By the NZFIN team

‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry. But what we are drinking is changing globally. Even Japan is challenging the traditional end-of-year office booze-up and consumers are demanding more from their non-alcoholic tipple – much more. The usual suspects of sugar-filled sodas and juices just don’t cut it anymore.  People are increasingly seeking a sophisticated beverage with unique and interesting ingredients that not only taste good but are also good for you.

New Zealand has seen a balloon in “better for you” non-alcoholic drink offerings, with a range of special features to stand out from the crowd. Think a drink with ingredients for glowing skin (Soochi), or improved immunity, such as the Chia Sisters immunity tonic, the winning entry in the 2021 Beverage Category at NZ Food Awards.  Anything functional is having a sparkling moment around the Christmas table this year. You might want to try the natural anti-inflammatory properties from New Zealand native botanicals (Atutahi), or terpenes for overall wellbeing in Good Herb Soda. In the New Year maybe detox spiced prebiotic water (osom).

At the New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN) we’re helping clients bring exciting new beverages to the masses. Whether it’s connecting clients to food technologists or ingredient suppliers to help formulate functional beverages, through to finding contract manufacturers who can go beyond simply a bit of syrup and carbonation, NZFIN can help.

Whatever your preference as a consumer, we encourage you to try something new this festive period. Give them as a gift, BYO to the whanau BBQ, wrap them up for the office secret Santa, and share your experience with social media. These all help raise the profile of small businesses doing great things and stepping up to shake up the non-alcoholic offerings at your next function. I’ll drink to that!

Have a safe and relaxing holiday period, and we’ll see you in 2022.

Contact business development manager, Tracey Sheehy on 021 245 0808 for more info.


The New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN) is a government-funded organisation to support and enable our food and beverage industry to innovate, grow and succeed, ideally at an international scale. Via its network of facilities where any business can access its equipment and business development support to test, develop and scale up their products from concept to commercialisation. 

The information and opinions within this column are not necessarily the views or opinions of Hot Source, NZ Food Technology, or the parent company, Hayley Media.