From sports drinks to functional teas and waters, RTD beverages of all kinds are addressing the needs of European consumers. Explore some of the important attributes today’s consumers are looking for in a beverage along with key opportunities for beverage innovation.
What European Consumers Look for in Beverages
The €30 billion functional beverage market in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) is showing steady growth, with a forecast CAGR of 6.0% between 2019 and 2024.1 This illustrates the continued strong interest among consumers, particularly in Europe, in beverages that are better for them in some way. FMCG Gurus reports health as an important purchase driver for beverages, with 39% of consumers in the UK, 40% in Germany, and 52% in France actively seeking out beverages they associate with boosting their health.2
The leading claim important to these consumers when purchasing beverages is "high in protein" (42% in the UK, 34% in Germany, and 27% in France)—ahead of "100% natural" and "no added sugar."3 Another sought-after benefit is added vitamins and minerals. In looking at new functional beverage product launches in Europe, "vitamin/mineral fortified" was the leading claim (at 46%) from 2019 to 2020.4
In addition to health benefits, beverage development for the European market should offer an enjoyable and memorable taste experience to attract consumers and keep them coming back. According to FMCG Gurus’ research, 56% of consumers in Germany, 51% in France, and 28% in the UK are more likely to pay attention to novel or exciting tastes when purchasing a food or beverage.5 Convenience is another important factor in choosing a beverage, with the RTD format increasingly popular as an easy, portable option.