Functional Is The Name Of The Beverage Game

Sports & Nutrition Beverages

Consumers are taking a holistic approach to health and wellness. Sports and nutrition beverages were once reserved for athletes. Now, sports and nutrition beverages are consumed by athletes and individuals with active lifestyles. According to Mintela, sports and performance drinks experienced an 18% increase and 32% of consumers said they bought more sports drinks compared to the year before. From protein and plant-based protein to clean ingredients that increase energy, consumers are looking for functional beverages for overall health, hydration, and recovery. To meet consumers’ growing demand, hybrid beverages that offer more than one benefit are evolving into the next generation of sports and nutrition beverages.

Research from Mintelb showed:

  • Sports drinks diverge to offer hard functionality or everyday versatility
  • In the U.S., sports drinks are consumed as a thirst-quenching, tasty beverage as much as for their ability to aid physical performance and recovery
  • 62% of U.S. sports drink users would like to see drinks that are less sweet, rising to 76% of those who exercise regularly
  • 61% of category users think sports drinks contain too much sugar
  • 74% of global sports drink launches had a functional claim, up from 67% the year before
  • 96% of global energy drink launches had a functional claim, up from 93% the year before

Additionally, Future Market Insights’ (FMI)c research revealed:

  • 45% of consumers want drinks to stick to clean, natural, and non-artificial ingredients
  • 59% of consumers want their sports nutrition products to provide immune function support
  • 54% of consumers want cognitive health benefits provided by their sports nutrition products
  • Additional benefits consumers expressed interest in included digestive & metabolic health, sports recovery, eye health, and mood support
  • 56% of global consumers say taste is of paramount importance in making a purchase decision for a sports nutrition product
  • 54% of consumers want their sports drinks fortified with different flavors of real fruit

Whether your customers are athletes or individuals with active lifestyles, Trilogy offers tasty flavors for sports and nutrition beverages. In addition to our natural FTNF (From the named fruit) and tropical flavors, we offer CitraSense®, our proprietary citrus flavors that deliver genuine citrus notes across the spectrum such as natural orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, and grapefruit. Contact us today and request your samples here.

Dairy & Plant-Based Protein Muscle Up

Protein has been and continues to be the foundation of many sports and nutrition products. “Protein is one ingredient that has pretty much universal recognition among consumers,” states Scott Dicker of SPINS. The mainstream performance-nutrition market grew by almost 19% in 2022, according to SPINSd. Consumers perceive the benefits of protein to support muscle-building, weight management, and satiety. Dairy-based whey and plant-based soy are popular ingredients used in powder and Ready-To-Drink (RTD) formulas. For example, according to FMCG Gurus 2021 datae, 58% of active nutrition consumers have increased their overall intake of protein, including products formulated to be high in protein, such as RTD beverages and milk protein drinks. Like other categories, alternative plant-based proteins such as pea protein are driving recent activity in sports and nutrition products. According to SPINSd, whey protein sales rose 25%, while plant protein sales grew 12% in 2022 in U.S. supplements.

With the variety of botanical plant sources such as seeds, nuts, legumes, and grains, plant-based proteins have intrinsic, off-notes, often described as bitter. Trilogy Flavors creates both liquid and powder flavors for dairy and plant-based protein products, which are compatible with different delivery systems such as emulsions and compounded flavors. Trilogy’s protein flavors can satisfy clean label, vegetarian, kosher, and halal requirements. Additionally, we offer certified organic and non-GMO flavors.

Give your protein formulas some muscle with classic flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coffee, and caramel or work with our development team to create custom flavors. Trilogy’s dessert-inspired protein flavors and plant-based beverage flavors provide excellent bitter masking properties inherent in protein products. Contact us today!

Pump Up The Energy

In addition to sports and nutrition beverages and protein-based drinks, consumers are interested in beverages that deliver energy. According to Mintelf, in 2022, the U.S. energy drink industry was valued at $21.1 billion in sales and is forecasted to grow 7.2% to $22.7 billion in 2023. The C-store energy drink category posted sales of $12.5 billion, a 9.7% increase for the 52 weeks ending February 26, 2023, according to Circanag.

Energy drinks and sports drinks are blurring because of consumers’ interest in elevated health and wellness lifestyles. Bourcard Nesin, a beverage analyst at Rabobank, points out that “energy drinks are expanding with low- or zero-sugar options and adding electrolytes and supplements to tap into the massive sports drink market.” For example, Circana’s 2023 Snacking Surveya found that the fitness lifestyle trends are part of what drives consumers to drink energy drinks. 35% of consumers drink energy drinks for mental well-being and 31% drink them for immunity.

Mintel’sh research found:

  • In the U.S., younger consumers are driving interest in energy drinks with better-for-you recipes
  • In Europe, energy drink companies are reacting to the consumer need to embrace cleaner formulations, which resonate with health-conscious consumers
  • In Asia, beyond the inherent energy-boosting function, energy drink launches continue to attach themselves to other areas of functional health, such as immune support and fat burning

Pump up your flavors and give your formulas a boost. Contact us for your energy drinks and sports and nutrition beverage needs today!

The Evolution of Hybrid Beverages

To keep up with the daily grind, consumers are incorporating more sports and nutrition beverages with functional ingredients into their lifestyles. In addition to overall health, hydration, and recovery, consumers seek functional ingredients that address targeted needs such as gut health, immune health, brain function, and mental health & well-being. To meet the demand, beverage manufacturers are launching hybrid beverages that address one or more of these targeted needs. According to FMIi, the global fusion beverage market – including coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, alcoholic beverages, fruit juices, and energy and sports hybrid beverages was worth $6.6 billion in 2022. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6% and reach $11.5 billion by 2032.

The International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2022 Food and Health Surveyj found the top benefits from food, beverages, and nutrients sought after by Americans include:

  • Energy and less fatigue (37%)
  • Weight loss/management (30%)
  • Digestive/gut health (29%)
  • Heart/cardiovascular health (28%)
  • Improved sleep (26%)
  • Immune function/health (25%)

Consumers will continue to seek beverages with functional ingredients. Hybrid beverages that offer more than one benefit will thrive. Let Trilogy help you quench your customers’ thirst for delicious and functional beverages. Contact us today and request your samples here.

Trilogy Flavors, Inc.