutrient drinks in terms of both flavors and functions that a single type brings to you.

We have explored and found out a study of Harvard Medical School, which stated two general categories for nutritional beverages. They are Shakes and Formula with the sub-branches following:

  • Shakes: It is also named oral supplements, which you can buy easily in grocery stores. Its principal function is to help you meet general goals of nutrition value such as supplement of calories, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals or protein. Moreover, several nutritional shakes are designed to improve your health conditions of diabetes (Glucerna). To make shakes tastier, it is often blended with sugar or fortified with vitamins.

Shakes are often divided into 11 sub-categories:

  • Basic nutritional shakes: provide needed nutrients for gaining weight or add nutritional intake daily.
  • Advanced nutritional shakes: same functions as the original but “plus” nutritions with more minerals or higher calories
  • Glucerna: specializing for people with diabetes, it uses as a replacement for a meal or snack
  • Clear beverages: remaining on the nutrition menu but focus more on flavors. With supplementing of juice. Clear beverages likely provide more nutritional benefits of vitamins and minerals, being influential among shake counterparts.
  • Electrolyte replenishment: best use for those who have the headache of losing bodily fluids or being seriously ill due to plenty of vital electrolytes
  • Thickened beverages: made with easily swallowable texture
  • High-protein drinks: contain fewer calories and sugar but more protein.
  • Drink mix: a nutrient beverage that is in powdered version. It can easily integrate with water and store in more extended periods.
  • High-calorie supplements: designed typically to gain weight with additive calories
  • Immunonutrition shakes: provide users with essential nutrients needed before and after surgery.
  • Therapeutic shakes: this is a specific type of nutritional beverage primarily used in hospitals to heal and recover after illness.
Shakes provide the needed nutrition for health in daily life
Shakes provide the needed nutrition for health in daily life
  • Formulas: Being different from Shakes, the second type of nutritional beverage has been designed for more specific diseases. A different recipe will serve every single illness, such as cancer, c later-stage kidney disease, hearted related or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

Small bonus for you: “Are there any alternative options to nutrition drinks?”

Stacey Nelson, a dietitian from Massachusetts General Hospital, used to inform a potential competitor of the fruit smoothie’s nutritional drink. This statement has received the favor of Dr. Salamon. She explained that fruit smoothies tend to contain a harmonious amount of nutrients, avoiding excessive vitamins or minerals compared to nutrient drinks.

However, the price of fruit smoothies is much higher, not worth its more outstanding features. As a result, nutritional beverages still stand the number one position of healthy drinks for consumers.

Formula drink with special functions of recovering or support for improving diseases statement
Formula drink with special functions of recovering or support for improving diseases statement

Why do people like nutritional beverages?

In general, people often deserve their love for beverages by either their benefits or the good tastes. Satisfying both two key elements, nutrient beverages have become a favorite drink with market segmentation broadening day by day.

Incredible benefits of nutritional beverages

By intaking this type of beverage, you can gain two goals at the same time. When you decide to consume nutritional drinks, you get the right direction for not worrying about the lack of an adequate amount or menu of nutrients. With the wonderful advantages, nourishing beverages make the credibility of ensuring the customer’s health.

Especially in a busy life, when people are absorbed in their workload, preparing a fully nutritional or balanced meal is considered time-consuming. Instead, a lot of customers choose to consume healthy beverages for meals.

Providing the needed nutrients for daily life and nutritional beverages also give our body a great incentive to recover after illness or support to improve our health status.

In short, nutritional beverages are an optimal choice for healthy growth.

It is noticeable that, compared to food, nutritional beverages seem to absorb more easily thanks to their formation. Therefore, this category can fulfill the needs of people who have struggled with chewing or losing appetite.

Nutritional beverages seem to absorb more easily thanks to their formation
Nutritional beverages seem to absorb more easily thanks to their formation

What to look for in a nutrition drink

Let us reveal a secret,

Among all the dimensions of selecting the first-rate nutritional beverage, please check out the ingredients first. Because of the core value, components have the most significant impact on the drink’s quality and directly decide the benefits.

To be more precise, some first list should be fruit or protein, precisely the ideal ratio of a good beverage. If sugar or even calories places the first position, you had better reconsider picking up another healthier formula. Despite its necessity for body development and ensuring the energy for daily activities, they must be in order with a suitable amount.

Those who use nutritional supplements as replacements for meals: carefully look for appropriately 400 calories for each serving.

As for an ideal ratio of adequate nutrition (an 8-ounce serving), it should contain:

  • Protein: 10 to 20 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams in maximum
  • Carbohydrate, including sugar: 40 grams in maximum

What does a harmonious menu of nutrition in a bottle look like?

To help you have a clearer understanding of the rich menu of nutrients that nutritional beverages should include, we have explored an excellent example for you, created by Stacey Nelson in Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. It is the detailed ratio of carbohydrates, calories, proteins and fats.

Drink (of 8 ounces)


Carbohydrate (grams)

Protein (grams)

Fat (grams)

Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus (with the flavor of mango)





Protein Zone by Naked Juice





Ensure high protein





Boost high protein





How potential to do business with nutritional drinks?

Look at the research here:

According to Radiant Insights, Inc, 2019, the nutrient market was predicted to generate the most massive revenue over the next seven years, attracting numerous chances for investors and companies to research and develop this market segment. As shown from the graph, the sales revenue of nutritional beverages will peak at 8.26 billion dollars.

Potential growth of nutritional beverages estimated according to regions from 2020 to 2027
Potential growth of nutritional beverages estimated according to regions from 2020 to 2027. Credit: Data Bridge

With the continued growth of the market segment, nutritional beverages will develop minute by minute due to the sustainable causes mentioned above.

In practical, the beverage industry has seen many new products launched, combining the unique features of famous brands. They are tagged with the title “nutritional beverage,” such as Huel Coffee Caramel Black EditionNutrient Survival Beverages or Ensure Plus nutritional shake. They are modified in ingredients and flavors as well to serve the customers in better ways.

Participating in the competitive race, we can also easily find a diversified type of nutrient beverages available, placed online like Amazon and other e-commerce platforms.


All in all, this piece of writing stated the general information of nutritional beverages from the most basic concept. As a result, it is useful enough for you to imagine what it ishow it developeddifferent types, and the competitive advantages of nutrient drinks. Hopefully, we can add more details on your journey of investigating the beverage industry, particularly this potential segment. If you have any comments or questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Tan Do is a global beverage ODM/OEM manufacturer and supplier located in Vietnam. Since 1996, we have built trust and credibility not only throughout Vietnam but also in many parts of the world. Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, we have crafted thousands of products that align with ISO, HACCP, HALAL, FDA, and many other standards.

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