The long lockdown in the winter of 2020/21 has hampered on-trade’s recovery of sports drinks, in addition to reducing the opportunities for Germans to exercise outside of their homes. The closure of gyms and pausing of club sports has caused several issues, particularly for children who have not had adequate exercise and have spent too much time at home in front of digital devices instead of participating in sports.
In 2021, the long lockdown and various restrictive measures on businesses exerted strong pressure on the demand for sports drinks through on-trade in particular. Volume sales through this channel are expected to recover slowly, returning to pre-pandemic levels by 2023.
Sports drinks focus on enhancing one’s performance before starting to exercise and/or supplying the body with necessary minerals after training. In this way, sports drinks increasingly competes with energy drinks, while promising to deliver more than just an energy boost.
The pandemic has accelerated the need for staying physically fit and healthy. As German society is ageing, diseases are looming and threaten the wellbeing of millions of consumers.
Sports drinks is expected to face growing competition from other categories such as energy drinks which are blurring the line between the two types of soft drinks. Fortified and functional soft drinks are predicted to increasingly compete with sports drinks that are rather limited to a specific dedicated consumer group that regularly exercises.
Sports drinks in Germany is fairly consolidated between global players such as Coca-Cola and private label from leading discounters such as Aldi, while smaller brands continue to gain share under “others”. However, in line with greater interest in fitness and sports drinks, there is also increasing activity levels from local producers to expand their portfolios.
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The choice of sports drink usually depends on the provision of fluids, carbohydrates or both. Included into this subsector are isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic sports drinks. Isotonic are products that replace lost body fluids, electrolytes (sodium, potassium and chlorides) and glucose in similar concentrations to existing body fluid without causing either swelling or shrinkage of cells. These products usually contain about 5-8% carbohydrate and are intended to be consumed during exercise and/or heat exposure. Hypotonic this product is a weaker solution than your body fluid. These drinks contain less carbohydrate and therefore have lower osmolality (fewer dissolved particles than blood). These drinks help the body to speed up water absorption and are best used when you need urgent fluid replacement, as in after exercise. These drinks are not the best for energy replacement. Hypertonic - this drink is a stronger solution than your body fluid. These drinks are designed to replace and maintain energy levels during exercise of at least one hour. They are absorbed slowly and therefore are not appropriate for fluid replacement. Leading brands in off-trade volume include Gatorade, Powerade and Aquarius.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Sports Drinks research and analysis database.
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