CHICAGO — Consumers are increasingly taking a hands-on approach to their own nutrition using their food as medicine and expecting beverages to deliver functional benefits in addition to refreshment, according to a new report from Chicago-based data researcher SPINS. The beverage industry has responded with a wide array of options, from energy drinks and enhanced waters to cultured probiotic drinks and naturally functional beverages, marketing health benefits such as improved hydration, energy, performance, focus and more.
Reviewing the sales of refrigerated juices and functional beverages, plus shelf-stable functional beverages and waters, Spins data shows these categories are up 5.9% across all channels to a $27.2 billion market over the past year, and certain segments specific to functional and enhanced beverages are outpacing this top-line growth. A few high-performing segments include:
- Shelf-stable energy and other functional beverages: $3.3 billion in sales (an 11.7% increase).
- Shelf-stable enhanced waters: $2.2 billion (12.8% increase).
- Refrigerated kombucha and fermented beverages: $699.8 million (15.7% increase).
- Refrigerated coconut and plant water: $60.7 million (10.1% increase).
“The beverage industry is a hotbed of innovation,” said Michelle Gillespie, natural insights analyst for SPINS. “Several segments in the functional and enhanced beverages market showed double-digit growth over the past year, providing consumers with drinks that do more than ever before.”