2012-12-10 19:08:20 - Functional drinks market driven by consumers search for a healthy lifestyle
A functional drink is a product that is non-alcoholic and includes in its formulation ingredients such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids or additional raw fruit or vegetables. It often claims to provide specific health benefits. Examples include sports and performance drinks, energy drinks, ready to drink (RTD) teas, enhanced fruit drinks, soy beverages and enhanced water.Functional drinks have become popular due to their appeal to consumers who are seeking specific health benefits in their beverages with their ´healthiness-on-the-go´ idea.Both convenience and health have been identified as important factors when consumers make decisions about purchasing foods and beverages. Functional drinks are promoted with benefits such as heart health, improved immunity and digestion, joint health, satiety, and energy-boosting.Energy drinks represent the
biggest segment of the functional drinks market. Energy shots played a key role in this climb, and their sales are expected to continue to grow as consumers look for added energy without the sugar and calories commonly found in energy drinks.However, energy drinks have gained a bad rap in recent years, as a small handful of brands that combine caffeine and alcohol have been linked to misuse among students and other consumers. Last November, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned four companies that caffeine added to their malt alcoholic beverages is an "unsafe food additive," and that further action, including seizure of their products, is possible under federal law.Industry players in the functional drinks sector generally fall into four categories: traditional non-alcoholic beverage companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola; major food companies like NestlÃ©, Kraft Foods, General Mills, and Campbell Soup Co.; smaller-scaled private companies, some of which specialise in one subcategory or segment of the functional beverage market, like Traditional Medicinals and POM Wonderful; and growers´ cooperatives like Ocean Spray and Sunsweet Growers.The good news is future growth for functional drinks looks a lot better than it has for the last several years. Overall, the future looks bright for the functional drinks market, with the industry forecast to hit a market value of US$149 billion by 2018.For more information on the functional drinks market, see the latest research: Functional Drinks MarketFollow us on Twitter @CandMResearch
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