BevNET.com's Best of 2008

With age comes change. And as the BevNET’s Best Of awards turns six, we felt the time was right to add some new categories that reflect the changes in the beverage business. Specifically, this year’s awards include categories for fast-growing product types like energy shots and mixes, as well as organic products and kids’ beverages. With more than 300 entries, our work was cut out for us – not just because of the volume, of course, but because of the high quality of the products we had to consider. At a time when the economy is shrinking and companies are cutting employees and marketing budgets, it’s a bit of sweet relief to know that innovative products are still finding their ways onto store shelves, enabling retailers to find new economic drivers through the embrace of new categories.

Just look at two of our biggest winners: Muscle Milk and 5-Hour Energy; each of them pulled the neat trick of finding unseen cracks in the market, and then like ice expanding in a roadway, jimmied those cracks into full-blown categories. By finally hammering home the idea that protein could be sold through mainstream retail outlets as an RTD beverage, Muscle Milk takes home our Best of 2008 Product of the Year. Meanwhile, through an outstanding, omnipresent marketing campaign, 5-Hour Energy president Scott Henderson is our Innovator of the Year. And here’s the rest of what has truly been an outstanding set of Best of 2008 award-winners…

Muscle Milk

Product of the Year

BAWLS G33K B33R

Best Energy Drink or Shot

Upshot

Best Energy Drink or Shot

Adina Natural Highs

Best Non Carbonated Beverage

Red Bull Simply Cola

Best Carbonated Soft Drink

Steaz Iced Teaz

Best Tea or Tea Based

GURU

Best Product Revamp

Nuun

Best New Powder, Tablet, Mix

Joint Juice

Best Enhanced Water

Borba

Best Packaging Design

PhD

Best Packaging Innovation

5-Hour

Best Marketing Campaign

Honest Kids

Best Kids' Drink