The reason for such steep declines in sales in sports drinks is due to the pandemic outbreak happening during summertime, which usually is the peak period for sports drinks, as people tend to take part in more outdoor sporting activities and generally sweat more during the hot summer months, thus wish to replenish their electrolytes with sports drinks. However, this year, consumers were spending time at home in general, working from home, had fewer outdoor activities, and thus there were fewer occasions for sports drinks to be relevant.
Sports drinks is seeing a significant hit from the time of the pandemic, with steep negative-figures declines across both foodservice and retail sales. Within this environment, players have been making innovative marketing efforts in a bid to maintain consumers – especially via leveraging on localisation and patriotic sentiments.
Connected to the above point of players in sports drinks creating innovative marketing campaigns, this has also led to variants on sporting events which, traditionally, have been instrumental in the promotion of sports drinks. However, during the time of the pandemic, large sporting events through to smaller sporting activities were stopped completely or notably restricted, resulting in imaginative thinking from sports drinks players.
Sports drinks faces growing cross-category competition. For example, as seen from coconut water which is seen as a healthy and natural alternative to sports drinks, as it contains natural electrolytes.
In order for players in sports drinks to remain competitive, a heightened health and wellness focus is required. As noted, consumers are switching away from high-sugar drinks and seeking more natural alternatives.
Ultimately, recovery in sports drinks will be in line with the lifting of pandemic restrictions. If one assumes that working from home becomes the norm, or that COVID-19 will continue to cause problems for a few more years and thus further restrict sporting activities and events, this will clearly lead to sluggish sales.
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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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