- Caffeinated water is poised to disrupt categories like soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks by combining perceived healthfulness with the functionality consumers demand, according to Euromonitor.
- Bottled water is one of the fastest-growing beverage categories and is expected to overtake soda as the top beverage in the U.S.
- Where caffeinated water could become even more disruptive is by taking the simplicity of water and enhancing it with the functionality of providing an energy boost to consumers. In a recent report, Mintel found that 43% of consumers are interested in bottled water enhanced with vitamins, 29% with minerals, and 29% with energy.
Consumers today are looking for more functionality in their foods and beverages, particularly protein, probiotics for gut health, energy, and vitamins and minerals. Manufacturers large and small have responded by fortifying products with nutrients and identifying new and exotic natural ingredients that provide the functions consumers demand.
Protein-infused water, vitamin-infused water, and coconut water makers all advertise the health benefits of their products that consumers are looking for.
Caffeine continues to play a larger role in functional foods and beverages as consumers crave energy boosts. Manufacturers have infused caffeine in a variety of products, from beef jerky and jelly beans to cookies and ice cream, but not all have been readily accepted.
In December, the FDA launched an investigation into the caffeinated peanut butter product STEEM due to concerns about adding caffeine to a product that children commonly consume. Energy drink makers know the caffeine-overconsumption argument all too well, so food and beverage makers that use caffeine in their products — particularly a product as commonly consumed as water — do so at a risk.