Description

Sports and performance drinks look to sustain steady growth, with forecasted prediction of reaching $27.5 billion by 2028. This surge comes from consumers who utilize these beverages to enhance their workout experiences − before, during, or after exercise – as well as more casual users that seek hydration sans heavy physical activity. Many people are incorporating sports and performance beverages into their daily routine to boost energy, increase their protein consumption, or simply quench their thirst.

The appeal of sports and performance drinks spans demographics, with men typically seeking muscle-building and recovery benefits, while women may favor drinks for quick pick-me-ups through on-the-go consumption or as meal replacements. Consumers desire sports and performance beverages that offer benefits beyond just hydration, which could lead to a further blurring of the category. With so many options available, it can feel overwhelming to choose the right drink, resulting in consumers tending to stick to familiar brands and product types despite this interest in more nutritional and functional benefits.

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Sports and performance drink market size and forecast
  • Consumption and frequency of different types of sports and performance drinks
  • Reasons for increased/decreased sports and performance drink consumption
  • Occasions and motivations for sports and performance drinks
  • Attitudes about sports and performance drinks
  • Company and brand activity

The sports and performance drinks category continues to experience steady growth, with consumers showing interest in more functional and flavor-forward innovations.

Kamari Davis, Research Analyst, Food & Drink

Market Definitions

Sports drinks: liquid drinks and drink mixes designed specifically to help people perform and recover better from physical activity (eg Gatorade or Powerade).

Performance drinks: liquid drinks and drink mixes marketed for enhanced sports performance, including both pre/post-workout beverages, and performance protein drinks (eg Muscle Milk, Core Power).

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • What you need to know
    • Consumer trends: key takeaways
    • Market size and forecast
    • Market predictions
    • Opportunities
  2. Market Dynamics

    • Market context
    • Market drivers
    • Lifestyle changes and the demand for more functional beverages
    • Graph 1: exercise frequency, 2020-23
    • Hold off on the added sugar
    • Graph 2: types of sports and performance drinks consumed, 2022 & 2024
    • Zero sugar, big benefits
    • Market size and forecast
    • Expect continued growth across the sports and performance drink category
    • Physical activity and multipurpose beverages propel the category forward
    • Anticipated valuation of the category to exceed $27bn by 2028
    • Market segmentation
    • Sports drinks dominate the market share
    • Graph 3: segment share of total sports and performance sales, 2023
    • Sports drinks form the bulk of sales, but performance drinks see double-digit percent growth
    • Graph 4: total retail sales and forecast of sports and performance drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2018-28
    • Retail sales of sports and performance drinks, by segment
    • Market share/brand share
    • Top brands lose share as newcomers gain a following
    • PepsiCo and Coca-Cola hold strong, Prime expands its share
    • Sports drinks segment
    • Sports drinks brand sales and share
    • Prime continue to rise the ranks
    • Performance drinks segment
    • Performance drinks brand sales and share
    • Core Power flexes its muscle with sales growth
  3. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Sports and performance drink consumption
    • Sports and performance drinks see elevated participation
    • Graph 5: types of sports and performance drinks consumed, 2022 & 2024
    • Consumers fit their needs across different drink types
    • Graph 6: types of sports and performance drinks consumed, NET, 2022 & 2024
    • The thirst for variety is growing
    • Graph 7: repertoire number of sports and performances drink types consumed, 2022 & 2024
    • Bring women along by leading with health aspects
    • Graph 8: types of sports and performance drinks consumed, by gender, 2024
    • Younger generations don't mind exploring
    • Graph 9: types of sports and performance drinks consumed, by generation, 2024
    • Hispanic consumers seek healthier options
    • Graph 10: types of sports and performance drinks consumed, by race, 2024
    • Change in consumption
    • The buzziness of hydration drives consumption frequency
    • Graph 11: change in sports and performance drink consumption, 2024
    • Consumers will look to get the most out of sports and performance drinks
    • Graph 12: change in sports and performance drink consumption, by drink type, 2024
    • Millennials blur lines between sports and lifestyle beverages
    • Graph 13: reasons for increased sports and performance drink consumption, 2024
    • Water will continue to challenge sports and performance drinks
    • Graph 14: reasons for decreased sports and performance drink consumption, 2024
    • Sports and performance drink consumption frequency
    • Room for growth as consumers thirst for more
    • Graph 15: sports and performance drink consumption frequency, 2024
    • Hispanic consumption increases with more natural and lower sugar options
    • Graph 16: sports and performance drink consumption frequency, by race, 2024
    • Reasons for using sports and performance drinks
    • The promise of an energy boost outweighs quenching thirst
    • Graph 17: sports and performance drink usage, 2022 & 2024
    • Gender disparities prevail in performance drinks
    • Graph 18: reasons for sports and performance drink use, by gender, 2024
    • Reasons for use speak to different stages of life
    • Graph 19: reasons for sports and performance drink use, by generation, 2024
    • Occasions to use sports and performance drinks
    • Blurred meal and snack occasions offer opportunity for sports and performance drinks
    • Graph 20: occasions for sports and performance drink uses, 2024
    • Gen Z's usage of sports drinks extends beyond recovery
    • Graph 21: occasions for sports drink uses, by generation, 2024
    • Women look to stay hydrated while on the go
    • Graph 22: occasions for sports drink uses, by gender, 2024
    • Performance drinks meet dessert cravings: a fusion of nutrition and indulgence
    • Graph 23: occasions for performance drink uses, by gender, 2024
    • Can performance drinks break into the snacking market?
    • Graph 24: occasions for performance drink uses, by generation, 2024
    • Motivations for increased use of sports and performance drinks
    • Reimagining sports drinks: enhanced functionality and innovative flavors
    • Graph 25: motivations for increased usage of sports and performance drinks, 2024
    • Size matters more to younger generations
    • Graph 26: motivations for increased usage of sports and performance drinks, by generation, 2024
    • Function and flavor motivate both genders
    • Graph 27: motivations for increased usage of sports and performance drinks, by gender, 2024
    • Attitudes toward sports and performance drinks
    • Consumers find comfort in familiarity
    • Graph 28: attitudes toward sports/performance drinks, 2024
    • Established brands can do more to help younger generations
    • Graph 29: sports and performance drink attitudes, by generation, 2024
    • Analysis paralysis may have core category users feeling like their routines aren't up to par
    • Graph 30: sports and performance drink attitudes, by gender, 2024
  4. Innovation and Marketing Trends

    • Launch activity and innovation
    • Stick packs gain on bottles thanks to Liquid IV and its imitators
    • Graph 31: launch of sports drinks by package type, 2019-24
    • Different formats allow consumers to stay more connected to brands
    • Functional claims meet a consumer desire, but will soon force brands to find more points of difference
    • Graph 32: launches of sports drinks by select claims, 2019-24
    • Innovation brings more functional variations
    • Mintel Flavourscape AI explores the future of flavor and flavor combinations using data science
    • Lean into multiple combinations
    • Marketing and advertising
    • Add a little familiarity to the bottle
    • Graph 33: [no title]
    • Capitalizing on the record-breaking moment
    • Continuing to break gender norms
    • Opportunities
    • Fueling the lifestyle with Gatorade Water
    • Alani Nu snack-friendly carb- and calorie-conscious protein bars
    • Added inspiration for the sober-curious group
    • Cocktail-inspired hydration drinks
    • Provide more benefits to combat other reasons
  5. Appendix

    • Retail sales and forecast of sports and performance drinks adjusted for inflation
    • Market definition
    • Consumer research methodology
    • Generations
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Forecast methodology
    • Forecast fan chart methodology

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