There were many health attributes that became less important to US consumers during the pandemic. FF claims in beverages tended not to be one of them, as products with added vitamin C, or anything else with an immune claim, benefited from the widespread consumer preoccupation with getting the immune system in top shape to fight off the COVID-19 pandemic.
FF tea was the top-performing FF beverages category during the pandemic in 2020. This is not surprising, as tea, especially herbal tea, is a default option for many consumers when they are feeling sick or are worried that they might be.
FF energy drinks hit a slight bump in the road in 2020, as the category lost a massive number of on-the-go consumption occasions, but it bounced back with little issue in 2021. The pandemic did not change the fact that US consumers have a great deal to get done, and are constantly reaching for caffeine in ever-higher quantities to help them get through it.
The pandemic-assisted boost to sales will be difficult to hold onto for FF beverages. In particular, the immune support claims that were so critical during this period will find a tougher market in the years ahead.
Added protein beverages continue to appear at a regular pace as protein maintains its position as the macronutrient of the moment. Americans are actively trying to add more protein to their diet because of the variety of benefits associated with protein consumption, including cultivating muscle mass and feeling satiated.
While most US consumers do get all the protein they need, most are consuming considerably less fibre than they should be. Adequate fibre consumption is linked to many positive health benefits, including a reduced risk of numerous chronic diseases, such as heart disease and some cancers.
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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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