Strong Growth Ahead for European Functional Beverage Market
Across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), the functional beverage market is going strong with €25 billion in sales last year.1 The EMEA functional beverage market is forecast to grow by 6.4% between 2019 and 2024.2 Functional beverages include energy drinks, sports drinks, sports protein RTD, meal replacements, and functional juices, teas, coffees, waters, and carbonates.
Trends Driving Functional Beverage Consumption
Functional beverages are appealing to the wants and needs of European consumers. For an increasing number of consumers, choosing food and beverage products is seen within the context of building and supporting a lifestyle. They’re looking to products and brands that will enhance their lives and exemplify their lifestyle. For active, health-conscious consumers, purchasing ready-to-drink (RTD) functional beverages is seen as a natural fit.
Another trend seen across CPG products is the movement toward ultra-personalization. In food and beverage, this can range from customizable flavors and formats to so-called DNA diets. Products such as functional beverages that address consumers’ specific diet, nutrient, and health needs hold a strong appeal to today’s consumers who realize that everyone’s needs are different.
Emerging Interest in Brain and Eye Health
While the most important attributes consumers seek in functional beverages continue to be energy, hydration, vitamins and minerals, and exercise support (depending on the product), interest is growing in products that offer targeted support for specific bodily systems. For example, 21% of UK consumers show an interest in sports or energy drinks that support brain function, while 24% express an interest in sports or energy drinks with eye health benefits.3
Opportunities in Functional Beverages for Brain and Eye Health
Beverages with energizing benefits such as energy drinks, functional coffees, and functional teas may be the most obvious choice for fortifying with brain health ingredients since consumers associate these beverages with their perceived effects on mental alertness. Esports energy drinks are already making headway in this area with ingredients that address gamers’ needs for energy, focus, and mental processing speed, as well as eye health for optimal visual acuity and tracking.
For more health-conscious consumers who lean toward clean label products, functional coffees or teas may be the ideal format to deliver brain support ingredients. In fact, the functional RTD coffee and tea segment is forecast to have the highest growth in the EMEA functional beverages market between 2019 and 2024 at a CAGR of 13.9%.4 Functional teas also benefit from the perceived association between tea and improved focus and mood.