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Kraft Heinz debuts first major innovations to Crystal Light in more than 10 years

Dive Brief:

  • Kraft Heinz’s Crystal Light brand is launching three major additions to its portfolio for the first time in more than a decade with Mixology, Immunity and Energy products, the company said in a statement. Before these, the most recent additions were products that contained a lower amount of caffeine.
  • The new line taps into two popular areas: mixed drinks, where Crystal Light is already used by consumers, and functional attributes. 
  • Crystal Light is the latest Kraft Heinz brand that is undergoing its first major innovation in years as the food and beverage giant looks to generate $2 billion in incremental net sales by 2027.

Dive Insight:

As Kraft Heinz aims to boost sales, the CPG company is looking for an assist from some of its most well-known and best-selling products.

Since September, Kraft Heinz has introduced plant-based mac and cheese, released new Kraft Singles flavors for the first time in nearly 10 years and launched a pouch for microwave use that replicates products cooked in an oven or on the stove by adding crispiness. It’s already been using the technology, called 360Crisp, in its Lunchables Grilled Cheesies.

With Crystal Light, executives are refreshing it with powders that better reflect how consumers are using the product as well as what they are looking for in their beverages.

“We saw a strong opportunity to leverage our brand heritage and innovate to serve a wide range of consumption occasions,” a Kraft Heinz spokesperson told Food Dive. “Crystal Light is prioritizing product innovation to continue growing our consumer base and meeting their desires.” 

Kraft Heinz said many Crystal Light consumers already use it as a mixer. The Crystal Light Mixology Multipack is available in three flavors — Watermelon Margarita, Black Mojito and Mai Tai — that are compatible in an alcoholic drink or a mocktail.

The launch of the new Immunity and Energy product lines taps into surging demand for functional benefits, which grew almost 50% in 2023, according to Circana data cited by Kraft HeinzThe Immunity line, featuring Orange Tangerine and Blueberry Pomegranate, is enhanced with Zinc and Vitamin C to help support the immune system. The Energy line, featuring Raspberry Lemonade, Classic Lemonade and Fruit Punch, delivers 75mg of caffeine.

The decision to bring Crystal Light into mixology, immunity and energy not only places the brand closer to the needs of the consumer but it creates more occasions when people might want to use it.

A shopper might turn to a Crystal Light drink mix to hydrate, energize, or to create their favorite late-night mixed drink. The new line also has the added benefit of not only keeping consumers within the brand but helping it draw new users into the franchise.

“Our goal is to be included in every part of your day, and our product offerings are perfect for all occasions, from morning to night,” the company spokesperson said.

Kraft Heinz also is giving Crystal Light a new logo, typography, photography and packaging that are designed to enhance its presence on shelves. 

The Crystal Light Mixology Multipack will be available at Publix this month before rolling out nationwide, along with Crystal Light’s Immunity and Energy product lines, later in 2024.

Crystal Light is the latest beverage brand to expand its reach into popular attributes. PepsiCo’s Gatorade brand waded into gummies two years ago with its first dietary supplement that included recovery and immune support. And tea brands Celestial Seasonings and Twinings have each launched product extensions to help with a slew of things like sleep.

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