Having seen only marginal growth in off-trade volume and current value sales in 2019, sports drinks experienced a slump in 2020, due to the conditions of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, especially lockdowns and other movement restrictions, curfews and the closure of gyms, sports clubs, fitness centres, etc. As consumers led stay-at-home lifestyles, off-trade volume and value sales saw double-digit declines.
Sports drinks is increasingly under pressure due to the rising competition from other types of soft drinks in Italy. One major competitor is energy drinks, which proved more innovative in terms of new products and more attractive, especially to young consumers, in 2020 and 2021.
The progressive return to pre-COVID-19 conditions and lifestyles, such as on-the-go consumption, out-of-home activities, including workouts in gyms, fitness centres and sports centres, and the shift back to the workplace are set to only partially benefit sports drinks in Italy. While a rebound in the category to register positive off-trade volume and value (constant 2021 prices) growth is predicted for 2022, this is likely to be short-lived, with sales set to drop again over the rest of the forecast period.
As in other categories of soft drinks, health and wellness is set to drive growth opportunities in sports drinks during the forecast period. While regular is the only significant format in sports drinks in 2021, the strong health and wellness trend offers the potential for the emergence of reduced sugar variants in the medium to long term.
In addition to innovation in terms of reduced sugar variants and sustainable packaging, sports drinks is likely to see opportunities for development and growth in the progressive return of consumers to gyms, fitness centres and sports centres and global sports events. This course is linked to the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Sports Drinks industry in Italy with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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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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