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UK Sports and Energy Drinks market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Sports and Energy Drinks market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Kiti Soininen, a Head of UK Food, Drink and Foodservice Research, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers show real interest in fortified water products that offer sports and energy benefits, and in health drinks from brands already active in these markets. This interest suggests areas for operators to explore in order to build relevance among a wider audience, and as well as offering opportunities in the post-soft drinks levy operating environment. Kiti Soininen
Head of UK Food, Drink and Foodservice Research

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This Report explores RTD (ready-to-drink) sports and energy drinks through both the retail and on-trade channels. For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Sports drinks are drinks claiming to improve sporting performance or to speed up recovery. Most of these are labelled isotonic/hypotonic and claim to rehydrate and replenish nutrients after exercise. Examples include Lucozade Sport, Powerade and Gatorade.

Sports drinks are divided into three major types:

  • Isotonic drinks: These have the same osmolality as that in the body, and are designed to aid rehydration, as they are said to be readily absorbed into the blood. Most sports drinks are isotonic, including Powerade and Lucozade Sport.
  • Hypotonic drinks: These have a lower osmolality than body fluid and are said to be absorbed faster than isotonic drinks and faster than water into the blood.
  • Hypertonic drinks: These have a higher osmolality than body fluids and are designed to be taken after exercise to replace electrolytes, aid recovery and provide an energy boost.

Energy drinks are drinks that specifically claim to provide an energy or stimulant boost, supporting mental alertness and/ or physical performance. These generally include active ingredients such as glucose, caffeine or taurine, and may include other ingredients positioned as beneficial to health, such as ginseng and various vitamins and minerals.

The energy drinks market comprises three distinct categories:

  • Refreshment energy drinks provide physical energy through glucose or a range of sugars, as in Lucozade Original Energy
  • Stimulant drinks are designed to stimulate both mind and body, and typically claim to improve concentration, reaction time and endurance. Stimulant drinks typically contain active ingredients such as caffeine and taurine, and are non-alcoholic. The bestknown example is Red Bull.
  • Energy shots refers to what are usually more concentrated versions of refreshment/stimulant drinks. They typically retail in a 50ml bottle rather than in a can of between 250ml and 500ml.

Protein-based sports nutrition drinks are excluded from this Report, being discussed in Mintel’s Attitudes towards Sports Nutrition – UK, June 2017 Report.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Sports drinks’ decline continues in 2017
              • Figure 1: UK value sales of sports drinks, 2012-22
            • Energy drinks’ growth slows further in 2017
              • Figure 2: UK value sales of energy drinks, 2012-22
            • Upcoming soft drinks industry levy sparks low-sugar NPD
              • No uptick in overall exercise
                • Income squeeze
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Lucozade Sport bucks downward trend in sports drinks
                      • Lucozade and Monster helped by sugar-free NPD
                        • Figure 3: UK retail value sales of leading brands in energy drinks, 2015/16 and 2016/17
                      • L/N/R sugar claims continue to rise
                        • “Water” drinks attract NPD
                          • Adspend leaps ahead thanks to newcomer Carabao
                            • Lucozade Energy enjoys the strongest brand image
                              • The consumer
                                • Sports and energy drinks usage is low and infrequent
                                  • Figure 4: Frequency of drinking sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                • Usage of light variants on a par with standard ones
                                  • Figure 5: Usage of sports and energy drinks, by type, May 2017
                                • Sports and energy drinks are widely seen as more sugary than CSDs
                                  • Figure 6: Perceptions of sports and energy drinks’ sugar content, May 2017
                                • Fortified water offering sports and energy benefits would appeal
                                  • Figure 7: Attitudes and behaviours related to sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                • Sports and energy drinks are sought for the same needs
                                  • Figure 8: Functional benefits that would appeal in sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                • A widespread perception that you do not need energy drinks if you look after yourself
                                  • Figure 9: Attitudes towards sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                • Sports and energy drinks lack associations with mainstream activities
                                  • Figure 10: Activities associated with sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                  • Fortified water with sports and energy benefits would appeal
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Potential for sports drinks brands to move into “health drinks”
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Caffeine and sugar misperceptions hold back energy drinks
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Sports drinks’ decline continues in 2017
                                                      • Rising inflation to prop up value sales while volumes fall
                                                        • Energy drinks’ growth slows further in 2017
                                                          • Outlook depends on market retaining users and addressing concerns
                                                            • Upcoming soft drinks industry levy sparks low-sugar NPD
                                                              • No uptick in overall exercise
                                                                • Income squeeze
                                                                • Market Segmentation and Forecast

                                                                  • Total market value set to grow by a fifth over the next five years
                                                                    • Figure 11: UK volume and value sales of sports and energy drinks, 2012-22
                                                                    • Figure 12: UK value sales of sports and energy drinks, 2012-22
                                                                  • Sports drinks’ decline continues in 2017
                                                                    • Figure 13: UK volume and value sales of sports drinks, 2012-22
                                                                  • Rising inflation to prop up value sales while volumes fall
                                                                    • Figure 14: UK value sales of sports drinks, 2012-22
                                                                  • Energy drinks’ growth slows further in 2017
                                                                    • Figure 15: UK volume and value sales of energy drinks, 2012-22
                                                                  • Outlook depends on market retaining users and addressing concerns
                                                                    • Figure 16: UK value sales of energy drinks, 2012-22
                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Upcoming soft drinks industry levy sparks low-sugar NPD
                                                                      • Soft drinks sugar levy due in 2018
                                                                        • Announcement fuels uptick in low-sugar NPD
                                                                          • Sugar is consumers’ top health foe
                                                                            • Income squeeze
                                                                              • Ageing population
                                                                                • Figure 17: Change in UK population by age group, 2012-17 and 2017-22
                                                                              • No uptick in overall exercise
                                                                                • Negative publicity around energy drinks
                                                                                  • Research suggests mixing energy drinks with alcohol fuels risky behaviour
                                                                                    • Calls for ban on sale to under-16s
                                                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                      • Lucozade Sport bucks downward trend in sports drinks
                                                                                        • Lucozade and Monster helped by sugar-free NPD
                                                                                          • L/N/R sugar claims continue to rise
                                                                                            • “Water” drinks attract NPD
                                                                                              • Adspend leaps ahead thanks to newcomer Carabao
                                                                                              • Market Share

                                                                                                • Lucozade Sport bucks downward trend in sports drinks
                                                                                                  • Figure 18: UK retail sales of leading brands in sports drinks, by value and volume, 2015/16 and 2016/17
                                                                                                • Three brands dominate energy drinks
                                                                                                  • Lucozade remains the top player, helped by sugar-free NPD
                                                                                                    • Red Bull retains second position
                                                                                                      • Zero-sugar Ultra range supports Monster’s impressive growth
                                                                                                        • Figure 19: UK retail sales of leading brands in energy drinks, by value and volume, 2015/16 and 2016/17
                                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                      • Energy drinks continue to dominate NPD
                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Share of new product launches within the UK sports and energy drinks market by sub-category, 2013-17
                                                                                                      • Lucozade Sport redesigns packaging and moves into water
                                                                                                        • Packaging redesign aims to support brand repositioning
                                                                                                          • Lucozade Sport launches Fitwater to win over new users
                                                                                                            • Lucozade Energy extends Zero and cuts sugar in core range
                                                                                                              • Red Bull promotes its event tie-ups on pack
                                                                                                                • Rockstar extends its zero-sugar offering with Revolt sub-brand
                                                                                                                  • Monster launches a non-carbonated variant and highlights tie-ups
                                                                                                                    • L/N/R sugar claims continue to rise
                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: New product launches in the UK sports and energy drinks market, by claim, 2013-17*
                                                                                                                    • “Water” drinks target sugar concerns
                                                                                                                      • No additives or preservatives claims pick up in first half of 2017
                                                                                                                      • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                        • Red Bull and Lucozade dominate spending
                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on sports and energy drinks by the leading operators, 2013-17
                                                                                                                        • Carabao supports its market entry with high spend
                                                                                                                          • Lucozade Sport looks to reposition with Made to Move campaign
                                                                                                                            • Interactive push looks to encourage exercise
                                                                                                                              • Lucozade Energy continues with Find Your Flow proposition
                                                                                                                                • Red Bull targets Christmas rush
                                                                                                                                  • Monster partners with Lewis Hamilton for new variant
                                                                                                                                    • Rockstar teams up with Baywatch movie
                                                                                                                                      • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                      • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                          • What you need to know
                                                                                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, June 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Key metrics for selected brands, June 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Lucozade brands lead on trust
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Attitudes, by brand, June 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Red Bull stands out as vibrant and fun
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Brand personality – Macro image, June 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Lucozade brands enjoy strongest image as refreshing
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Brand personality – Micro image, June 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                              • Lucozade Energy excels on high quality and reputation
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: User profile of Lucozade Energy, June 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Lucozade Sport shares a similar image to Lucozade Energy
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: User profile of Lucozade Sport, June 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Monster is a divisive brand
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: User profile of Monster, June 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Red Bull is fun and vibrant
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: User profile of Red Bull, June 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Rockstar struggles with awareness
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: User profile of Rockstar, June 2017
                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                              • Sports and energy drinks usage is low and rare
                                                                                                                                                • Usage peaks among young men and urban dwellers
                                                                                                                                                  • Usage of light variants on a par with standard ones
                                                                                                                                                    • Sports and energy drinks are widely seen as more sugary than CSDs
                                                                                                                                                      • Fortified water offering sports and energy benefits would appeal
                                                                                                                                                        • Sports and energy drinks are sought for the same needs
                                                                                                                                                          • 40% think that energy drinks are not needed if you look after yourself
                                                                                                                                                            • Caffeine is a source of concern
                                                                                                                                                              • Sports and energy drinks lack associations with mainstream activities
                                                                                                                                                              • Sport and Energy Drinks Usage

                                                                                                                                                                • Sports and energy drinks usage is low and rare
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Frequency of drinking sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Usage peaks among young men and urbanites
                                                                                                                                                                  • Sports drinks uptake echoes sports participation
                                                                                                                                                                    • Energy drinks most popular among groups pressed for time
                                                                                                                                                                      • The surprising usage patterns – Women and household finances
                                                                                                                                                                      • Types of Sports and Energy Drinks Used

                                                                                                                                                                        • Usage of light variants on a par with standard ones
                                                                                                                                                                          • A strong case for retaining sugary variants
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Usage of sports and energy drinks, by type, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                          • Light sports drinks are most popular with frequent users
                                                                                                                                                                          • Perceptions of Sports and Energy Drinks’ Sugar Content

                                                                                                                                                                            • Sports and energy drinks are widely seen as more sugary than CSDs
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Sugar content of leading sports and energy drinks and CSDs, August 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • Misconceptions are rife among users
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Perceptions of sports and energy drinks’ sugar content, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • Case for more visibility of sugar content on-pack
                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes and Behaviours Related to Sports and Energy Drinks

                                                                                                                                                                              • Fortified water offering sports and energy benefits would appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                • A wide array of products embrace the “functional water” label
                                                                                                                                                                                  • High interest in sports and energy waters, but sparse availability
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Water products look well-placed to appeal beyond core users
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Attitudes and behaviours related to sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                    • High interest in health drinks from sports and energy drink brands
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Caffeine claims veto boosts need for fortification
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Health drink positioning welcomed by most sports and energy drink users
                                                                                                                                                                                          • High demand for energy drinks with no artificial ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Functional Benefits that Appeal in Sports and Energy Drinks

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sports and energy drinks are sought for the same needs
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hydration and tiredness take the lead
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Tiredness and stress are the nation’s top health concerns
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Functional benefits that would appeal in sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Support for immune system ties with mental and exercise performance among users
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Functional benefits that would appeal in sports and energy drinks, among current users, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Sports and Energy Drinks

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Energy drinks are associated with not looking after oneself
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Challenge remains to drive associations with everyday peak performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Attitudes towards sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Caffeine is a source of concern
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Most energy drinks undercut EFSA limit for safe caffeine dose
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Half of energy drink users worry about caffeine intake
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Low trust in the efficacy and healthiness of sports drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Only a third of users see sports drinks as healthy
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Half of users think sports drinks help you get the most out of exercise
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Activities Associated with Sports and Energy Drinks

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sports and energy drinks lack associations with mainstream activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Both drinks’ main association are with extreme and endurance sport
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Links with mainstream activities are needed to build wider relevance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Activities associated with sports and energy drinks, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Users see greater differentiation between products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Energy drinks enjoy stronger everyday associations among users
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sports drinks retain a strong all-round image even among users
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Activities associated with sports and energy drinks, by users, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Total
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: UK volume sales of sports and energy drinks, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of sports and energy drinks, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK volume sales of sports and energy drinks, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sports drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: UK volume sales of sports drinks, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of sports drinks, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK volume sales of sports drinks, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Energy drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: UK volume sales of energy drinks, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of energy drinks, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK volume sales of energy drinks, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: UK retail sales of sports drinks, by leading distributors, by value and volume, 2015/16 and 2016/17
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: UK retail sales of energy drinks, by leading distributors, by value and volume, 2015/16 and 2016/17