Consumers have increasingly been looking for products that can provide benefits to their health. Soft drinks with added ingredients have been gaining ground, especially since the pandemic.
Even after the lockdown restrictions were relaxed, consumers continued to spend more time at home in comparison with the pre-pandemic period. Whether the aim was to keep awake during working hours, or to recreate the on-trade experience, FF soft drinks continued to see growth in 2021, particularly FF energy drinks.
Demand for FF beverages also continued to drive a positive performance for FF tea in 2021. While remaining interested in products with general health claims, consumers increased their search for options with more specific benefits.
The demand for FF soft drinks in the UK is unlikely to diminish in the forecast period. Consumers’ higher awareness about their health and increased demand for functionality will mainly benefit those soft drinks that are already perceived as healthier, such as FF bottled water, which is seen as a healthier alternative to sports drinks, for instance, and FF fruit/vegetable juice, which is likely to attract some consumers who are moving away from more artificial categories, such as carbonates.
FF energy drinks is expected to see new product developments at the more natural end of the spectrum in the forecast period. Currently, regular energy drinks are commonly perceived as artificial and, in some cases, as harmful to one’s health.
Health and wellness claims will become a major driver of sales in the coming years, especially in FF fruit/herbal tea. Innovation is moving in two different but related directions: focus-enhancement products to boost productivity by increasing energy and concentration, and relaxation products to induce calm or to support sleep.
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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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