Rapid impact: Rapid hydration is reshaping the functional beverage category

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The “rapid hydration” segment has become a crowded category.

BodyArmor recently introduced BodyArmor Flash IV, joining brands such as PepsiCo’s GatorLite, Abbott’s Pedialyte and Electrolyte in a category that is gaining momentum as powdered hydration drink mixes such as Drip Drop, Liquid IV and LMNT flood the category.

“There are several reasons why consumers are hooked on the burgeoning hydration trend,” said Grichka Frachisse, CEO of CUBO Beverages. Food Research InstituteConsumers are “becoming more knowledgeable about what specifically contributes to their health. Rapid hydration beverages offer a convenient way to replenish the body.”

“We are becoming more and more advanced in understanding the right blends for beverages that include different functions,” he added.

Coca-Cola’s Big Bet

“We may not be the first in this rapidly growing category, but we intend to be the best — and that ultimately starts with taste,” BODYARMOR CEO Federico Muisshont said in a statement.

Muichonto called BodyArmor’s new beverage a “game changer,” alluding to the addition of more than 2,200 mg of electrolytes and added functionality from zinc and vitamins B and C. The drink expands the reach of Coca-Cola’s $1 billion-plus hydration brand, which has seen mixed results over the past two years. Coca-Cola is struggling to integrate Body Armor, the company’s largest acquisition in its history, he noted. food dive.

“We didn’t have a great integration into the Coke system last year with Body Armor, but there are clearly new players and new category dynamics,” Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told analysts in late April. “We’re very focused on stabilizing our portfolio and growing from here.”

Coca-Cola will launch BodyArmor Flash IV in limited regional releases, with a national rollout planned for 2024. Earlier this year, BodyArmor Sports Nutrition relaunched its Powerade drink, which it claims contains 50% more electrolytes than competing products.

Capitalize on trends

Fratisse said beverage companies can take advantage of the burgeoning hydration trend by focusing on the following factors:

  • Formulation: Include electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium) that are known to help with hydration and nutrition.
  • Natural ingredients: As demand for clean label products increases, manufacturers are able to use natural ingredients such as coconut water and fruit extracts that are rich in essential minerals.
  • Joint research: Beverage companies can partner with scientific research organizations to develop evidence-based formulas and “earn consumer trust through transparency,” Vlaakis said.

According to Data Bridge Market Research, the electrolyte hydration drinks market was valued at $1.47 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $2.79 billion by 2029, with a compound annual growth rate of It is expected to grow at a (CAGR) of 8.3%.

“The trend toward rapid hydration appears to have staying power,” Fracisse says.

Michael Ashley Shulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital Advisors, echoed the sentiment, saying, “Growth in this category is aligned with the expansion of the fitness market and the booming functional beverage market, as brands seek to carve out their own niches and territories in this global arena.”

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