Bottled water is expected to be the fastest growing category in global packaged beverages over the next five years. Meanwhile, functional waters and plant waters have emerged as two of the fastest growing ‘enhanced’ water categories. As consumers seek lighter, healthier, replenishing drinks, there is a need for the industry to expand and balance its portfolio of added value hydration drinks to suit occasions ranging from everyday consumption to post-athletic recovery.
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Bottled water accounts for the vast majority of expected beverage volume growth across all regions. “Hydration” beverages – including lower volume but higher-priced enhanced waters, sports drinks and juice drinks/stills – also vastly outperform sparkling beverages and refreshment options.
Hydration remains the most important need state in packaged drinks. Despite expected volume growth for the hydration category through to 2021, unit prices for “hydration” drinks are still low relative to sparkling options. There is a need to offer added-value waters and premium hydration products (particularly sports drinks and plant waters) to achieve value growth from consumers’ demand for hydration.
Across food and beverages, consumers are changing how they eat, drink, exercise and think about their daily nutrition. Encouragingly, hydration consistently ranks near the top of consumer health priorities, and may be poised to benefit from consumers’ interest in water and water-like options if operators can achieve the right mix of added-value hydration options.