Even in 2008, as economic pressures put the skids on previously growing non-alcoholic markets such as smoothies and bottled water, this market grew by 10% from £855m in 2007 to reach £941m in 2008. Volume sales are also impressive: last year we consumed some 484 million litres of the stuff, also up 10% on 2007 (442 million litres).
In 2009, for the first time, the market is estimated to reach 525 million litres and a value of just over £1bn, and the thirst for these beverages is set to continue. Over the next five years, value sales are forecast to increase by 48% to reach £1.5bn, while volume sales will rise by 44% to reach 757 million litres. ??
Within the market, it’s energy drinks that are driving the sales. The energy drinks market (£716m) dwarfs sports drinks, with 2008 value sales of £225m. In terms of actual sales, the energy drinks market experienced a £241m increase between 2004-08, in contrast to £89m for sports drinks. ?
Jonny Forsyth, senior drinks analyst at Mintel, said: ?”Unlike other markets such as smoothies, which were seeing impressive growth until the recession arrived, sports and energy drinks have continued to grow their value. Cash-squeezed consumers are viewing these products as value for money rather than a luxury, which stands in contrast to smoothies and bottled water, both of which have suddenly seen growth reverse.”
Despite the boost in sales, only a third of the population actually uses sports and energy drinks, a figure that has remained static over the past five years. There has been a distinct failure to grow penetration of sports and energy drinks in the UK. Instead, the market has succeeded by increasing frequency of drinking among young male converts in particular. ??
“The challenge for the industry going forward is to grow its user base by successfully targeting females, 35-54 year olds and workers,” says Forsyth. “This means increasingly stealing share from carbonates and bottled water in particular. The problem is that energy drinks appeal most to the physically active and men aged between 15-34 who do more exercise than anyone else. A more mainstream opportunity lies in targeting mental rather than physical energy.”
?As many as 27 million of us work, compared to only 12 million of the population actively involved in sports. Many of these people are juggling multiple pressures such as kids, a demanding job, a relationship, friends and hobbies.
“The recession has also added to the stress,” adds Forsyth, “and in some cases number of hours that people are working. Energy drinks can be targeted as a facilitator and champion of this modern, on-the-go lifestyle.” ?
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