Health and wellness have remained at the forefront of consumers’ minds amid the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. In Thailand, this is evident through the success of beverage products featuring immunity-boosting properties such as those containing added vitamins. Fortified or functional still drinks and enhanced water brands primarily boasting vitamin C and vitamin combinations flooded the market in 2020. These products served as bright spots amid the overall decline in the Thai soft drinks market in 2020. The widespread interest in these products encouraged the entry of more participants in the enhanced water and functional beverages market while the fortification strategy spilt over to other non-alcoholic beverage categories.

In 2021, competition of drinks with immunity-boosting ingredients intensified and manufacturers aimed to strengthen their foothold by going beyond immunity and incorporating skincare benefits into their beverage offerings. For instance, Woody C+ Lock Collagen is the first drink in Thailand with this unique selling proposition. With Woody C+ Lock reaping huge success in 2020, its manufacturer Carabao Group unveiled this new variant containing 2,000mg of collagen together with 200% of vitamin C requirement. This has been followed by a slew of new product introductions including Vitaday Collagen 2000mg + C 200%, Vitmores+ Vita C Plus, C-Vitt Plus and QminC Manuka Honey Collagen, all featuring collagen and positioned for beauty. Aside from collagen, some of these new innovations took a step further and offered other ingredients such as skin-enhancing Q10 and fibre for gut health.

Beverages positioned for beauty are not new to Thailand’s non-alcoholic drinks market, taking into consideration the prominence of brands like Jele Beautie, Sappe Beauti Drink and Mansome. These products have specific beauty variants promising skin rejuvenation, brightening and smoothening alongside other health benefits such as improved metabolism and digestive health. Collagen is among the most trusted ingredient in skincare and makeup products and has gained its reputation as an anti-ageing ingredient. The ascent of collagen-infused beverages stems from the idea of beauty-from-within largely promoted by beauty supplements. Furthermore, products positioned for beauty are not exclusively marketed to women but also capture male demographics.

New product introductions observed in 2021 marry beauty and wellness in beverage formats. This capitalises on the current demand for products that improve the body’s resistance to diseases and Thai consumers’ penchant for physical attractiveness. This is a strategic move for players noting that immunity-boosting products continue to have a strong appeal to local buyers. GlobalData’s 2021 Q1 consumer survey in Thailand highlights that 60%* of Thai consumers state products that contain immunity-boosting ingredients are essential or a key driver of their purchasing decisions.

By going beyond immunity into beauty, these players are also tapping into the market currently served by beauty beverages, thereby expanding their target market and waging war with these players. Capitalising on immunity boosters as the main proposition, beauty as an add-on benefit can prove to be more attractive compared to traditional beauty beverages.

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