Demand for fortified/functional beverages in the United Arab Emirates is being generally driven by a greater focus on healthier lifestyles, including the recognition that local consumers face acute deficiency of vitamin D as they rarely spend time outdoors due to the hot climate. Therefore, an increasing number of beverage players are targeting functionality as they offer higher margins due to their above average unit price.
Following dynamic growth pre-pandemic, demand for FF bottled water remained stable in 2021, as players largely marketed the qualities of functionality including additional vitamins or pH levels to attract consumers’ attention. Local consumers are also starting to educate themselves on the different types of health and wellness beverages that are available, including comparing prices whilst considering which ones claim to offer the greatest value to suit their financial circumstances.
Producers are increasingly looking to introduce fortified/functional beverages that also address sustainability issues to attract conscious consumers. The messaging of the overall product combines these themes as the consumer views them to be interlinked when making a purchasing decision for beverages with a slightly premium price point.
In addition to specific health benefits, local consumers also consider quality and experience when deciding which health and wellness beverages to purchase, particularly for at-home consumption and preparation. This has led to an increase in demand for FF fruit/herbal tea.
The onus placed on gut health and immunity is expected to accelerate product development of players, resulting in increasing competition within the fortified/functional space in line with increasing consumer demand and interest. Maintaining one’s health through a convenient format by consuming beverages that include a number of perceived beneficial ingredients will become central to purchasing decisions and preferences, leading to a greater willingness to pay a premium to try new variants.
E-commerce is increasingly penetrating the health and wellness space, and although it held negligible share of fortified/functional beverages in 2021, it offers further potential, something it has already achieved in fortified/functional packaged food. Local consumers now have access to a more diverse range of products online that can be delivered to their doors, offering greater convenience.
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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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