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Sports and Energy Drinks - China - July 2016

“Thanks to increasingly health-conscious consumers and their fast-paced lifestyles, China’s sports and energy drink market has experienced explosive growth and will continue to expand quickly. The Chinese sports and energy drinks market is dominated by leading international players, posing both threats and opportunities for smaller and domestic brands. With consumers having greater awareness of healthy drinking habits and functional effectiveness, sports and energy drinks with health and functional claims will continue to remain in force. Manufacturers ought to take more initiative in investing in more natural and performance-enhancing products.”
– Lei Li, Research Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • How to maintain medium users while targeting light users 
  • How category blurring will benefit sports and energy drinks
  • How to diversify purchase and drinking occasions to target younger consumers

The sports drinks market covers liquid and powdered sports drinks. Sports drinks are designed to replace energy and minerals lost during exercise. This includes hypotonic, isotonic, hypertonic and protein-based drinks in powdered, soluble tablets and liquid formats. It excludes energy drinks which do not replace minerals but promote only greater alertness, sports nutrition products, such as protein powders, amino acids, creatine tablets/powders, and ‘power’ bars (cereal bars with added vitamins and minerals) as well as powders, tablets and capsules designed to build muscle or aid weight gain.

The energy drinks market covers sugar-free and regular energy drinks and shots. This includes caffeine/guarana, taurine and other products in powdered, soluble tablets, RTD and liquid concentrate/gel formats. Energy drinks are marketed with additives specifically designed to increase alertness.

Both market sizes comprise sales through all retail channels including direct to consumer and vending machines. Market value is calculated at prices in retail channels. Although certain sports and energy drinks brands are sold through on-trade channels, the overall importance to the total category is insignificant. Therefore, on-trade sales are not included in the scope of this Report.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products/themes covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Retail value sales of sports drinks in China, 2016-21
            • Figure 2: Retail volume sales of sports drinks in China, 2016-21
            • Figure 3: Retail value sales of energy drinks in China, 2016-21
            • Figure 4: Retail volume sales of energy drinks in China, 2016-21
          • Key players
            • Figure 5: Sports drink market share, by value, China, 2015
            • Figure 6: Sports drink market share, by volume, China, 2015
            • Figure 7: Energy drink market share, by value, China, 2015
            • Figure 8: Energy drink market share, by volume, China, 2015
          • The consumer
            • Medium users are on the rise
              • Figure 9: Changes in frequency of drinking sports and energy drinks, April 2014 and April 2016
            • Functional scepticism is the fundamental usage barrier
              • Figure 10: Barriers to usage of sports and energy drinks, April 2016
            • Age is a key influence on retail purchase channels
              • Figure 11: Purchase channels, by age, April 2016
            • Tier one city residents prefer exclusive online offers
              • Figure 12: Consumer attitudes, by city tier, April 2016
            • What we think
            • Issues and Insights

              • How to maintain medium users while targeting light users
                • The facts
                  • The implications
                    • How category blurring will benefit sports and energy drinks
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • How to diversify purchase and drinking occasions to target younger consumers
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                  • Figure 13: Michel Adam F-88 Mix Fruit Carbonated Drink, Austria, September 2015; Monster Bebida Enegética Carbonatada con Taurina (Ultra Sunrise Energy Drink), Spain, June 2016; Red Bull The Summer Edition Energy Drink Kiwi-Apfel (The Summer Edition Kiwi & Apple Energy Drink) Austria, May 2016
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • A robust current market and a strongly growing future market
                                  • Health-conscious lifestyles and category blurring trends as motivations
                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • Figure 14: Retail value sales of sports drinks in China, 2016-21
                                      • Figure 15: Retail volume sales of sports drinks in China, 2016-21
                                      • Figure 16: Value and volume retail sales for sports drinks in China, 2011-21
                                      • Figure 17: Retail value sales of energy drinks in China, 2016-21
                                      • Figure 18: Retail volume sales of energy drinks in China, 2016-21
                                      • Figure 19: Value and volume retail sales for energy drinks in China, 2011-21
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Added benefits are getting popular
                                      • Figure 20: Sui Yue Hai Yan Qi Yi Guo Wei Wei Sheng Su Guo Wei Yin Liao (Sea Salt Kiwi Flavoured Drink with Vitamin), China, June 2016; Bai Wei Li Qiang Hua Wei Sheng Su Yin Pin (Enhanced Vitamin Energy Drink), China, February 2016
                                    • Category blurring
                                      • Figure 21: CPT Ye Xing Jia Ping Guo Wei Guo Zhi Xing Ke Xi Guo Dong (Apple Flavoured Drinkable Fruit Juice Jelly), China, December 2015
                                    • Sports and exercise drive consumption
                                      • Figure 22: Wahaha G-Vital Shui Mi Tao Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Yin Liao (Peach Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, December 2015; Wahaha G-Vital Gan Ju Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Yin Pin (Orange Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, September 2015; Wahaha G-Vital Ning Meng Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Yin Pin (Lemon Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, September 2015
                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                    • Mizone and Red Bull are the market leaders
                                      • Rising functional innovations and social media positioning claims
                                        • Sports and energy tablets and powder are under-represented
                                        • Market Share

                                          • Mizone dominates the sports drink market
                                            • Figure 23: Mizone Bo Luo Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Yin Liao (Pineapple Flavoured Vitamin Drink), June 2016; Mizone Qing Ning Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Yin Liao (Lime Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, May 2016; Mizone Sui Yue Hai Yan Qi Yi Guo Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Guo Wei Yin Liao (Sea Salt and Kiwi Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, July 2015
                                          • Red Bull dominates the energy drink market
                                            • Figure 24: Red Bull Wei Sheung Su Gong Neng Yin Liu (Vitamin Functional Drink), China, September 2015; Red Bull Wei Sheng Su Gong Neng Yin Liao (Vitamin Energy Drink), China, November 2013
                                            • Figure 25: Sports drink market share, by value and volume 2014-15
                                            • Figure 26: Energy drink market share, by value and volume 2014-15
                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                            • Figure 27: Product claim trends of sports and energy drinks in China, 2014-16
                                          • Products with social media claims and functional ingredients
                                            • Figure 28: Wahaha G-Vital Pai Hai Yan Xi You Wei Sheng Su Feng Wei Yin Pin (Sea Salt and Grapefruit Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, April 2016; Wahaha G-Vital Pai Mo Ji Tuo Wei Wei Sheng Su Feng Wei Yin (Mojito Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, April 2016
                                          • Functional benefits in beauty, brain and nervous system
                                            • Figure 29: MasterKong Shui Yang Xi You Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Yin Liao (Grapefruit Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, January 2016; MasterKong Shui Yang Ning Meng Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Yin Liao (Lemon Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, January 2016; MasterKong Shui Yang Shui Mi Tao Kou Wei Wei Sheng Su Yin Liao (Peach Flavoured Vitamin Drink), China, January 2016 
                                          • Category blurring – Coconut water carbonated sports drink
                                            • Figure 30: Kang Zhi Wei Yandian Ye Zi Shui Han Qi Yun Dong Yin Liao (Coconut Water Carbonated Sports Drink), China, Aurugt 2015; Kang Zhi Wei Yandian Ye Zi Shui Han Qi Yun Dong Yin Liao (Coconut Water Carbonated Sports Drink), China, August 2015
                                          • Products with other functional benefits – Tablets and powder
                                            • Figure 31: Kumai Hun He Guo Wei Yun Dong Xing Pao Teng Pian (Mix Fruit Flavoured Movement Type Effervescent Tablets), China, April 2016; and Kumai Yun Dong Xing Pao Teng Pian (Movement Type Effervescent Tablets), China, April 2016; By-Health GymMax Keyplus Ning Meng Wei Yun Dong Gu Ti Yin Liao (Lemon Flavoured Sport Drink Powder), China, December 2015 
                                          • Products without additives/preservatives
                                            • Figure 32: Nature Wise Ren Can Yin Pin (Ginseng Drink), China, May 2016; Xiaoyang Ru Suan Yan Xi You Wei Wei Sheng Su Guo Wei Yin Liao (Grapefruit Flavoured Vitamins Fruit Drink), China, May 2016
                                            • Figure 33: Jianlibao Cheng Mi Wei Yun Dong Yin Liao (Orange and Honey Flavoured Sports Drink), China, January 2016 and February 2016
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Men are the most pronounced medium users
                                            • Different usage barriers for the young and for low earners
                                              • Most sports drinks have been consumed outdoors while most energy drinks for boosting energy
                                                • Flavour and functional effectiveness are purchase stimulators
                                                  • Adequate product information on packaging is a key differentiator
                                                    • Meet the Mintropolitans
                                                    • Drinking Frequency

                                                      • Consumption changes between medium and light users
                                                        • Men are the main medium users
                                                          • Figure 34: Frequency of drinking sports and energy drinks, track changes, April 2014 and April 2016
                                                          • Figure 35: Frequency of drinking sports and energy drinks, by gender and age of medium users, April 2016
                                                      • Usage Barriers

                                                        • Scepticism over functional benefits is the primary usage barrier
                                                          • Young people and low earners doubt energy boost claims for different reasons
                                                            • Figure 36: Usage barriers of sports and energy drinks, April 2016
                                                            • Figure 37: Number one usage barrier, by age, April 2016
                                                            • Figure 38: Number one usage barrier, by personal monthly income and monthly household income, April 2016
                                                            • Figure 39: TravelAID Recovery Drink, US, March 2016
                                                        • Drinking Occasions

                                                          • Sports drinks have been consumed for outdoor occasions mostly
                                                            • Energy drinks are drunk mostly due to a need for boosting energy
                                                              • Figure 40: Drinking occasions for sports drinks, April 2016
                                                              • Figure 41: Drinking occasions for energy drinks, April 2016
                                                              • Figure 42: Nutrisens Sport Récup Max Crème Lactée de Récupération Saveur Chocolat (Chocolate Flavoured Recovery Cream), France, April 2016; Waker Energy Drink a Base de Cafeína Natural da Erva-Mate e do Guaraná (Yerba Mate & Guarana Energy Drink), Brazil, July 2015
                                                          • Purchase Channels

                                                            • Traditional retail channels have the highest penetration
                                                              • Young and adult groups shop the most at retail channels
                                                                • Figure 43: Purchase channels, April 2016
                                                                • Figure 44: Cross analysis, purchase channels by purchase triggers, April 2016
                                                                • Figure 45: Purchase channels, by age, April 2016
                                                            • Purchase Triggers

                                                              • Flavour as a key factor to purchase
                                                                • Medium and light users care about energy-boosting effectiveness the most
                                                                  • Figure 46: Purchase triggers, April 2016
                                                                  • Figure 47: Purchase triggers – CHAID – Tree output, April 2016
                                                                  • Figure 48: E-hydrate Kids Cinnamon Roll Flavored Natural Protein On-the-Go, US, June 2016; Kao Healthya Walk Plum Flavour Sports Drink, Japan, October 2015; Freeway Up Bebida Energética Light com Cafeína (Light Energy Drink), Germany, September 2015
                                                              • Consumer Attitudes

                                                                • Product transparency is crucial to attract people
                                                                  • Higher city tier residents favour exclusive online offer
                                                                    • Product varieties needed for sports and energy drink adventurers
                                                                        • Figure 49: Consumer attitudes, April 2016
                                                                        • Figure 50: Junin Maca Ying Yang Su Yin Liao (Nutrient Drink), China, April.2015
                                                                        • Figure 51: Consumer attitudes, by city tier, April 2016
                                                                        • Figure 52: Overstims’ Energix Délice Gel Énergetique Endurance Saveur Tomate (Tomato Flavoured Energy Endurance Gel), France, June 2016
                                                                    • Mintropolitans

                                                                      • Demographics and characteristics
                                                                        • Lifestyle
                                                                            • Figure 53: Demographic profile of Mintropolitans versus non-Mintropolitans, sports and energy drinks, by gender, age, and marital status, April 2016
                                                                            • Figure 54: Demographic profile of Mintropolitans versus non-Mintropolitans, sports and energy drinks, by monthly personal income, monthly household income, and city tier, April 2016
                                                                        • Appendix – Methodology and Definitions

                                                                          • Methodology
                                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                              • Mintropolitans – Definition
                                                                                • Abbreviations

                                                                                Sports and Energy Drinks - China - July 2016

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