Consumers turning to functional beverages in the wake of coronavirus

By Will Cowling, Marketing Manager at FMCG Gurus

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: GettyImages/Drazen Zigic
Pic: GettyImages/Drazen Zigic

Related tags: functional beverages, non-alcoholic drinks

The functional beverage trend will gain momentum in 2020 and beyond, according to FMCG Gurus, as consumers become more conscious about their health due to COVID-19.

Across the globe, a growing number of consumers are looking to adjust their drinking habits when it comes to non-alcoholic beverages, making active attempts to seek out-better-for-you options.

This behavioral trait is something that can be linked to consumers being conscious about excessive sugar intake and categories such as carbonates and juices, a trend that will intensify in 2020 and beyond.

In May 2020, FMCG Gurus surveyed 23,000 consumers across 18 countries. The research found that 63% of consumers said that they were more conscious about their overall health as a result of coronavirus, a marginal increase compared to the 59% who said this when the same study was run a month earlier.

More noticeable, a total of 80% of consumers said that they were planning to eat and drink more healthily because of COVID-19, a noticeable increase compared to the 73% who said this in April.

FMCG Gurus asked consumers who were changing their eating and drinking habits what steps they were taking. The research found that in May 2020, a total of 57% said that they were planning to reduce their sugar intake, a noticeable increase compared to the 45% who said this a month earlier.

This is something that can be attributed to consumers becoming more conscious about their weight due to increased moments of small indulgence for escapism purposes and reduced levels of activity. Indeed, a total of 32% of consumers said that they have become more conscious about their weight in May 2020, compared to 21% who said this in April.

This is something that will drive demand for alternative beverages to traditional offerings such as carbonates and juice when it comes to soft drinks, such as functional products.

FMCG Gurus asked consumers about which ingredients they associate with boosting their immune heath in April and May. The research shows that overall, vitamin C (80%) and omega 3 (80%) are the ingredients most likely to be associated with this.

As such, the beverage industry should look to put these ingredients at the forefront of product positioning to give products a better-for-you/functional positioning and increase appeal to health-conscious consumers.

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