Available next month, Zurge is an instant coffee mix that could be consumed on its own or mixed in with smoothies or other beverages and is formulated with ethically sourced 100% Colombian coffee and espresso blend, coffeeberry cascara, lions mane mushroom, stabilized rice bran, and Futureceuticals’s CognatiQ.
CognatiQ is a functional ingredient derived from coffee fruit that has been shown to increase the levels of neuroprotein, which has “been clinically shown to improve cognitive health, boost memory, learning, and deal with brain fog,” Vega said.
Not only was CognatiQ important from a functional standpoint, but the ingredient is created by upcycling coffee fruit, Vega noted. Coffee cherry (fruit) waste is estimated to be at 16.6m metric tons per year, according to The Coffee Cherry Co.
“Where we might not be able to be big enough to make an impact on the packaging that we choose because ... we're a smaller brand, we can make an impact on the ingredients we use, and that to us is really impactful to consumers because then what they're putting into their bodies is something that is functional, [and] ... that's not been thrown away.”
Breaking into the brain health, coffee categories with a single product
Having released other products with dual functionality in the past, Zurvita wanted to get into the growing brain health category, and coffee ended up being the “perfect delivery system to experience this new ... brain-boosting blend,” Vega said.
The global brain health functional food and beverage market is expected to reach $40.32bn by 2030, growing at a 10.5% CAGR from 2017-2030, spurred by demand for products to relieve stress and improve sleep quality, according to Grand View Research.
And while not growing as fast as the overall category, the instant coffee segment was estimated to be worth $15.37bn in 2022 and is expected to grow to $18.80bn in 2025, growing by a 3.92% CAGR from 2023-2025, according to Statista data.
And when it comes to breaking into the coffee segment, Vega noted it’s not about taking any market share away from brands but finding ways to complement existing brands. One way the brand hopes to accomplish this is by exploring how their customers are using the product and mixing it into other beverages, she added.
“We've been having a lot of fun with creating recipes and mocktails and different ways for them to enjoy it just like everybody enjoys their coffee in a very unique way. We're really looking forward to seeing what our customers come up with this one.”