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Flavor: Plant waters on the rise [Topeka Capital Journal (KS)]
[August 26, 2014]

Flavor: Plant waters on the rise [Topeka Capital Journal (KS)]

(Topeka Capital Journal (KS) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Plant waters Coconut water, maple water, even birch and cactus waters. A quick inventory of beverages in the produce section makes it clear -- plant waters are rising.

Soda and non-fresh juice sales are flat or slipping slightly, but plant-based products like coconut water -- along with other alternative beverages, such as kombucha and tea-based drinks -- are growing, particularly those sold alongside your fruits and veggies, according to data compiled by market research firm Nielsen.

Coconut water has been big for a while. Maple water is a newer entry and is essentially maple sap, the stuff that normally is boiled down to syrup. Brands include Vertical Water and SEVA. And that isn't the only tree water on the market. There is also birch water and, on the plant side, cactus, barley and artichoke waters.

Sales of all waters grew 4 percent by value and nearly 7 percent by volume since July 2013. Coconut water isn't yet being tracked specifically, but totals for beverages in the produce department, which is where much coconut water is sold, showed double-digit growth.

The value jump for all produce section beverages -- which includes smoothies, fresh juices and teas, as well as water -- was nearly 13 percent.

All of the brands promise unique nutrition benefits, but nutrition expert and registered dietitian Tina Ruggiero advises clients to read labels carefully, beware of the hype and watch for calorie content.

Chocolate "healthy" waters may not be any better for you than some other sweetened drink.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Cookbook check-off Here are some cookbooks you might want to check out: - "Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today)," by Jennifer Steinhauer (Clarkson Potter; $20). Boomers' guilty pleasures are made preservative-free in this clever collection. This isn't all Twinkies and Heath Bars -- there are Fritos and Ritz Crackers, too.

- "A Change of Appetite: Where Healthy Meets Delicious," by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley; $35). If you aren't acquainted with this London author's work, this is a fine place to start. She is smart, detail-oriented, an enthusiast of many cuisines and does her own lovely food styling.

- "Fruitful: Four Seasons of Fresh Fruit Recipes," by Brian Nicholson and Sarah Huck (Running Press; $27.50). Props go to the farm-savvy authors for offering several gooseberry dishes. Skip ahead to the "Putting Up for Winter" chapter, where more summer fruits are featured.

THE WASHINGTON POST (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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