While sports drinks had been experiencing high growth prior to the pandemic, as more and more people concentrated on getting fit, 2020 lockdown put an abrupt halt to the growth, largely because gyms were closed. In 2020, retail value growth was flat and there was a slight decline in volume sales.
Knjaz Milos, owned by PepsiCo, continued to dominate sports drinks in terms of value share and gained further significant value share and in fact was the strongest performer among sport drinks players in 2021. The company extended its Aqua Viva brand in 2021, with Aqua Viva Zero Sugar Get Shaped and Aqua Viva Zero Sugar and they were heavily advertised on Aqua Viva brand’s Facebook page during 2021.
There is a growing consumer base for sports drinks and there have been many articles in the printed press and other media reports during the review period, which focused on the positive benefits of sports drinks. In addition, the rising interest in health and wellness has also boosted the growth and sales for sports drinks.
The outlook is very promising for sports drinks over the forecast period, with healthy constant value and volume growth predicted. All the same, value sales will still be relatively low by the end of the forecast period and sports drinks will still be the smallest soft drink in Serbia in terms of value sales.
Manufacturers of sports drinks in Serbia are usually large producers of bottled water, juice and carbonates, with sports drinks being a much smaller part of their product portfolios. As the product area is still only at the nascent stage, it is unlikely that these players will focus on new launches across the forecast period, as a consumer base is still being developed.
Although benefiting from a growing target audience, sports drinks are facing increasing competition from other soft drinks, such as functional bottled water, which is positioned as a healthy hydration option. Functional bottled water also benefits from being sugar-free, whereas sports drinks tend to have a high sugar content.
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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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