Energy-boosting drinks have grown in popularity in Europe, as consumers seek functional drinks that can help improve performance, focus and energy levels at work (at home or in the traditional office/workplace) or at the gym. This was accelerated by the global pandemic, as consumers sought to fight “lockdown fatigue” and to boost the immune system by getting drinks that contain caffeine or added vitamins. This demand is expected to expand to alternative formats beyond the energy drinks space.
Growth in energy drinks in value terms over 2021-2026 is set to exceed that in coffee. This demonstrates European consumers’ appetite for alternative energy-boosting drinks (ie all drinks that have this functional proposition) beyond a traditional cup of coffee.
Consumers are increasingly seeking added vitamins in beverages for energy but also for immunity-boosting purposes. This can be explained by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers’ perception of health, and the importance they place on strengthening their immune systems in order to reduce the risk of getting ill.
There is ongoing innovation in energy-boosting drinks, for example in RTD coffee, which has recently been expanding in Western European markets. RTD coffee has moved from being positioned as an indulgent drink to being a potential substitute for energy drinks or a cup of hot coffee.
Several brands in Western Europe have been investing in functional waters – including still, sparkling and flavoured. Such products are seen as direct challengers to carbonates, and resonate well amongst health-conscious consumers looking to cut their sugar and seeking naturally flavoured drinks.
The forecast for RTD energy drinks and other energy-boosting drinks is bright in Western Europe. It is possible that new forms of energy-boosting drink will penetrate the market, as has already been seen with natural energy powders. These appeal to consumers who want a non-carbonated energy-boosting drink.
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