Company market research manager Christian Niederauer said: “Although the focus groups were held at a variety of times and with different target groups, the feedback was unanimous - mental alertness as well as prolonged and balanced energy were the benefits most required from Spanish consumers’ functional drinks.”
A key factor in the choice of product was said to be its taste and whether it delivers a constant energy level rather than a ‘boost and crash effect’.
Its earlier research in the UK, US and Germany showed mixed results, but found consumers to be interested in naturally derived ingredients with nutritional benefits. Taste was seen as a key factor for German sports drink consumers, while UK and US consumers rated taste of little importance.
Spanish functional drinks market
Euromonitor research suggested that although functional drinks in Spain had been hit by the recession, the category had increased by 5 per cent in total volume terms, reaching 322m litres in 2009. Sports drinks, it found, was the most dynamic category and low calorie products targeting females were also on the up.
Cía Servicios de Bebidas Refrescantes was seen to be the leader in functional drinks in 2009 in volume and value terms. The market was expected to increase by a CAGR of 3% in total constant value terms in the forecast period, reaching sales of €1bn in 2014.
Mintel research meanwhile noted a 85.2 per cent increase in retail value sales of functional beverages from 2003-08 in Spain and found sales of healthy soft drinks had risen by 50.8 per cent over the same period. It found functional beverage health claims ranged from cardiovascular to digestive and immune system boosts.
The healthy soft drinks market in Spain was expected to grow by a further 36.1 per cent between 2008 and 2013.