Fountain of Youth? Collagen-Infused Beverages Show Big Potential

collagen-infused beverages

Collagen-infused drinks are catching on. Dr. Danielle Kelvas, for one, thinks using collagen – a protein that, among other things, gives skin its elasticity – as an ingredient can create ideal functional beverages.

She also feels collagen-infused drinks boast great potential for further growth.

“Working in weight loss, I see patients on enormous amounts of supplements. People are worn out on taking pills, flat out,” said Dr. Kelvas, the CEO of DKMD Consulting and a primary care physician with The HCG Institute, a telehealth weight-loss company.

“While collagen does come in a powder, it can have a strong, grainy taste,” the doctor told The Food Institute. “The gummies, in my opinion, can taste pretty bitter – I had one colleague recently develop a gummy that tasted like feet.”

While collagen has long been used in beauty products, it has become a key element of new beverage lines that often feature marine-derived collagen, from brands like gldn hour and gnusante. According to Allied Market Research, the global collagen drinks industry generated nearly $275 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $831.8 million by 2030, growing at an annual rate of 12.7%.

“It’s not surprising to me at all that collagen-infused beverages are all the rage,” Dr. Kelvas said. “The drinks are convenient, tasty, and sustainable – unlike taking a handful of pills each day.”

Collagen-infused tea and coffee are the latest to join the health and wellness space, according to Trendincite. For example, Pretty Tasty Collagen Tea introduced its first RTD canned beverage line, and its drinks include collagen peptides; natural ingredients such as carrots and black currants for color; and stevia leaf extract.

Meanwhile, Divas Drink International and California-based Care Lab Divas have launched Care Bubbles, a sparkling beverage formulated with a collagen formula including numerous amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.

“We’re all loving collagen-infused products because we know that collagen supports youthful skin as it plays an important role in skin elasticity, hydration, and firmness,” said Lola Berry, author of The Happy Cookbook and In-house Nutritionist at KAILO Nutrition & Skin. “Collagen also aids muscle, joint, and bone support. Although it’s not a complete protein, it acts much like protein powders.”

In addition to RTD beverages, brands are launching single-serving stick packs that include collagen, Trendincite noted. Sunkist recently introduced Hydration & Collagen Stick Packets in flavors like Yuzu Lemon. Each packet contains vitamin C and zinc in addition to collagen.

Berry believes the collagen trend has serious staying power.

“I only see collagen growing and becoming more popular – particularly among people who want to look after themselves both internally and externally,” Berry said.


The Food Institute Podcast’s “Foodservice Gamechangers” Series

Get to know the men and women behind the scenes of foodservice distribution in a new, limited series from The Food Institute Podcast called “Foodservice Gamechangers.” Recently, Pat Mulhern, advisor to The Food Institute, sat down for brief conversations with seven of the most influential foodservice merchandising and distribution leaders. Highlighting their food career journeys and management styles, the conversations feature insightful thoughts on what may lie ahead for manufacturers, distributors, and operators in foodservice.