Description

This report contains a full, in-depth analysis of the US nutrition drinks market. With independent research conducted by Mintel, discover what US consumers want and why when it comes to nutrition drinks. From brand activity and segment performance (including weight loss and meal replacement drinks) to consumption trends and consumer attitudes, this report covers the market and consumer in absolute detail.

Read on to see our handpicked insights from the report.

Key Areas Covered in This Report

  • Important external factors influencing the nutrition, meal replacement, and weight loss drink market.
  • Major players and strategies within the US nutrition drinks market.
  • Consumption and occasions – where, when, and how consumers are drinking.
  • Beverage selection criteria – what makes consumers choose one product over another.
  • Desired claims and ingredients – which ingredient claims are winning, and going to win.
  • Attitudes toward nutrition drinks.

US Nutrition Drinks Market Overview

The nutrition drinks market in the US is struggling to build on its pandemic-era gains, with slight decreases in both inflation-adjusted sales and consumer engagement. Consumers’ lack of confidence in brand name superiority has opened the door for private label and other brands to compete for share, leading to a slow advancement against major players.

Nutrition Drink Consumer Trends

This report finds that while only half of US consumers agree that brand names are more trustworthy than private label products, many would prefer more private label options. This suggests efficacy may be as important as affordability when determining value perceptions.

In contrast to the findings of our Sports Drinks Market Report, when it comes to product innovation, “natural” interests and innovations are not dominant. Nutrition remains the primary consideration, with “all natural” claims being a secondary priority to overall efficacy. Jump to the next section, ‘Opportunities’, to explore how to respond to this trend.

Nutrition Drinks Industry Statistics

  • Consumers are flaky on brand loyalty: 30% of consumers are unsure brand names are more trustworthy, while 69% would like to see more private label.
  • Efficacy outweighs natural claims: 63% of those who use “all natural” claims agree that efficacy is more important than a clean label.

Opportunities for Brands

As covered, US consumers ultimately value the efficacy of nutrition drinks when it comes to making a purchase decision. To respond to this, brands should provide proof of the efficacy and safety of their drinks, which will allow them to stay competitive among clean label products, even if not offering an all-natural drink. That said, all brands must continue to monitor how clean label trends and consumer attitudes shift over time.

Find a comprehensive breakdown of consumer trends and evidence-based opportunities for brands to respond in the full report.

Looking for something else in this category? Try our Energy Drinks Market Report or Functional Drinks Market Report. Alternatively, browse our extensive drinks market research.

Products, Companies, and Brands Discussed

Products: Nutrition drinks – liquid drinks and drink mixes that fill a specific nutritional need, including meal replacement, such as providing additional amounts of vitamins/minerals to supplement a regular diet or support a special diet (eg Ensure, Glucerna, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast). Weight loss drinks – liquid drinks and drink mixes that are specifically positioned to aid in weight loss efforts (eg SlimFast and Atkins).

Companies: Abbott Laboratories, Nestlé SA, BellRing Brands Inc, The Simply Good Foods Company, Glanbia plc, and more.

BrandsAtkins, Slim Fast, Ensure, PediaSure, Glucerna, Boost, Carnation Breakfast Essentials, Orgain, Garden of Life, Premier Protein, Don’t Quit!, Good & Smart, MET Rx, Owyn, Evolve, Happy Viking, Urban Remedy, MomCare, Munchkin Milkmakers, Boobie Body, Parent’s Choice, Healthy Heights.

Expert Analysis from a Drinks Specialist

This report, written by Adriana Chychula, a leading drinks analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the US nutrition drinks market and add expert context to the numbers.

The nutrition drinks market may be fighting outdated ‘dieting’ perceptions, but its convenient nutrient delivery can be positioned to target a range of health needs – weight management included. Using contemporary definitions of wellness as a catalyst for a function-forward refresh allows brands to accompany consumers on their holistic health journeys.

Adriana Chychula, Analyst – Food, Drink, and Nutrition

 

Adriana Chychula
Analyst – Food, Drink & Nutrition

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Consumer trends
                  • Retain current consumers, attract new audiences
                    • Figure 1: Beverage type consumption, 2022-23
                  • Questions of value place market up for grabs
                    • Figure 2: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, by current financial situation, 2023
                  • “Natural” claims are a plus but come second to efficacy
                    • Figure 3: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, by gender and parental status, 2023
                  • Competitive strategies
                    • Support consumers through evolving lifestages
                      • Figure 4: Developmentally focused nutrition drink releases, 2023
                    • Plant-based functionality can fill hard-to-reach nutrient gaps
                      • Figure 5: Plant-based nutrition drink release, 2023
                    • Emphasize nutrients with positive perceptions
                      • Figure 6: High-protein nutrition drink release, 2023
                    • Market predictions
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2017-27
                      • Figure 8: Category outlook, 2023-28
                    • Opportunities
                      • Layer functional health offerings in nutrition drinks to improve value
                        • Figure 9: Select attitudes toward nutrition drinks, 2023
                      • Take gut health formulations, messaging further
                        • Figure 10: Claims within nutrition and meal replacement releases, 2023
                        • Figure 11: Interest in ingredients in nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, 2023
                      • Continue proving efficacy, safety as clean label demands evolve
                        • Figure 12: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, 2023
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • Inflation buffers category from full stagnation
                        • Figure 13: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2017-27
                        • Figure 14: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition and weight loss drinks, at current prices, 2017-27
                        • Figure 15: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition and weight loss drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
                    • Segment Performance

                      • Weight loss drinks stall; nutrition drinks slowing
                        • Figure 16: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition and weight loss drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2017-27
                        • Figure 17: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition and weight loss drinks, at current prices, 2017-27
                      • Weight loss drinks slip further to nutrition drinks
                        • Figure 18: Total US retail sales of nutrition and weight loss drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2020 and 2022
                      • “Other” channels advance lead over supermarkets
                        • Figure 19: Total US retail sales of nutrition and weight loss drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2020 and 2022
                    • Market Drivers

                      • Consumers’ evolving view of health still positions weight at the forefront
                        • Figure 20: Healthy eating ideals, 2022
                      • Consumers’ healthy eating approaches may contradict their goals
                        • Figure 21: Select attitudes toward healthy eating, 2022
                      • Contentions around diet culture may hold category back
                        • Figure 22: Social media sentiment regarding search terms “diet” or “dieting,” 2019-22
                        • Figure 23: SlimFast Intermittent Fasting release, 2023
                      • Focus on filling gaps in aging population
                        • Figure 24: Percentage population, by age, 2022-27
                    • Market Share/Key Players

                      • Nestlé advances against Abbott; private label outpaces both
                        • Figure 25: Multi-outlet sales of nutrition drinks, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2021-22
                      • Weight loss drink brand Atkins charges ahead amid “diet culture” woes
                        • Figure 26: Atkins Nutritionals ad, 2022
                        • Figure 27: Multi-outlet sales of weight loss drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021-22
                      • Nestlé enjoys sales momentum across portfolio range
                        • Figure 28: Multi-outlet sales of nutrition drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021-22
                        • Figure 29: Boost Nutritional Products Facebook ad, 2022
                        • Figure 30: Boost Nutritional Products Facebook ad, 2022
                        • Figure 31: Garden of Life Facebook post, 2023
                    • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                      • Amp “positive” nutrients, nix sugar
                        • Figure 32: High-protein, low-sugar releases, 2023
                      • Plant-based omega-3s can improve brand value
                        • Figure 33: Nutrition drink releases featuring omega-3s, 2023
                      • Brands support women throughout maternal changes…
                        • Figure 34: Maternal-focused nutrition drink releases, 2023
                      • …and children’s developmental needs
                        • Figure 35: Kid-focused nutrition drink releases, 2023
                    • The Nutrition Drink Consumer – Fast Facts

                      • Parents drive category engagement and innovation interest
                        • Older consumers represent another target to retain
                          • Consumers want products that work more than “clean” labels
                            • Value is contentious
                            • Nutrition, Meal Replacement and Weight Loss Drink Consumption

                              • Liquid formats capitalize on enhanced convenience
                                • Figure 36: Beverage type consumption, 2022-23
                              • Age-related benefits can win back older crowd
                                • Figure 37: Beverage type consumption, by gender and age, 2023
                              • Parents significantly overindexing across all product types
                                • Figure 38: Beverage type consumption, by gender and parental status, 2023
                              • Meal replacement powdered mixes appeal to whole household
                                • Figure 39: Beverage type consumption, by household member, 2023
                                • Figure 40: Kid-focused nutritional and meal replacement powder release, 2022
                            • Nutrition, Meal Replacement and Weight Loss Drink Occasions

                              • Lean into positive morning accomplishment
                                • Figure 41: Beverage occasions, 2023
                                • Figure 42: Breakfast-focused nutrition drink release, 2023
                              • Market complete nutrition to women 35+
                                • Figure 43: Beverage occasions, by gender and age, 2023
                              • Empower fathers to supplement diet
                                • Figure 44: Beverage occasions, by gender and parental status, 2023
                            • Beverage Selection Criteria

                              • Consumers juggle familiar flavors against nutrition labels
                                • Figure 45: Beverage selection criteria, 2023
                                • Figure 46: Flavor landscape for nutritional & meal replacement drinks in US, 2023
                              • Flavor innovation has an in with parents, especially dads
                                • Figure 47: Beverage selection criteria, by gender and parental status, 2023
                              • Retaining older consumers requires acing nutrition
                                • Figure 48: Beverage selection criteria, by gender and age, 2023
                              • Meal replacement brands: push functional claims
                                • Figure 49: Beverage selection criteria, by beverage type, 2023
                            • Important Claims

                              • Protein increasingly paramount over niche claims
                                • Figure 50: Important claims, 2023
                              • Sway nearly 80% of category consumers with high protein or “all natural” claims
                                • Figure 51: Important claims TURF analysis, 2023
                              • Parents are the target for nature-forward products
                                • Figure 52: Important claims, by gender and parental status, 2023
                                • Figure 53: Nature-forward nutrition drink releases, 2023
                              • Innovating for older consumers requires nailing basic nutritionals
                                • Figure 54: Important claims, by age and gender, 2023
                            • Interest in Ingredients

                              • Growth in electrolytes, caffeine encourages further beverage blurring
                                • Figure 55: Interest in ingredients, 2022-23
                              • Women 35-54 are the audience for highly specialized beverages
                                • Figure 56: Interest in ingredients, by age and gender, 2023
                                • Figure 57: Rebbl Instagram post, 2023
                              • Mothers are the crowd for growing probiotic gut focus
                                • Figure 58: Interest in ingredients, by gender and parental status, 2023
                                • Figure 59: Probiotic women-focused nutrition drink release, 2023
                            • Attitudes toward Nutrition, Meal Replacement and Weight Loss Drinks

                              • Consumers want more – Improved selections, layered functionality
                                • Figure 60: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, 2023
                              • Brands must connect with consumers while loyalty is still up for grabs
                                • Figure 61: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, by current financial situation, 2023
                              • Communicate complementary dietary value of nutrition drinks
                                • Figure 62: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, 2023
                              • Consumers still not compromising on sweetness
                                • Figure 63: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, 2023
                              • Variances between gender and age display a range of flavor preferences
                                • Figure 64: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, by age and gender, 2023
                              • Category consumers stand out against clean label movement…
                                • Figure 65: Select attitudes toward nutrition drinks, 2023
                                • Figure 66: Atkins Plus Creamy Vanilla, 2023
                              • …but parents have high quality expectations
                                • Figure 67: Select attitudes toward nutrition drinks, by parental status and gender, 2023
                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                              • Data sources
                                • Sales data
                                  • Forecast
                                    • Consumer survey data
                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                          • Abbreviations
                                          • Appendix – The Market

                                              • Figure 68: Total US retail sales and forecast of weight loss drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
                                              • Figure 69: Total US retail sales and forecast of nutrition drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
                                          • Appendix – TURF Methodology

                                              • Figure 70: Table – TURF Analysis – Important label claims, 2023
                                            • Methodology
                                            • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                • Figure 71: Beverage type consumption, by area, 2023
                                                • Figure 72: Self-reported Body Mass Index, 2022
                                                • Figure 73: Beverage consumption, by gender and age, 2022
                                                • Figure 74: Beverage type consumption, by beverage type consumption, 2023
                                                • Figure 75: Important claims, 2022
                                                • Figure 76: Select attitudes toward nutrition, meal replacement and weight loss drinks, by claim importance, 2023

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