Before powerhouse energy and sports drink brands made their way into the market, these functional drinks were created out of a need for refueling and energizing. The first energy drink was created in the 1960s by a Japanese company. The drink was sold as an energizing tonic that enhanced concentration. Within that same decade, sports drinks first appeared as a means of replenishing electrolytes lost during physical activity. Since then, the sports and energy drink market has expanded and is widely consumed by athletes and busy professionals today.
While sports and energy drinks are chosen for their functional benefits, consumers also seek these beverages out for their taste. Versatility in flavors keeps consumers engaged. Younger adults are driven by flavor innovation in both energy and sports drinks. Positioning these drinks as a tasty and exciting alternative will bode well for category participation. Entice adventurous consumers by borrowing flavor inspiration from other formats.
In addition, explore what different groups are interested in to elevate the sports and energy drink experience. For example, women prefer light-flavored beverages in sports drinks – capture their attention with fruity and berry flavors. Conversely, brands should be mindful of consumer health priorities and explore with less sweet flavor profiles.