- A new survey shows consumers want not only a kickstart from their energy drinks, but also beverages fortified with vitamins, caffeine and energizing ingredients from nature. According to the annual food and health survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation, the desired health benefits overall this year are cardiovascular health (20%), weight loss or weight management (18%) and energy (13%).
- Food companies are taking notice. Caffeine, often added through ingredients that naturally contain it, is a common stimulant in these drinks, Food Business News reports. Coffee or tea are common bases for other energy-boosting ingredients.
- Vitamins are also commonly included in these drinks to create metabolic energy through the Krebs cycle, which is how the body converts carbohydrates, fats and protein. Ingredients like B vitamins and other minerals often do not add by themselves to the drinks, but because they help with the Krebs cycle and are calorie free, they are often added.
Today’s consumers have made it clear they desire healthier food options, so it makes sense for energy drink companies to make their beverages more nutritious by looking at specific plant extracts they can use to make people “wakeful” rather than “wired,” according to Food Business News. Although many energy drink producers continue to use caffeine, they also try other biological or neurological ways to boost energy.
But it's not all about drinks that look and taste like something packed with energy. Some consumers are turning to caffeinated water, an alternative for those who don’t like coffee or want to avoid sugars, artificial sweeteners or cream. Companies such as Hint Inc. and Avitae USA LLC are among those offering caffeinated bottled water products providing the benefits of better-for-you beverages.
Company officials have said Hint Kick was developed for customers looking for a caffeinated product to provide a kick without the crash. The caffeine comes from coffee bean extract and is added to fruit-infused water. The product bypassed all expectations, Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint Inc., told BevNet, speeding production following successful testing at Silicon Valley tech firms.
Consumer interest in energy drinks and beverages containing ingredients that enhance productivity — including ginseng and caffeine — is driven by increasingly hectic work schedules and lifestyles, according to Market Research Hub. The market for energy drinks is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.86% between 2017 and 2021, the research company said. Energy drink sales in U.S. convenience stores hit $8.4 billion last year, according to Mordor Intelligence figures reported by Forbes.
And demand isn’t likely to dip anytime soon. Right now, 25-to-34-year-olds are the most likely to drink energy and sports drinks, according to the Energy and Sports Drinks: U.S. Markets Trends & Opportunities report. While young men might be the face of sports and energy drinks, millennial women actually drink more sports drinks than their male counterparts, the report found. In the 50 and older age group, women are more likely than men to consume energy drinks. Sales of energy and sports drinks also go up if consumers have one or more kids in the house, the report says. Beverage companies might do well to keep these trends in mind as they formulate and market their drinks.
As demand grows, beverage companies are likely to keep experimenting with drinks that provide both nutrition and energy. It will be interesting to see how consumers respond to the growing number of selections in the beverage aisle.