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Aronia as a trending superfruit: RTD start-up ax-water launches infused waters

Native to the Midwest region of North America, but still largely unknown in the US, the aronia berry is the nutrient-packed superfood for which the consumer health industry has been waiting. This is according to ax-water, a US health and wellness beverage company cornering this new market in the US with a range of aronia berry infused waters. Blake Johnson, agriculture and biosystems engineer and Co-Founder of ax-water, about the merits of this “superfruit.”

Boasting a higher antioxidant count than 276 other edible items, according to a 2007 USDA study, the low calorie, high fiber aronia berry beat out nearly all other berries, including blueberries, cranberries, acai berries and pomegranates with their unparalleled free-radical fighting power.

“We see the antioxidant marketing increasing in the next coming years as more and more people are educated in antioxidants and free radicals and the correlation to overall health. Europe grows 55 million pounds per year and has over 400 different products containing aronia. They are well versed in the wonderful benefits of the aronia berry,” Johnson. “The US market is in its infancy with the best guess of 1.5 million to 2 million pounds per year. We see this trend growing.”

In addition to the high antioxidant count, aronia berries are one of nature's most potent anti-inflammatories.

“Anyone may be a good candidate for antioxidants. Antioxidants may combat free radicals, and free radicals can be formed by the pollutants in our air, water and food. Also physical exertion can form free radicals,” Johnson says.

“The US has seen a rise in diseases often linked to chronic inflammation, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and Crohn's," says Dr. Jim Johnson, Chief Medical Officer of ax-water & a sports medicine physician. "Incorporating natural anti-inflammatories into a diet, in addition to medical treatment, will be pivotal in turning this trend around."

Made from all natural ingredients, with no erythritol, preservatives, or artificial coloring or flavoring, each bottle of ax-water contains 30 calories and packs all the benefits of the aronia berry into 16 oz, ax-water notes. The beverage is currently available in three flavors, Lemon, Black Tea and Blackberry + Pear.

Founded in 2017, ax-water is the brainchild of Johnson and Wade Gronwold, entrepreneur and athletic trainer. The company's beverages are currently available for purchase via Amazon, but Johnson notes that the plan is to expand to retail outlets across the country.

“Ax-water was developed to bring to consumers the aronia berry, in a way that is delicious and easy to consume. Our drinks are all natural, relying on the inherent benefits of the aronia berry to provide maximum antioxidant and anti-inflammatory value,” Johnson explains.

“The main challenges we have faced [as a starting company] is getting the education out there about the aronia berry. Most people have never heard of it let alone its remarkable benefits. We hope to achieve more distribution in the US this year and continue to grow our distribution network,” he concludes.

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