- A new Mintel study found that more consumers are looking for functional beverages, and 49% demand vitamins and minerals in their ideal hybrid drink.
- Among the popular hybrid drinks are bottled water with added health benefits like protein, vitamins and antioxidants (44%); carbonated juice (40%); and juices with added functional benefits (35%).
- Dollar sales of 100% juice, juice drinks and smoothies have only increased 1.2% in 2016. Some say hybrid drinks could revive the juice category, as consumers are more interested in juice-based drinks (47%) than ones using water, tea or coffee as a base.
Analysts have been touting the rise of functional beverages as more consumers seek ways to get their nutrition on the go. Many industry players believe innovation in this category could help juice — historically one of the biggest non-alcoholic U.S. beverage markets — reverse its trending decline.
Several juice brands are already offering high levels of vitamins, minerals and other probiotics in their products, and juice manufacturers have also invested in creative innovations that blend beverage flavor with functionality. These reformulations have helped draw consumers back to the juice aisle and give the category a fresh reputation, despite general concerns over sugar levels.
Sales of juice drinks and smoothies increased 1.2% in 2016, and just 4% since 2011, according to Mintel’s research. Still, the trend is driving people towards juice — a revival that is is likely the result of pressed juice bars and smoothie chains, which are popular among millennials.