Description

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Nutrition Drinks market including US Nutrition Drinks market size, US Nutrition Drinks market share, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Nutrition Drinks market in the US.

Current market landscape

Nutrition drinks didn’t see the strong immediate gains posted by other retail food and drink categories amid the pandemic, with the category’s key selling point of convenience hamstrung during a time of increased at-home cooking and eating. However, as cooking fatigue set in, category offerings stepped in as needed solutions for adults and kids, resulting in an estimated 14% dollar sales gain in 2021. The category will benefit from the spotlight shone on health and nutrition in the wake of a global health crisis, with consumers looking for easy snacks and meals that deliver specific functional benefits, including immune support. The weight loss segment, which is vastly smaller and slower growing than the nutritional drinks segment, can find success in offering a clear solution for those looking to shed extra pounds gained during the pandemic.

The category continues to struggle with perceptions of being overly processed and sugar laden, and requires more direct shifts toward natural positioning and sugar reduction. The relatively young skewing consumer base is ripe for experimentation, including plant-based formulations and new formats that can keep shoppers engaged within a brand line.

Future market trends in US Nutrition Drinks

While meal replacement is a key occasion for the category, brands must claim more ground in the snack space. The category is seen more as a supplement to health than a main source of nutrients, aligning nicely with snack occasions, which add boosts of nutrition and functionality throughout the day. Kid-focused options will be important for busy parents looking for healthy snack solutions for their children.

Read on to discover more about the US Nutrition Drinks consumer market, read our Juice and Juice Drinks – US – 2022 report, or take a look at our other Drinks research reports.

Quickly understand

  • Reasons for consuming nutrition drinks and nutrition drink occasions.
  • Barriers to nutrition drink consumption.
  • Claims important in nutrition drink choice and functional ingredients of interest.
  • Desired protein and sugar totals sought in nutrition drinks.
  • Nutrition drinks innovation of interest.

Covered in this nutrition drinks market report

Brands include: Ensure, PediaSure, Glucerna, Post Holdings, Premier Protein, Nestlé, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Orgain, Fairlife Nutrition Plan, Simply Good Food Company, Quest, Atkins, SlimFast, Abbott Laboratories, Garden of Life, Glanbia, Great Value, Amazing Grass, Remedy Organics.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Amanda Topper, a leading analyst in the Drinks sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis on the nutrition drinks market to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The time is ripe for nutrition brands to shine. Two years into a pandemic, consumers are primed for solutions that will set them on the path to health. Leading into the pandemic, general functionality sufficed as a calling card. Moving forward, consumers will be discerning of brands and ingredients, and will want formulations that are proven to deliver a specific wellness benefit.”

Amanda Topper, U.S. Director of Research
Amanda Topper
US Research Director

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of nutrition and weight loss drinks, 2016-26
      • Figure 2: Category outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Lack of relevance limits adoption
      • Figure 3: Barriers to consumption, 2022
    • Brands can align with distinct usage motivators to be top choice
      • Figure 4: Reasons for consumption, 2022
    • Category can find foothold in snacking
      • Figure 5: Nutrition, meal replacement, and weight loss drink occasions – meals/snacks, 2022
    • Parents are core users, pointing to a strong opp for kid-focused options
      • Figure 6: Nutrition, meal replacement, and weight loss drink consumption, by parental status, 2022
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • 2021 estimated to be a banner year for category, slowdown projected
      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of nutrition and weight loss drinks, 2016-26
      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition and weight loss drinks, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition and weight loss drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
  4. Segment Performance

    • Pandemic has uneven impact on segments; both can thrive moving forward
      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Supermarkets keep pace with percentage growth, continue to be dwarfed
      • Figure 11: US sales of nutrition and weight loss drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2016-21
  5. Market Factors

    • Brands must evolve alongside changing definition of health
      • Figure 12: Changing health priorities – higher priority, 2021
    • Functional frenzy primes audience, but stiffens competition
      • Figure 13: Consumption of drinks with select benefit claims – Any functional benefit, by gender and age, 2021
      • Figure 14: Consumption of drinks with select benefit claims, 2021
    • Nutrition drinks category is a plant-based desert
      • Figure 15: Eating habits compared to a year ago, 2021
    • Pandemic amplifies obesity, reinvigorates need for mindful solutions
      • Figure 16: Age-adjusted prevalence of overweight and obesity among people aged 20 or older, 2001-02 to 2017-18
      • Figure 17: Attitudes toward counting calories – Any agree, 2021
    • Aging population necessitates targeted support; start early
      • Figure 18: Population by generation, 2016-26
    • Rising food prices may result in streamlining of shopping lists
      • Figure 19: Changes in consumer price indexes for food, 2019-22
    • Category can meet the needs of flexible work/school routines
  6. Market Share and Key Players

    • Abbott continues market dominance; Post and private label gain
    • Post claims number two spot, but Nestlé’s plant-based investment may help them regain
      • Figure 20: Premier Protein influencer campaigns, 2022
    • Fairlife nutrition shakes come out of the gate strong
    • Interest in private label nutrition drinks is a market-changer
    • Atkins gains not enough to keep weight loss segment afloat
    • Sales of nutrition drinks by company
      • Figure 21: Share of multi-outlet sales of nutrition drinks, by leading companies, 52 weeks ending November 28, 2021
      • Figure 22: Multi-outlet sales of nutrition drinks, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Company/brand sales by segment
      • Figure 23: Multi-outlet sales of nutritional drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 24: Multi-outlet sales of weight loss drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
  7. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Category needs to lean into natural claims
      • Figure 25: Nutrition drink launches, by leading claims, 2019-22*
    • Artificial sweeteners lead, but natural sugars make gains
      • Figure 26: Nutrition drink launches, by sweetener type, 2019-22*
    • Weight loss drinks step up flavor game
      • Figure 27: Nutrition drink launches, by leading flavors, 2019-22*
  8. The Nutrition, Meal Replacement, and Weight Loss Drink Consumer: Fast Facts

    • Category has room to expand user base
    • Stronger tie to consumer goals is needed
    • A lack of relevance hamstrings adoption
    • Attract with familiarity, engage through specialization
    • Consumers are sweet on flavor, but not sugar
  9. Nutrition, Meal Replacement and Weight Loss Drink Consumption

    • Products in the category are consumed by half of US adults
      • Figure 28: Nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drink consumption, 2022
    • RTDs win out over powders, but powder reinvention can expand usage
      • Figure 29: Nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drink consumption – format, 2022
    • Category appeals to men seeking health guidance
      • Figure 30: Nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drink consumption, by gender, 2022
    • Core users are age 18-44, but there’s room for everyone
      • Figure 31: Nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drink consumption, by age, 2022
    • Parents are strong target, pointing to an opportunity for kid-focused options
      • Figure 32: Nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drink consumption, by parental status, 2022
      • Figure 33: Nutrition/meal replacement drink launches ranked by purchase intent, February 2021-January 2022
  10. Reasons for Consumption

    • Brands can align with distinct usage motivators to be top choice
      • Figure 34: Reasons for consumption, 2022
      • Figure 35: SlimFast Advanced Immunity, 2021
    • Weight management is leading driver for women
      • Figure 36: Reasons for consumption, by gender, 2022
    • Brands can get a foothold in underserved markets
      • Figure 37: Reasons for consumption, by area, 2022
  11. Barriers to Consumption

    • Category can highlight dietary shortcomings to establish relevance
      • Figure 38: Barriers to consumption, 2022
    • Artificial ingredients are a barrier for target audience
      • Figure 39: Barriers to consumption, by age, 2022
    • Organic and plant-based communicate natural
      • Figure 40: Nutrition/meal replacement drink launches ranked by “natural,” February 2021-January 2022
  12. Important Claims

    • Consumers look to category for protein
      • Figure 41: Important claims, 2022
      • Figure 42: Important claims, by nutrition, meal replacement, and weight loss drink consumption, 2022
    • Hard claims will resonate with women
      • Figure 43: Important claims, by gender, 2022
    • Older consumers want concrete deliverables
      • Figure 44: Important claims, by age, 2022
  13. Functional Ingredients of Interest

    • Essential vitamins/minerals will have the widest reach
    • Education efforts will be required to prove need for wider functionality
      • Figure 45: Functional ingredients of interest, 2022
    • Collagen will be a standout for women
      • Figure 46: Functional ingredients of interest, by gender, 2022
    • Resonate with young adult consumers by aligning with lifestyle over health
      • Figure 47: Functional ingredients of interest, by age, 2022
  14. Amount of Protein and Sugar Sought

    • Protein
    • Appeal to majority of category participants with 5-14g of protein
      • Figure 48: Amount of protein sought per serving, 2022
      • Figure 49: Nutrition drink launches, by average protein, 2019-22*
    • Stretching into higher protein totals can work for specialization
      • Figure 50: Amount of protein sought per serving, by gender, 2022
    • Sugar
    • Vast majority of category participants look for less than 10g sugar
      • Figure 51: Amount of sugar sought per serving, 2022
      • Figure 52: Nutrition drink launches, by average sugar, 2019-22*
    • Women seek lower sugar amounts
      • Figure 53: Amount of sugar sought per serving, by gender, 2022
    • Appeal to 55+ with fewer than 5g of sugar per serving
      • Figure 54: Amount of sugar sought per serving – nutrition/meal replacement drinks, by age, 2022
  15. Nutrition, Meal Replacement and Weight Loss Drink Occasions

    • Category meets needs at home and away
    • Category players will do well to target snack occasions
      • Figure 55: Nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drink occasions, 2022
    • Alternative use cases can expand purchase among loyalists
      • Figure 56: Nutrition drinks promoted for use in recipes, 2022
    • Location
    • Reach target consumers where they are
      • Figure 57: Nutrition, meal replacement, and weight loss drink occasions – location – nutrition/meal replacement drinks, by age, 2022
    • Meal
    • Focus on satiety for 45+, supplementation for 18-44s
      • Figure 58: Nutrition, meal replacement, and weight loss drink occasions – meal – nutrition/meal replacement drinks, by age, 2022
    • Exercise
    • Nutrition drinks can meet men after workouts
      • Figure 59: Nutrition, meal replacement, and weight loss drink occasions – exercise – nutrition/meal replacement drinks, by gender, 2022
    • Category can meet pre-workout needs for under-45s
      • Figure 60: Nutrition, meal replacement, and weight loss drink occasions – exercise – nutrition/meal replacement drinks, by age, 2022
  16. Innovation of Interest

    • Flavor
    • Consider slight sugar reduction while leaning into sweet profiles
      • Figure 61: Innovation of interest – flavor, 2022
    • Men are a key audience for flavor innovation
      • Figure 62: Innovation of interest – flavor, by gender, 2022
    • Source
    • Foodservice opportunity is strong for functional beverages
      • Figure 63: Innovation of interest – location, 2022
    • Upgrades
    • Consumers are most willing to invest in upgrades with personal benefits
      • Figure 64: Innovation of interest – upgrades, 2022
    • 25-44s willing to pay for upgrades, value natural
      • Figure 65: Innovation of interest – upgrades, by age, 2022
    • Format
    • Format innovation can expand options within a brand
      • Figure 66: Innovation of interest – format, 2022
      • Figure 67: Nutrition drink launches, by format, 2019-22*
    • 25-44s and men are strong targets for format innovation
      • Figure 68: Innovation of interest – format, by age, 2022
      • Figure 69: Innovation of interest – format, by gender, 2022
  17. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  18. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutritional drinks, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutritional drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 72: Total US retail sales and forecast of weight loss drinks, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 73: Total US retail sales and forecast of weight loss drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 74: US supermarket sales of nutrition drinks, at current prices, 2016-21
      • Figure 75: US drug store sales of nutrition drinks, at current prices, 2016-21
      • Figure 76: US sales of nutrition drinks through other retail channels, at current prices, 2016-21
  19. Appendix – Key Players

      • Figure 77: Multi-outlet sales of nutrition drinks, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021

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