Functional and Natural Ready-to-Drink Beverages in the U.S.

24-Sep-2011 | News-Press Release

Packaged Facts’ Functional and Natural RTD Beverages in the U.S. offers a comprehensive look at the $21 billion market for single-serve, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages across three categories and several competing product segments: (1) energy drinks/shots, sports drinks, and nutrient-enhanced waters, in itself a $15 billion category; (2) RTD tea and coffee, and (3) refrigerated yogurt drinks and juice/fruit smoothies. A 7% aggregate compound annual growth rate for these products over the most recent five-year period is a testament to the strength of the market before 2007 and since 2010. In the recessionary years of 2008 and 2009, most of these product segments flat-lined in sales growth, in keeping with the overall sales slump in foods and beverages as well as in the U.S. consumer economy overall. By 2010, nonetheless, energy/sports drinks and RTD tea/coffee showed renewed dynamism, signaling the onset of a new cycle of sales growth for these convenience, refreshment and re-charge beverages. However controversial some energy drinks may be, this lively product segment continues to call the shots in the market, accounting for 44% of the total product introductions in 2010. Many new product introductions in rival “pick up, pick me up” beverage segments are clearly marching to the beat of energy drinks or energy shots, and the newest product segment in this market, nutrient-enhanced waters, competes as a lighter re-mix of energy/sports drinks.

Functional and Natural RTD Beverages in the U.S. examines sales and trends across the retail spectrum, using proprietary primary data from Packaged Facts’ March 2011 food shoppers Insights survey as well as retail sales-tracking data from Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan Review for mass channels and SPINSscan Review for the natural channel. This report tabulates market composition by product category and retail channel, as well as marketer/brand shares within and across product segments. The analysis pays special attention to cross-category trends in new product development, drawing on comprehensive new product data from Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics database, and analyzes consumer usage (including demographic and psychographic context) based on current and five-year-trended Experian Simmons national consumer survey data.

Browse All: Beverages Market Research

Market Insights: A Selection From The Report

Convenience Stores Claim Half of Category
Convenience stores are the leading channel for the energy drinks, sports drinks, and functional waters category, according to Packaged Facts estimates, accounting for half (50%) of overall sales. Supermarkets and mass merchandisers/supercenters follow with about 19% of sales each. [Figure 1-3]

A Boost from Antioxidants
Antioxidants have a reputation of protecting against cellular damage and a variety of ailments as well as promoting bodily defenses against aging. Antioxidant ingredients are present in numerous products in the market, and tea especially is naturally high in antioxidants. In a Packaged Facts 2011 online survey of consumers who had shopped for groceries within the last 24 hours, 8% indicated that they had purchased grocery products with high antioxidant claims, making high antioxidants a top ten consumer nutritional concern, and one that consumers either purchase more avidly or remember more vividly than the traditional high
vitamin/mineral claim, checked off by 6% of grocery shoppers. Obviously, this strong level of consumer interest this is a plus for the RTD beverage market. [Figure 2-3]

Functional Water: Like Water, Only Better
Traditional bottled water did not weather the recession unscathed, but another type of water beverage has taken off despite the economic conditions. Functional water gives consumers a reason to buy water again, providing benefits that they can’t get out of
the tap. While many functional waters provide flavor enhancement, their main value-added benefit is health-oriented. The segment is characterized by the addition of strategic ingredients or claims of nutraceutical benefits. Varieties include vitamin additives, energy boosters or calming ingredients. Although there are plenty of “enhanced” waters and”infused” waters available, Packaged Facts defines this segment as bottled water products that are marketed on the basis of some added health benefit or promise a “function” beyond simple hydration or flavor. Functional waters are typically lighter alternatives to products in the energy or sports beverage segments, although they may contain similar ingredients.

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