Functional Beverages: Why Everyone’s Talking About Them 

Functional ingredients have recently made their way into various categories, but functional beverages have emerged as the frontrunner. You might not realize it, but you’re likely already a functional beverage consumer. If you’ve ever enjoyed a protein shake, herbal tea, kombucha, or an energy drink, you’re a part of this growing trend. By definition, a functional beverage is any drink that provides benefits beyond basic nutrition. While the term ‘functional beverage’ has been buzzing lately, the concept itself is far from new. So why are we hearing more and more about functional beverages?  

The buzz is fueled by heightened consumer awareness and a demand for healthier, multifunctional beverages coupled with exciting, innovative product formulations from brands. The synergy between high consumer demand and brand innovation leads to the development of exciting functional beverage concepts, such as biotic sodas and mushroom-infused coffee blends. This functional beverage craze has encouraged all kinds of consumers to explore new ways of incorporating supplements, vitamins, and biotics into their daily routines. More and more people are realizing that getting their supplements in doesn’t have to be boring!  

In fact, consumer spending on functional beverages has seen a significant shift since 2023. Digestive health soda sales, for example, are predicted to increase by a whopping 22.3% by the end of 2024 based on consumers’ current buying habits.1 At Verb, we are so happy to see gut health getting the attention it deserves! To help brands stay on top of this digestive health wave, Verb knew we needed to launch an ingredient solution that is efficacious, gut-friendly, and easy to formulate with: enter Keystone Postbiotic™. Keystone Postbiotic™ is the gut-health hero that is appealing to both consumers and product formulators alike. 

Before we dive into what makes our Keystone Postbiotic™ so unique, let’s first define what a postbiotic is and how it differs from its pre- and probiotic counterparts. Postbiotics are inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confer health benefits to the host.2 Probiotics and prebiotics, the more commonly known biotics, have limitations in functional beverage applications. Probiotics are excellent in refrigerated products but struggle to survive in shelf-stable formats, like sodas. Prebiotics fare better in shelf-stable applications but typically require higher doses than a standard beverage serving can accommodate. The solution to these formulation limitations? Postbiotics! 

Our Keystone Postbiotic™ is both shelf and process-stable, making it easy to incorporate into a wide array of product applications, including sodas, shakes, powders, and juices. Additionally, the dosage is remarkably low—only 300mg—compared to the average serving of prebiotics, which is closer to 3,000mg. This makes it an ideal choice for delivering health benefits effectively and efficiently. With Keystone Postbiotic™, you can be confident in the quality and effectiveness of your product, knowing that it is backed by validated clinical trials and strong scientific research. 

Although we cannot see into the future, Verb strongly believes that postbiotic sodas are set to be the next big thing. A soda formulated with Keystone Postbiotic™ could enhance immune function, strengthen intestinal barrier integrity, and improve overall gut microbiome health without the common negative side effects of prebiotic-based sodas, such as indigestion and bloating.* With 75% of adults reportedly prioritizing their digestive health3 and sales of functional beverages jumping 54% from March 2020 to March 20244, it’s clear that consumers are demanding more gut-friendly solutions. This is a golden opportunity for your company to innovate and lead the way in the functional beverage industry. If you want to be at the forefront of this exciting trend, reach out to us. Schedule a discovery call with our team today to learn more!  


  1. SPINS Natural Channel, SPINS Conventional Channel data 52 weeks ending 10.8.23 
  1. Kc. “Behind the Publication: Understanding ISAPP’s New Scientific Consensus Definition of Postbiotics – International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP).” International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics ISAPP RSS2, KC, 12 Dec. 2022, 
  1. Food Insight. “Americans Prioritize Environmental Sustainability and New Eating Patterns.” Food Insight, 9 Apr. 2023, 
  1. Durbin, Dee-Ann, and Louise Dixon. “Do Drinks That Are Meant to Do More than Taste Good Actually Provide Any Health Benefits?” AP News, AP News, 24 Apr. 2024, 

*Human clinical studies to be completed in 2024.