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CUCKOO FOR CACAO

Cacao fruit stars in these new, better-for-you beverages

The better-for-you beverage vertical is seeing an influx of drinks that feature the cacao fruit’s sweet and semi-chocolatey pulp. While the seeds of the cacao fruit are used to produce chocolate, the fruit also contains a sweet pulp that boasts a stellar nutrition profile, as well as a natural source of energy. Check out the following brands that are highlighting this pulp and its flavor in their new and functional offerings.

MINNA

Mission-driven sparkling tea brand Minna recently added a new flavor to its bright and colorful lineup of better-for-you beverages. The brand’s latest flavor, Cherry Cacao Green Tea, features bright notes of cherry and hibiscus on the front and cacao on the back, giving drinkers a little chocolate nod that reminds them of their favorite childhood cherry soda. Each Minna beverage is made with organic, non-GMO ingredients and Fair Trade tea. Additionally, Minna, which means “everyone,” donates 1% of its sales to nonprofits advocating for inclusion. In June, Minna supported the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

XOCA

Xoca Cacao Fruit Soda is a prebiotic soda that is crafted with upcycled cacao fruit juice, utilizing the cacao fruit’s nutrient-rich pulp and offering consumers energy via the fruit’s theobromine content. While the pulp of the cacao fruit is normally thrown away during the process of chocolate production, Xoca uses it as just one of the two ingredients in its Original beverage offering, along with sparkling water. Xoca also offers Mint and Ginger flavors, which can be purchased on the brand’s website for $35.99 for a 12-pack of 8 oz. cans.

UPRIVER CACAO

Cacao-based cold brew startup Upriver Cacao is highlighting the theobromine content in its cacao fruit-based drinks, which provides a gentler alternative to highly-caffeinated coffee. The brand’s nitro cacao beverages offer consumers a dark chocolate-flavored energy drink that provides longer-lasting energy sans coffee-induced jitters, as well as a natural source of magnesium that purportedly improves mood and sleep quality. Customers can choose from five different Upriver nitro flavors, including Chocolate Chai, Matcha Mama, Dark Wild, Strawberry Hibiscus, and Vanilla Cream; if they want to sample them all, they can purchase a variety 10-pack sampler.