Caffeinated products is a dynamic growth area in beverages, as the consumer need for effective energy outweighs rising concerns about stress and anxiety. This fundamental tension, however, means that as caffeine consumption grows, increasing attention will need to be paid to the mitigation of caffeine’s negative side-effects.
Global consumption of caffeine from beverages is set to continue to grow at a solid pace worldwide for the foreseeable future. Strengthening mindfulness concerns from ever-more stressed consumers have so far done little to slow this, despite the inherent tension between these two trends, as caffeine’s ability to effectively deliver energy consistently proves to be valued more highly than avoiding its negative side-effects.
While general caffeine guidance from public health authorities exists, most consumers set their own personal levels based on at what point the negative side-effects outweigh the energy benefits, based on their own bodies and needs. Significant opportunity therefore exists in mitigated caffeine solutions that allow for higher energy delivery without increased side-effects.
Most caffeine growth will come from increasing consumption of the traditionally highly caffeinated categories: coffee, tea and energy drinks. However, many of the more interesting product launches are in non-traditional categories. Caffeinated waters, sports drinks and alcoholic RTDs are becoming more important. These are not adding massive amounts of caffeine in the aggregate, but they are reshaping what caffeinated occasions look like.
Caffeine has rarely come into the crosshairs of politicians unless there is a perceived threat to children. New regulations in South Korea aimed at protecting school children show that this remains the dominant theme in caffeine legislation. Indirect effects from sugar taxes, however, remain a distinct possibility, not to caffeine as such, but to caffeinated products with high sugar levels (which is many of them).
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