Hydration: The Gateway to Wellness

April 2023

As more global consumers prioritise hydration as part of their health and nutrition routines, established category lines are starting to blur. Suppliers and brands from across soft drinks and consumer health approach this opportunity through new formats and styles of hydration innovation – from sports drinks to powders, oral rehydration solutions and tea. Hydration has emerged as a central wellness platform, with high-growth hydration brands branching into adjacent functional benefits.

USD 1,325
Request More Information


This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

The marketplace for hydration increasingly blurs the line between soft drinks and consumer health

Hydration functionality, for years the exclusive space of sports drinks brands like Gatorade, can now be found across powder concentrates, sport nutrition mixes, oral rehydration salts, plant waters, and multipurpose vitamins and dietary supplements. The dramatic expansion of hydration products across formats and categories reflects an increasing consumer base clamouring for hydration solutions.

New hydration consumers demand product attributes/messaging that meet their lifestyles

The rising base of hydration consumers includes those to whom the category catered in the past (like fitness enthusiasts) but also consumers interested in integrating hydration products in their everyday lives. As a result, hydration products are increasingly specialising, with some continuing to message around sports performance and recovery, while others focus on refreshment and everyday usage.

The US is the largest market for hydration, with Japan, UK, Germany, France and China also prominent

The US has the largest and most dynamic marketplace for added-value hydration products, with dominant players in sports drinks, rising start-ups in oral rehydration salts, emerging combination products that mix sports functionality with health need-states, and trendy lifestyle brands like Prime Hydration that attract younger consumers. Hydration in Europe, Japan and China starts from behind but is seeing strong growth and innovative product launches.

Multi-benefit hydration is driving innovation across formats

Brands are increasingly integrating hydration into the wider wellness universe, taking advantage of broad consumer awareness of the health benefits of improved hydration. Multi-benefit offerings that extend hydration’s proposition from sports and physical recovery to immune support, gut health, relaxation, focus/clarity and energy boosting are proving popular, further blurring the line between dietary supplements, beverages and sports nutrition.


Key findings
What is this report about?
What do we mean by the “hydration category”?
Methodology/sources for understanding hydration
Water+ enhanced beverages are a value creator in the drinks industry
The line between beverage and nutritional supplement is blurring
Understanding the changing format mix within hydration drinks
North America still dominates sports drink and sports nutrition spending
Format innovation creates opportunity for new small and mid-size hydration brands
Who are the consumers who seek hydration?
Hydration consumers are concerned about a range of other health conditions
Exercise is still the cornerstone of hydration engagement
Hydration in the wider content of health, wellness and nutrition
Hydration consumers are heavy users of health tech
Personal health technology allows consumers to better monitor and improve hydration
Hydration has segmented into distinct need-states and categories
Sizing the global market for added-value hydration products
US: Sports drinks brands push into new formats for hydration products
US: Development of hydration e-commerce brands across sports drinks and powder mixes
Japan: Otsuka Pharmaceutical leads hydration with segmentation across need-state
Japan: Otsuka Pharmaceutical outreach to prevent heat related illness
Europe: Advanced sports nutrition brands have the edge as hydration demand increases
Europe: Sustainability concerns create opportunity for non-RTD hydration products
Canned herbal teas and barley tea as natural hydration options in Asian markets
Unprecedented momentum of Prime underscores the importance of viral/social engagement
Coca-Cola to realign its hydration portfolio in 2023 following Bodyarmor acquisition
PepsiCo vertically integrates hydration options under the Gatorade global brand
Hydration plus: Approaching hydration as a health and wellness platform
Category leader Nuun successfully extends to immune supports benefits
Pedialyte’s various reinventions keep the brand at the leading edge of hydration
Otsuka’s BodyMainté combines hydration and all-purpose physical conditioning
Gatorade and Bodyarmor move into performance, pre-workout energy
Bala Enzyme extends sports recovery benefits to joint relief
Raisin tea offers a natural alternative for “post-social” replenishment
Hydrant connects the dots between hydration and sleep
Waterdrop expanding concentrate format with sustainability messaging
Corsa hydration tonics marry craft appeal, recovery and refreshment
Sap’s Original targets everyday hydration with added functional benefits
For today’s consumer, hydration is a platform for general wellness
Implications for suppliers

Soft Drinks

This is the aggregation of the following categories; Carbonates, Fruit/vegetable juice, Bottled water, Functional drinks, Concentrates, RTD tea, RTD coffee and Asian speciality drinks.

See All of Our Definitions


If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extraction Free!