FF energy drinks remained the largest category within FF beverages in 2021 and continued to see dynamic growth. Within FF energy drinks there are currently four Red Bull brands in China.
Budweiser Brewing Company China signed a cooperation agreement with Red Bull GmbH to exclusively distribute Red Bull imported from Austria into China, making a fourth Red Bull brand available in the country. As part of its “Beyond Beer” strategy, in addition, Budweiser Brewing Company China also launched its own sugar-free energy drinks brand called Fusion in China in the first half of 2021.
At the beginning of 2021, the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China approved the use of hyaluronic acid as an ingredient in food and drinks. Hyaluronic acid was previously already widely used in skin care products to retain moisture and maintain a youthful look, but it is now also allowed to be added to food and drinks, which is already leading to the development of new products, and this is expected to continue.
Before 2020, there were very few FF beverages that were also sugar-free, with XS from Amway being the main sugar-free product in the market. However, in 2020, Beijing Genki Forest Beverage, a carbonates manufacturer which focuses on sugar-free beverages, entered FF energy drinks with the launch of Alienergy.
Due to the Tokyo Olympic Games, which were delayed to 2021, more people started participating in exercise, which contributed to the rebound in sales of FF sports drinks in 2021. In addition, due to the delay of the summer Olympics, it will be followed relatively quickly by the Winter Olympic Games in 2022, which is being held in Beijing in China.
The closure of schools and gyms during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 led to a huge drop in off-trade volume sales of functional bottled water in this year. Functional bottled water brands therefore took active measures to ensure growth as these consumption occasions returned.
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This category includes fortified/functional beverages. When identifying fortified/functional products, we focus on products to which health ingredients or/and nutrients have been added as well as brands that are positioned to deliver a certain functionality. To be included here the enhancement has to be highlighted in the label or hold a health claim/nutritional claim. Fortified/functional food and beverages provide health benefits beyond their nutritional value and/or the level of added ingredients wouldn’t normally be found in that product. To merit inclusion in this category, the defining criterion here is that the product must have been actively fortified/enhanced during production. As such, inherently healthy products such as 100% fruit/vegetable juices are only included under "fortified/functional" if additional health ingredients (e.g. calcium, omega-3) have been added. To be included, the health benefit needs to form part of positioning/marketing of the product.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Fortified/Functional Beverages research and analysis database.
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