Most non-alcoholic beverages contain an excessive amount of sugar, caffein or different additives to be consumed on an everyday basis. Over the past 5 years, demand for functional beverages has been increasing as customers progressively lean toward healthier uptake habits. Shopper interest in healthy food has inflated by 89% since 2016 and nearly 40% since 2019.
This interest extends to the beverage industry as well. Today's consumers not only want a product that tastes good, they want additional health benefits. That's why functional beverages are growing so rapidly, with consumer interest in functional beverages increasing 272% in the past year alone.
What are functional drinks ?
Functional beverages are special-purpose beverages, which can be refined into sports drinks, nutrient drinks, energy drinks, electrolyte drinks and other special-purpose beverages, etc. Specifically, they refer to a category of beverages that regulate the function of the body to some extent by changing the ratio of the composition and content of natural nutrients in the beverage.
In the past, functional drinks were largely associated with sports and fitness, and most of the functional drinks in the market were focused on improving energy and relieving sports fatigue, etc. Monster Energy, Red Bull, War Horse, etc. are all typical brands.
As the economy grows and consumer and health philosophies continue to be optimized, functional beverages are no longer focused on the sports population, but are becoming more mass market and are starting to become one of the popular beverages. With the popularity of the "dual-use" concept in China and the West, consumer interest in obtaining nutritional and health benefits through food rather than medicine continues to grow. 2021 will see a 25% increase in interest in functional foods and a 780% increase since 2016. This trend is now catering to more everyday health needs.
Types of functional beverages products
As far as functional ingredients are concerned, beverages are a great product vehicle. A range of interesting functional beverages have been launched in the last year, covering many health function claims from relaxation, weight management, sleep to immunity.
#1. Immune Health Drink
Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc recently launched a new line of functional fortified water products, marketed to the public under the brand name B1U, with simple ingredients and no sugar or artificial sweeteners. The products contain zinc and vitamin C to provide immune protection, as well as other ingredients such as protein, fiber and caffeine.
#2. Weight management drink
With people's outdoor lives severely limited by the pandemic, significant interest in weight management products is expected in the coming years. Already, many beverage products on the market are addressing this issue and becoming more segmented.
For example, Bolthouse Farms has launched Bolts Metabolism Concentrate with 66 mg of cayenne pepper, as well as tomato and green tea extracts, designed to boost metabolism.
#3. Gut Health Drink
Functional drinks have been growing steadily and probiotic drinks have become a major trend. Probiotics help promote intestinal health and regulate the immune system. Whether it's Kombucha or Kvass, consumers are realizing that these products can improve intestinal health.
Asmara Singapore is launching a prebiotic-containing rose and lavender drink, two ingredients that are effective for skin health. Lavender has a calming and soothing effect, maintaining relaxation, cognition, endurance and intestinal health, while prebiotic soluble fiber promotes the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria and maintains a healthy digestive system. Also, the product is of natural origin and free of preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.
#4. Sleep Drink
Express Scripts USA found that the number of weekly prescriptions for antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia medications rose 21 percent in the United States from February to March 2020. Between 2015 and 2019, this number actually declined. Based on Sps data, a 400% increase in interest in sleep foods can be found over the past four years, and the predictive algorithm expects a further increase of nearly 6% by January 2021.
That's why there is a growing market for functional foods that ease rest and relaxation. som sleep products include L-theanine, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), magnesium, vitamin B6 and melatonin. In addition, PepsiCo has jumped on the bandwagon with its Driftwell drink, which contains 200 mg of L-theanine and 10% of the body's daily magnesium requirement.
The 2020 epidemic has been a very tough year. According to Sps data, stress and anxiety are with many of us almost all the time, a number that spiked by 31% last year. One effect of stress is dehydration, and conversely, dehydration can lead to greater levels of anxiety or stress. So, staying hydrated is a very important part of living with the epidemic.
In the coming years, the trend of functional drinks will become more and more obvious. This space caters to the more functional needs of consumers. According to market data, some of the key health statements to look out for include eye health, hair health, hormonal balance and brain health.