woman looking at beverages

Functional Beverage Trends in LATAM

Latin America’s $14 billion functional beverage market continues to expand as more consumers reach for products that offer health benefits in a convenient format.1 Discover the top functional beverage trends in Latin America and the ingredients to meet these needs.

LATAM Functional Beverage Market Overview

Euromonitor reports high growth ahead for Latin America’s functional beverage market, with a 7.4% CAGR forecast from 2020 to 2024.2 While the $14 billion market is led by yogurt beverages (at $4.6 billion), projected growth is highest for energy drinks (at 12.0%) and dairy alternative beverages (at 10.1%).3

How Different Product Types Address Consumer Need States

To understand what drives consumers’ choices in functional beverages, it’s useful to consider the specific need states associated with different product types, reports Mintel. For example, yogurt beverages and functional juices are both viewed as snacks and treats, whereas dairy alternative beverages are typically chosen for general health.4

While functional waters are purchased primarily for hydration and secondarily for vitamins and minerals, sports drinks are chosen primarily for hydration and secondarily for taste.5 Energy drink consumption is driven mostly by consumers seeking energy, but taste is the second most important factor.6 By contrast, protein RTDs are consumed to address a variety of needs, including meal replacement, vitamins and minerals, energy, exercise support, taste enjoyment, and snacking.7

soda cans

Top 3 Functional Beverage Trends in Latin America

For Latin American beverage manufacturing companies, staying on top of new beverage trends is key to addressing the diverse and evolving needs of their consumers. Here’s a look at three key functional beverage trends in Latin America:

1. Clean & Natural

Clean label, natural ingredients are becoming increasingly important in the Latin American market, with 37% of Mexican consumers saying it’s important that beverages carry natural claims, according to FMCG Gurus.8 More than one in three associate the word “natural” with free from additives and synthetic ingredients, organic, healthier, and environmentally friendly.9 Mintel reports that between 2015 and 2019, new product launches in Latin America with claims of no additives/preservatives grew by 13%, all-natural product by 5%, and organic by 4%.10

2. Health-Focused

Another growing trend is consumers’ interest in functional beverages that can boost day-to-day and long-term health. For example, 81% of Mexican consumers are interested in foods and beverages that can improve bone health or heart health, while 79% are interested in products to improve gut health.11 Products that improve mental wellbeing is of interest to 76%.12 

man drinking water

Most Mexican consumers have a positive perception of omega-3s (85%), antioxidants (81%), calcium (81%), milk protein (64%), and plant protein (63%), making these top ingredient choices for beverage manufacturing companies to consider.13

3. Natural Energy Boost

Beverages that deliver a natural energy boost is another emerging trend in Latin America. 69% of Mexican consumers say they’re interested in products that keep them energized throughout the day (suggesting the importance of sustained energy), while 74% are interested in products that offer a natural energy boost.14 Some manufacturers are using lower sugar formulas, with B vitamins, natural sources of caffeine, or bioactive botanicals to fill this need.

What’s Ahead for Functional Beverages

The shift toward healthy, clean label options will continue to influence the functional beverage market in Latin America. Looking ahead, some exciting growth areas include “protein +” beverages, such as protein energy drinks and protein coffees, and functional waters, which can accommodate a range of healthy ingredients without sugar or calories. 

For manufacturers seeking opportunities in the Latin American market, choosing a beverage ingredients supplier with expertise in both beverage development and regional trends is key. 

Our deep understanding of end-to-end beverage development allows us to always be innovating new functional beverage formulations and formats-from energy drinks to protein shakes. With an extensive portfolio of functional dairy and plant-based proteins, bioactive ingredients and unmatched experience formulating custom premixes, we have the solutions to help in the development of your next beverage project. Get in touch to learn more. 


1-3. Euromonitor, February 2020 – data ending 2020.
4-7. Mintel, Sports & Performance Drinks – US – March 2020.
8-9. FMCG Gurus, Consumer and Market Trends – Non-alcoholic Beverages in Mexico, September 2019.
10. Mintel, Health goals create opening for clean label in Mexico, April 2020.
11-14. FMCG Gurus, Consumer and Market Trends – Non-alcoholic Beverages in Mexico, September 2019.

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