The sports drinks category is consistently evolving and growing across the globe with new brands investing more in research and development activities to come up with healthier products infused with novel functional ingredients. We have brought you some of the top trends to look out for in the sports drinks category.
Fortified and Powdered Products Are on the Rise
In today’s monotonous world, fortified rehydration is considered to be one of the niche markets in the field of sports drinks. These beverages are nowadays commonly found in fitness facilities and gyms. These are mainly marketed as post-workout drinks that must be taken for recovery.
In September 2021, for instance, AB InBev announced that Anheuser-Busch would be utilizing its distribution network named AB One to distribute a ready-to-drink hydration beverage called ShineWater. It contains 100% of the regular recommended dose of vitamin D. The new product will be available across the company’s geographic network in Oklahoma, in the Northeast, and on the West Coast. The novel vitamin D water would satiate consumers’ high demand for functional beverages in the region.
Similarly, in June 2022, Michael Morrison and Reggie Reed, two best friends based in St. Petersburg introduced LIV 21. It is a special recovery drink that is made to rehydrate and replenish an individual’s body after a day or night of consuming alcoholic beverages. Both developers started their research work and listed manufacturers to support them in making the drink. They have spent nearly six months making the formula. The drink is infused with coconut water, vitamins, and electrolytes for rehydration.
Natural Ingredients and Clean Label Products Hit the Shelves
Clean label formulations and natural ingredients are topping the minds of consumers in the sports sector across the globe. These terms are rapidly set to become two of the most trending marketing claims even though they don’t have a universally standardized or accepted meaning.
Numerous brands in various parts of the globe are striving persistently to meet clean-label standards of ‘natural’ by formulating and reformulating their products. The ‘natural’ term can vary as it is highly dependent on the consumer and the brand itself.
High demand for low-sugar sports drinks is also expected to boost the segment to a whole new level in the future years. Brands are nowadays replacing sucralose, a common ingredient in sports drinks with natural sweeteners, including monk fruit. Bitterness and lingering can pose serious threats with these natural sweeteners. However, ongoing advancements in stevia technology, as well as improvement of conventional flavors would make it possible for brands to create low-calorie, great-tasting products.
In September 2021, Clean Energy unveiled its latest on-the-go smoothie packs containing only organic vegetables and fruits. The products are available in multiple flavors, including Flaxseed, Spinach, Banana, Blueberry, and Strawberry. The company is aiming to deliver nutrition of a homemade smoothie with the electrolyte boost of renowned energy gels and convenience of packaged food, without the clean-up or mess of blending or mixing a smoothie.
Various Brands are Targeting Millennials and Women
Several brands operating in the sports drinks segment are consistently launching new products that are specially curated for millennials and women consumers- two of the fastest-growing markets in sports nutrition. The growing influence of these two flourishing markets is anticipated to shape future formulations and direct marketing trends.
In June 2021, Southern Health Foods Pvt. Ltd. Entered into the space of women’s health drinks by introducing Manna iStrong. It is an instant drink mix made especially for women and is infused with iron, vitamin C, and 3 super grains.