demand for nature's balmS Functional smoothies have created a buzz among big and small companies alike, encouraging them to delve into a wide repertoire of weird and wonderful ingredients to excite and tempt consumers to trial the drinks. The Tiger Bay Beverages Co for example has brought out smoothies with some of the most unusual ingredients. Tiger Energize makes use of a Russian herb called rhodiola, Tiger Chillout contains avena sativa, and Tiger Vitalize includes the vitamin supplement spirulina. Managing director Tracey Powell says: "Functional beverages are a growth category, as are smoothies, and by combining the two we hope to be able to offer a unique selling opportunity." GlaxoSmithKline has made a second foray into the smoothie cabinet via a link with the Ealing Juice Co and claims to be taking smoothies to a new stage of development by introducing a range with natural supplements that deliver a health benefit. Four variants under the Plenty brand are Spark, which makes claims for energy, Support, which it says aids the immune system, Balance, which detoxifies, and Orange C for a vitamin C boost. Ealing Juice md Jonathan Salisbury says: "We have seen an important shift in people's attitudes to health and wellbeing, and the type of food and drink they want to consume. A survey we commissioned recently showed that 89% of adults believe that natural products offer a more effective way of delivering essential nutrients than artificial supplements." {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}