US fuels growth in sports drinks

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Energy drinks, United states

Global sports and energy drinks showed continued growth in 2003,
far outpacing soft drinks in general with a 7 per cent increase,
according to new data from beverage industry analysts Canadean.

The market has now grown by over 50 per cent in the last six years alone and although total volume may still be relatively small, sports and energy drinks are high value. This is reflected by products that target new consumption occasions and higher margins, the report reveals.

It also shows the domination of the Asia and North America markets, which account for more than 80 per cent of consumption.

Asia is the leading region, but still remains one of the most under-developed with weak demand in a number of countries. Japan, however, is the jewel in the crown and is bettered only in volume terms by the USA. Supported by Japan's strong vending machine channel, still sports drinks are the most popular and are gaining market share slowly, at the expense of energy drinks.

North America, the second largest region, is also growing strongly. Indeed, demand there is accelerating at more than twice the rate of Asia, claims Canadean.

Furthermore, sports drinks enjoy a higher share of throat in North America than in any other region, although energy drinks are beginning to gain ground. Off-premise consumption is also the highest in the world, largely as a result of strong sales through the USA's convenience and grocery stores.

The continued success of the categories in Asia and North America has been supported by sharp increases in the Middle East/North Africa and Europe which have advanced by almost 130 per cent since 1997.

Globally, sports drinks account for around 80 per cent of consumption, although there is evidence that energy drinks are growing in popularity. Still variants are the most significant and are particularly dominant in the Americas. Carbonated derivatives are more popular in Europe and Middle East/North Africa, while the rest of Africa remains the only significant market for powdered products.

Single-serve packs far outsell multi-serve formats reflecting consumption 'on the go'. North America is the one region where this trend is reversed.

With significant investment being put behind leading brands, and their introduction to and development in new markets, the short-term future for sports and energy drinks looks bright. Growth is expected to slow a little in all regions except Asia, but it is estimated that volume will advance by around 24 per cent by 2006.

For more information on the report, 'The Soft Drinks Service - Global Sports & Energy Drinks Report 2003', contact Karen Lees​ at Canadean.

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