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All reports purchased from the Mintel Store now come with free access to our COVID-19 Global Insights Hub, allowing you to understand how industries and consumer behaviour is changing worldwide.


What does the COVID-19 Global Insights Hub give you access to?

  • Over 450 pieces of research (with more published each week) addressing markets across the globe.
  • Discover how people in countries at different stages of the crisis are adjusting to the 'new normal'.
  • Trending industries which have seen growth due to the changes in circumstance.
  • Our latest consumer research surveys, allowing you to see customers views right now.

Covered in this report

Consumers have shown growing interest in products that support immunity, from VMS to functional drinks. In fact, 21% of consumers had purchased a beverage with an immuneboosting claim in the past three months (see Functional Attributes of Drinks Used – And Frequency). As the spread of COVID-19 continues, products that promise immuneboosting qualities could see exponential growth.


As of April 2, 2020 61% of adults 18+ in the US worry they will be exposed to the coronavirus (Mintel’s Global COVID-19 Tracker – US, March 27-April 2, 2020). This number will continue to increase along with the growing number of confirmed cases across the country. This worry will drive consumers to do what they can to safeguard their health.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Karen Formanski, a leading analyst in the Health & Wellness sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Functional drinks are well positioned to provide the convenient, on-the-go wellness support that many consumers desire. Functional beverage is highly competitive space with a most committed audience among adults aged 25-44 and parents. Functional drinks enjoy habitual use, with the majority users consuming these drinks at least weekly, regardless of specific benefit. Karen Formanski
Health & Wellness Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • Impact of COVID-19 on functional drinks
              • Top Takeaways
                • The issues
                  • Functional drinks compete with supplements
                    • Figure 1: Functional drinks usage, instead of or in addition to traditional supplements, February 2020
                  • Sugar under increased scrutiny
                    • CBD is hot, but having legal troubles
                      • Figure 2: Functional drinks with CBD
                    • The opportunities
                      • Benefit stacking can help brands stand out
                        • Figure 3: Repertoire of functional attributes usage in drink products, February 2020
                      • Expand functional horizons
                        • Figure 4: GT’s Living Foods product examples, water kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar tonic
                      • Older adults an untapped audience
                        • Figure 5: Benefits of functional drink products used, any benefit or none of the above, by age, February 2020
                      • What it means
                      • The Impact of COVID-19 on Functional Drinks

                          • Figure 6: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on Functional Drinks, April 2020
                        • Opportunities and Threats
                          • Immunity support for the win in the short and medium term
                            • Stressed-out consumers want relaxation wherever they can find it
                              • Most consumers are skeptics, will demand proven results
                                • In-store traffic challenges will impact brands of all sizes
                                  • Impact on the functional drinks market
                                    • Function is everywhere
                                      • Figure 7: Total US retail sales of non-alcoholic beverages, by segment, 2017 and 2019
                                    • Big brands stand the most to gain
                                      • Startups will thrive or die
                                        • Supply chain disruptions may hinder emerging functional drinks
                                          • Some brands may be too late for DTC opportunity
                                            • How the crisis will affect functional drinks’ key consumer segments
                                              • Brands need to make some effort to recruit older consumers
                                                • The future is uncertain for Gen Z
                                                  • How a COVID-19 recession will reshape the functional drinks market
                                                    • Back to basics with communications on functional drinks market during a recession
                                                      • Functionality innovation will slow in the short-term
                                                        • COVID-19: US context
                                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Functionality pairs well with beverages
                                                            • Functional drinks offer desirable quick fix
                                                              • Expand offerings to fill needs of seniors
                                                                • Sustainable packaging can give brands an edge
                                                                • Market Perspective

                                                                  • Functionality in high demand
                                                                    • Function knows no boundaries
                                                                      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales of non-alcoholic beverages, by segment, 2017 and 2019
                                                                      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales of non-alcoholic beverages, by segment, 2017 and 2019
                                                                    • VMS brands must contend with functional drink competition
                                                                    • Market Factors

                                                                      • Seeking shortcuts to wellness
                                                                        • Aging population needs attention
                                                                          • Figure 10: Population aged 18 or older, by age, 2014-24
                                                                          • Figure 11: Benefits of functional drink products used, any benefit or none of the above, by age, February 2020
                                                                        • Single-use plastic needs a makeover
                                                                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                          • Protein is a hook for many adults
                                                                            • Top fermented drink brands expand functional horizons
                                                                              • Private label options can expand exposure
                                                                                • Eyes peeled for sugar
                                                                                  • Future uncertain for CBD in food and drink
                                                                                    • Future looks bright for adaptogens and nootropics
                                                                                    • What’s In

                                                                                      • Consumers craving protein
                                                                                        • Figure 12: Functional drinks with plant-based protein
                                                                                      • Top fermented drink brands expand functional horizons
                                                                                        • GT’s adapts to keep pace with new competitors
                                                                                            • Figure 13: GT’s Living Foods product examples, water kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar tonic
                                                                                          • KeVita growth reflects flexibility
                                                                                            • Figure 14: KeVita product examples, water kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar tonic
                                                                                          • Private label options can expand exposure, impact market growth
                                                                                            • Figure 15: Private label functional drinks
                                                                                        • What’s Out

                                                                                          • People are on sugar watch
                                                                                            • Figure 16: Functional juice drinks
                                                                                          • Inconsistent regulation of CBD causes market roadblocks
                                                                                              • Figure 17: Functional drinks with CBD
                                                                                          • What to Watch

                                                                                            • Adaptogens and nootropics – getting to know you
                                                                                              • Figure 18: Drinks with adaptogens and nootropics
                                                                                            • New ways of boosting energy
                                                                                              • Figure 19: Clean energy drink examples
                                                                                            • Just add water
                                                                                              • Figure 20: Functional powdered drink mixes
                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                            • Familiar functionality in demand
                                                                                              • Functional drinks enjoy habitual use
                                                                                                • Niche beverages moving to mainstream shelves
                                                                                                  • In-store image can make or break a brand
                                                                                                    • Functional drinks interchangeable with some supplements
                                                                                                      • Brands need to gain consumer trust
                                                                                                      • Functional Ingredient Usage

                                                                                                        • Consumers seek familiar functionality
                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Functional ingredient usage in drink products, February 2020
                                                                                                          • Younger adults more open to emerging ingredients
                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Use of select functional ingredients in drink products, by age, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Parents seeking more functionality from beverages
                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Functional ingredient usage in drink products, by parental status, February 2020
                                                                                                          • Functional Attributes of Drinks Used – and Frequency

                                                                                                            • Hydration and energy most popular benefits
                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Functional attributes usage in drink products, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Functionality sought with high frequency
                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Frequency of usage of drink products, by functional attributes, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Stacked benefits can build loyalty
                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Repertoire of functional attributes usage in drink products, February 2020
                                                                                                          • Functional Drinks Types of Interest

                                                                                                            • Functional drinks shift from niche to mainstream
                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Use of and interest in select functional drink product types, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Younger adults currently main audience
                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Interest (net*) and non-interest (net**) in select functional drink product types, by age, February 2020
                                                                                                          • Functional Drinks – Format and Size Preferences

                                                                                                            • Powders can’t match RTD convenience
                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Preferred format for functional drink products, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Full-size, single-serving in demand
                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Preferred size for functional drink products, February 2020
                                                                                                          • Functional Drinks – Discovery and Research

                                                                                                            • Finding an in-store spotlight is key
                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Information sources for functional drink products, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Friends and family are also big influencers
                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Select information sources for functional drink products, visiting stores, friends and family, by age, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Social media presence crucial in engaging younger consumers
                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Select information sources for functional drink products, social media, by age, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Parents seeking info at higher rates across sources
                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Information sources for functional drink products, by parental status, February 2020
                                                                                                          • Functional Drinks – Attitudes and Behaviors

                                                                                                            • Functional drinks and supplements offer overlapping benefits
                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Functional drinks usage, instead of or in addition to traditional supplements, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Brands need to gain consumer trust
                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Trust in efficacy of functional drinks, February 2020
                                                                                                            • Younger consumers and parents keen on organic, sustainable claims
                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Willing to pay more for organic ingredients, sustainable packaging, by age, February 2020
                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Willing to pay more for organic ingredients, sustainable packaging, by parental status, February 2020
                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                    • Terms

                                                                                                                    About the report

                                                                                                                    This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                    • The Consumer

                                                                                                                      What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                    • The Competitors

                                                                                                                      Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                    • The Market

                                                                                                                      Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                    • The Innovations

                                                                                                                      New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                    • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                      Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                    • The Trends

                                                                                                                      What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                                    Description