Category outgrows niche
Functional sports drinks have been used by athletes for decades. But now an increasing number of non-athletes are turning to them as a low-calorie way to stay energised. A new report that looked at ten successful products all launched in the United States or Europe in the past few years suggests that as more people become health-conscious and seek an active lifestyle, the sports drinks category will continue to expand.
Juste Akmenskyte, Partner Marketing Consultant at MyDrink Beverages, who conducted the report, says:
"Sports drinks are becoming multi-functional, incorporating rehydration, nutrition and recovery to benefit the body before, during or after sports. It used to be that most sports drinks contained electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride, and a high percentage of sugar. But now an increasing number are being made with natural ingredients, which appeals more to health-conscious consumers."
The report finds that choosing the right consumer segments is a vital element in soft drinks marketing. The companies that were most successful targeted niche consumer segments, rather than the mass market. With high production and marketing costs, these beverages are usually expensive, however, as practice shows, an increasing number of Generation Z and Millenials are health-aware and willing to pay the premium for products that are better for them.
Since functional sports drinks contain numerous health benefits, companies have found success in promoting their brand by educating consumers en masse.