Enhanced beverages are gaining solid market position, especially among consumers seeking out products good for their health – with high sugar content as the price to pay.

Health and well-being

According to GlobalData’s 2019 Q3 consumer survey, 59% of consumers in North America say they purchase products that help save them time and effort. With less time in the working day to exercise, beverages that support on-the-go lifestyles are therefore likely to prove popular. 

Healthy lifestyle trends have boosted the drinks industry, with frequent adoption of healthier beverages dominating social media channels and supermarket promotions.

Research conducted by the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that plain water should be the optimal beverage choice for weight loss. This would suggest that consuming vitamin and mineral enriched beverages does not aid dieting.

Added vitamins and enhanced water

According to Professor Tim Noakes of the University of Cape Town, drinks with added vitamins often have more sugars than other beverage types. Claims of added electrolytes, vitamin B, C, potassium, antioxidants and fibres are what is being marketed to consumers, but these benefits can be obtained, in some cases, by plain water.

Enhanced water is expected to grow by 5.1% in 2019, despite awareness of high sugar content, according to GlobalData’s Q2 2019 USA Quarterly Beverage Forecast. 

This supports findings by Minnesota State University that, although individuals know that sugar-sweetened beverages are detrimental to health, two per week (on average) are consumed per person. This suggests a consumer gap between intention and indulgence.

Purpose of consumption

A study, published by Harvard Health, suggested substituting marketed supplemental and nutritional drinks for chilled smoothies as more beneficial to health. 

The study suggested that a decision on what to drink must be based on the purpose of consumption. For those looking to hydrate after exercise, or seeking a substitute for a carbonated soft drink high in sugar, then a ‘nutrition drink’ may be considered an adequate substitute, but for those wanting to consume it as a food supplement, or who seek weight loss, enhanced beverages are unlikely to provide an all-encompassing benefit.


Related Report:

Where Next for Bottled Water? Exploring consumer trends and innovation opportunities in bottled water

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