Bionade may extend Olympic efforts for sport-drink push

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Coca-cola, Soft drink

A German manufacturer of organic soft drinks says it may consider further cooperation with individual Olympic organizations in order to boost the international reputation of its branded range of sports beverages.

Bionade, which in recent years claims to have to fought off interest from Coca-Cola to acquire its operations, said that the endorsement of its Active range by the German Olympic body was a significant boost in targeting consumers seeking healthier lifestyles.

Group spokesperson Wolfgang Blum said that the Deutsche Olympische Sportbund support for the brand serves as the most credible ‘recommendation’ available for a refreshment beverage available in the sports market.

Blum added, that when launching Bionade Active into other international markets, the company may therefore look to join forces with other Olympic bodies in a bid to help promote their brand globally.

Energised demand

Both the energy and sports segments have shown strong growth in recent years driven by demand for natural ingredients that also provide “sustainable, longer lasting energy”,​ suggest recent findings from analyst Business Insights.

The report predicts five per cent growth in the sports and energy drink sector up to 2011 as result of changing demand amongst consumers.

Lifestyle demands

Bionade, which already acts as the official beverage sponsor of the German Association of School Sports (Deutsche Schulsportstiftung), said that it believed its Active brand was well suited to meeting the demands of this changing market.

“[The product] is the first sports drink that is biologically made by the fermentation of natural raw materials of ecological farming,”​ Blum stated.

According to the spokesperson, in addition to Bionade’s overall market position as a product geared towards health and sustainability, the Active brand is designed to be both isotonic and rich in calcium and magnesium.

Blum claims it is these qualities that have make the drink particularly suitable for its association with active lifestyles. “That’s why it complies with the DOSB,”​ he stated.

UK potential

In Bionade’s attempts for expand into international markets, the UK is one example of a European market increasingly keen to associate energy products with active lifestyles, according to research by market analyst Mintel.

According to the group’s recent findings, in the UK alone, sports and energy drinks sales were up 11 per cent in 2006 to £773m.

Mintel claims that sports drinks appear to be leading this growth over more high profile energy drink brands.

“The sports drinks market has been especially strong, fuelled by consumer interest in healthy lifestyles including exercise, while the market for energy drinks has seen slower growth,”​ the analyst stated.

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