Consumers spent less time out and about in 2020 as COVID-19 measures led to consumers spending more time at home and less time socialising. Many consumers were able to work from home, eliminating the need for a work commute and thus sales of beverages that are usually consumed on-the-go during this time.
With consumers increasingly seeking to strengthen their immune system due to their concerns over COVID-19, beverages with functional benefits increased in popularity in 2020. Functional benefits serve as a way for brands to set themselves apart in a crowded competitive landscape, and new products to tackle nutrient deficiencies, boost energy, or improve general wellbeing are being launched.
The energy drinks brand Red Bull will maintain its leading position in FF beverages in 2020, due to increased promotional efforts, a wider availability in retail than competing brands, and with the help of seasonal new product launches. Seventh place company Coca-Cola Beverages Suisse will keep its position in FF beverages, with the launch of its Aquarius brand helping the company gain share in 2020.
Over the forecast period, the demand for functional drinks is set to strongly influence new product development in bottled water and RTD tea, contributing to a rise of hybrid drinks with energy-boosting properties that do not fit squarely within energy drinks. Consumers will be keen to return to their busy lifestyles in the aftermath of COVID-19, so it is likely that these energy-enhancing beverages will really take off in the latter end of the forecast period.
FF bottled water is expected to register positive volume sales growth over the forecast period. The category gained ground in 2020 despite consumers spending more time at home.
Over the forecast period, FF beverages manufacturers are expected to adjust their marketing strategies to appeal to their changing consumer base. Traditionally, interest in FF beverages has come from the millennial generation.
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