Skip to main content Showcases "Best of 2008"

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Inc. unveiled its "Best of 2008" winners, giving recognition to the year's best new beverage product launches and re-launches.

"Despite challenging economic conditions, this year was very strong in terms of new product introductions," said John Craven, editor-in-chief of "Over 400 new or revised beverage products came to the market in 2008."

In line with the trend of recent years, over half of the new products are energy drinks or functional water products. "Even though their stories aren't new, beverage entrepreneurs still aspire to be the next Red Bull or vitaminwater," said Jeffrey Klineman, editor of and Beverage Spectrum Magazine.

The top award, "Best Beverage of 2008," went to Muscle Milk, which is produced by Florida-based CytoSport Inc. "This was a huge year for Muscle Milk," said Craven. "They've taken protein and vitamin drinks to the mainstream, gained distribution with the Pepsi Bottling Group, and their product execution is top-notch."

Other award winners include:

-- Best Functional Beverage: CytoSport's "Muscle Milk"

-- Best Energy Drink: Hobarama Corp.'s "BAWLS G33K B33R"

-- Best Tea: Steaz Organic Iced Teaz

-- Best Carbonated Drink: Red Bull North America's, "Red Bull Simply Cola"

-- Best Non-Carbonated Beverage: Adina's "Adina Natural Highs"

-- Best Enhanced Water: Joint Juice Inc.'s, "Joint Juice Fitness Water"

-- Best Energy Shot: Drinks that Work's "UpShot"

-- Best Packaging Innovation: Mass Probitiocs' "pHD"

-- Best Packaging Design: "Borba"

-- Best Brand Re-launch: "GURU Energy Drink"

-- Best Tablet/Powdered Beverage: Nuun

-- Best Organic Beverage (Tie): Steaz' "Organic Iced Teaz" and Honest Tea's "Honest Kids"

-- Best Kids' Beverage: Honest Tea's "Honest Kids"

-- Best Marketing Campaign: Living Essentials' "5 Hour Energy" campaign

-- Innovator of the Year: Scott Henderson of Living Essentials

This year's winners covered 16 different categories and were chosen from a field of more than 300 entries. Each entry was evaluated on a variety of different criteria including market readiness, flavor, functionality, innovation, packaging design and function, marketing pitch, and where applicable, performance in the marketplace.

In its sixth year,'s "Best of" awards were sponsored this year by DSM Nutritional Products.
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