09 Jul 2018 Introducing avo water
Could this be a new opportunity for avocado-rich South Africa? Mexican firm, Grupo Escamp, has developed an avo-based drink AvoWater, that it believes ticks many of the health trends shaping the beverage game globally.
The preservative-free, RTD avocado water, made with avocado, fresh lemon juice and peppermint, is high in fibre, vitamins and protein and comes in three variants: stevia, pure cane sugar and a blended sugar-stevia option.
The drink – bottled using high pressure processing (HPP) technology – is currently packaged in PET bottles but the company has also rolled out 100% biodegradable bottles made using avocado seed resin.
From pulp to drink
Established in 2014, Grupo Escamp previously just manufactured and exported avocado pulp and dips like guacamole, Escalera said, and only started making the drinks in 2016.
“We were thinking: there’s ice-creams of avocado, there’s lollipops, so there has to be a beverage. We were looking for it and there wasn’t any beverage on the market, so we started doing some experiments; mixing up different ingredients until we got AvoWater,” says Evelyn Escalera, co-founder and operations director at AvoWater.
The company finalised its recipe after around 6-8 months of development, she said, settling on a blend of lemon and peppermint and launched into natural product and gourmet specialty stores across the main cities in Mexico.
So, what does ‘avocado water’ taste like?
“The avocado by itself does not have a regular flavour, so we needed to put some other ingredients in that provided flavour like lemon and a kind of freshness with the peppermint…
“We wanted AvoWater to provide health and hydration – we were thinking about those benefits – and the main ones that bring that sensation and flavor are the lemon and peppermint.”
“It’s not as heavy as a juice but it’s not as liquid as water; it’s in between because it has body. When you drink it, it gives you energy; it fills you up. That’s one of the main benefits,” she says.
Each green-coloured beverage contained 30-60g of avocado, Escalera says, which equated to the recommended daily portion from a nutritional standpoint.
Beneficiating avo waste
AvoWater is in partnership with a Mexican biodegradable specialist to manufacture the avocado-based bottles, with the intention of upscaling their application.
Escalera says avocado seed resin had the same qualities as plastic for packaging but when composted, it degraded within a year and if put in the regular trash degraded within three years.
The biodegradable bottle cost around 45% extra than the regular PET bottle variant, she adds, but so far their target Mexican consumers had been willing to pay the price.
BeverageDaily.com reports that after two years establishing the product in the home market, the company is now looking to expand exports into the US and later into Europe.
See more at www.avowater.com