Having declined sharply in 2020, off-trade volume sales of sports drinks saw no more than a partial recovery during 2021. The core consumers of sport drinks are blue-collar workers, such as farmers, drivers and labours, who consume these beverages to boost their energy.
Even before the onset of the pandemic, off-trade volume sales of sports drinks had been in decline in Thailand. Sport drinks generally have a healthy image in Thailand, especially in comparison with most other soft drinks, and the core consumer base for the category encompasses fitness enthusiasts and other health and wellness-oriented individuals.
Demand for sports drinks appears to be relatively mature in Thailand, in spite of the efforts of manufacturers to reinvigorate the category by launching offerings that contain functional ingredients. Energy/protein bars are growing in popularity as an alternative to sports drinks among both sports enthusiasts and blue-collar workers.
During 2022, the rate of growth in off-trade volume sales of sports drinks will accelerate to its highest level in seven years, boosted by a post-pandemic economic rebound and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on the opening of sporting venues. However, sports drinks will struggle to maintain this momentum, as they are increasingly seen as artificial, particularly in comparison with more natural options like bottled water and coconut and other plant waters.
The growing popularity of protein-rich food and beverages will continue to undermine demand for sports drinks during the forecast period. In particular, sources of protein like soy milk and whey are set to grow in popularity among young adults.
Public events, particularly sporting ones, have always played a significant role in the marketing of sports drinks, but there have been very few of these since the onset of the pandemic. As pandemic restrictions are eased during the early part of the forecast period, these events will revive, providing a renewed opportunity for manufacturers of sports drinks to boost brand awareness among local consumers.
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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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