Energy drinks, which make up the largest functional beverage category in regions such as North America, Europe, and Latin America, are the second most popular in Asia Pacific after yogurt beverages.5 Both yogurt beverages and energy drinks have high growth ahead in the ASPAC market, with a forecast CAGR of 7.0% between 2021 and 2026.6 Only the sports protein RTD and meal replacements category is growing faster (at 7.9%).7
ASPAC’s fastest-growing functional beverages (forecast from 2021 to 2026) are:
- Sports protein RTD and meal replacements (7.9%)
- Yogurt beverages (7.0%)
- Energy drinks (7.0%)
- Functional carbonates (6.6%)
- Functional RTD coffees and teas (5.1%)
- Sports drinks (4.7%)8
Functional Protein Beverages on the Rise in ASPAC
The rapidly growing functional protein beverage category is part of a larger trend in rising protein consumption in Asia Pacific. New food and beverage launches with high and added protein claims have been growing in China, for example, with dairy proteins the most popular proteins for fortification.
A growing interest in healthy lifestyles, along with increasing incomes, is contributing to ASPAC consumers' interest in protein to support general wellness. The single-serve, on-the-go format of meal replacements and sports protein RTDs makes them convenient ways to add protein to the diet. In addition, a greater awareness of the importance of regular exercise to health is influencing the use of functional protein beverages to support workouts.