Through an covenant with The Coca-Cola Co., BODYARMOR has actually gained access to the Coca-Cola bottling system, permitting the brand to advice its expansion to meet customer demand for its premium line of sporting activities performance and hydration drinks, the says. (Image courtesy of B.A. Nutrition LLC)
KEYWORDS organic beverages / nutritional beverages / organic beverages / performance beverages / tree proteins / protein drinks

A year after becoming the first No. 1 particle to shed to a 16 particle in NCAA’s men’s university basketball tournament, the Virginia Cavaliers had actually a lot to prove as soon as they gone into the 2019 event. As soon as again a No. 1 seed, the university athletes faced tough competition in that is post-season performance, consisting of two overtime games, however eventually emerged as nationwide champions. Lot like the 2019 Cavaliers’ men’s basketball team, the sporting activities drink sector is facing stiff competition from various other beverage categories and remains to be seen whether it will certainly make that comeback victory.

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“Sports drinks confronted a sudden decrease in sales in 2017 after ~ achieving solid growth in vault years,” claims Chicago-based Euromonitor International’s march report titled “Sports drinks in the US.” “The story of sporting activities drinks is comparable to that of decreasing carbonates: the popular consensus that has reduced soda sales has actually reached sports drinks. Sugar content has become a major concern for consumers, and in view of the persistent decline of carbonates it seems unlikely to walk away.”

Karen Formanski, health and also nutrition analyst because that Chicago-based Mintel, additionally notes the challenges that sporting activities drinks experienced in 2016-2017, yet highlights that dollar sales did showcase a usually upward tendency in 2017-2018. However, she alerts that development for the category is projected to be subtle.

“Consumers’ desire for basic health and also wellness bodes well because that sports, nutrition and also performance drinks; but due in component to increased cross-category competition, growth throughout these segment is likely to continue to be slow,” Formanski says.

Formanski more elaborates around the impact that the cultivation functional beverage market is having actually on the sporting activities drink category. “Consumers room seeking use from beverages in a growing variety of categories, with useful water, coffee and tea invading the room historically ruled by an ext traditional sports, nutrition and also performance drinks,” she says. “This will proceed to put push on the sports, performance and nutrition drink market.”

Gary Hemphill, controlling director of research for new York-based Beverage Marketing Corporation, also notes that today’s shoppers room seeking beverages the extend before refreshment, yet thinks the product attributes of sports and protein drinks resonate with consumers and will bode well because that the markets.

“Both sports and also protein drinks proficient modest growth in 2018. Both categories are well positioned because that today’s consumers,” the says. “The sporting activities drinks category is larger and an ext established.”

Top non-aseptic sports drinks

(Individual brands)

 DOLLAR SALES% adjust VS. Former YEARMARKET SHARE% change VS. Front YEAR
Gatorade Perform$1,861,022,002-12.528.5-5.8
Gatorade Frost$881,458,9338.913.50.5
Powerade Ion4$752,681,528-0.511.5-0.7
BODYARMOR Superdrink$278,251,040135.14.32.4
Powerade Zero Ion4$267,268,87120.44.10.5
Gatorade G2 Perform$255,182,587-4.93.9-0.4
Gatorade Fierce$224,225,846-12.13.4-0.7
Gatorade Flow$220,081,4181.43.4-0.1
Category total*$6,539,431,6845.21000

*Includes brands no listed.

Source: details Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago. Total U.S. Supermarkets, drug stores, fixed merchandisers, gas and also convenience stores, armed forces commissaries, and select club and also dollar retail chains for the 52 weeks ending March 24.


Pressure indigenous within

Although Hemphill think the sports drink market will proceed to display growth, that notes that the competition might be comes from in ~ its own classification — potentially shaking increase the two-brand supremacy held by Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo’s Gatorade and Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co.’s Powerade.

“The heat is on and the marketplace has actually grown an ext competitive,” Hemphill says. “While Gatorade and Powerade stay the leading brands, BODYARMOR is make inroads and also resonating v people.”

Mintel’s Formanski echoes comparable sentiments. “While no yet enduring sales losses, the top sports drink players have actually seen a slight decrease in sector share from 2017-18,” she says. “The sports drink segment is incredibly competitive, with new products targeting very specific consumers and occasions.”

Cautioning about the struggles that the sporting activities drink group experienced in 2017, Euromonitor’s report points come the require for an ext inventive sport drink options — also highlighting the affect of BODYARMOR.

“Sports drinks sales are most likely to proceed to drop, led through the two most renowned brands, Gatorade and also Powerade,” the report says. “Innovation is required to invigorate sporting activities drinks sales. The strongest proof of this comes from the success of BODYARMOR, i beg your pardon has achieved immense success and growth while offering a healthier, much less sugar-laden version of a sports drink.”

In 2018, Whitestone, N.Y.-based B.A. Sporting activities Nutrition LLC, the parent company of BODYARMOR, announced the the agency and The Coca-Cola Co. Gotten in into a definitive covenant through i m sorry The Coca-Cola Co. Obtained a minority ownership stake in BODYARMOR. With the agreement, BODYARMOR has actually gained accessibility to the Coca-Cola bottling system, enabling the brand to accelerate its development to meet consumer demand because that its premium heat of sporting activities performance and also hydration drinks, the says.

The initial investment is structured to create value because that both suppliers and permit The Coca-Cola Co. To rise its ownership stake later on under characterized terms, the company says. The BODYARMOR investment currently is part of the Coca-Cola phibìc America Venturing and Emerging brands (VEB) invest portfolio. The brand continues to operate independently under the leadership of Co-Founder and Chairman Mike Repole and also his BODYARMOR monitoring team. Financial regards to the covenant were not disclosed.

“In a fast-moving and dynamic industry, and during a time of unprecedented adjust at Coca-Cola, we’re daunting the standing quo and bringing innovative, boundary-less reasoning to our strategic relationship to ensure us are supplying the commodities consumers want,” stated Coca-Cola phibìc America president Jim Dinkins, in a declare at the time of the announcement. “BODYARMOR is one of the fastest farming beverage trademarks in America and competes in interesting categories. I have no doubt it will certainly prove to it is in a solid offering come our device alongside ours already an effective hydration portfolio as we accelerate our position as a total beverage company.”

Repole added: “BODYARMOR is revolutionizing the beverage industry by offering the hydration that much more and more of today’s athletes want and need. We room confident the this covenant gives united state the finest opportunity to significantly accelerate our mission to make BODYARMOR the world’s finest premium sporting activities performance and also hydration brand. This is thanks to the strength and also scale of Coca-Cola’s freshly refranchised and also energized bottling device in phibìc America, and also longer-term avenues for global growth.”

 DOLLAR SALES% adjust VS. Former YEARMARKET SHARE% adjust VS. Prior YEAR
Premier Protein$402,004,30718.810.41.2
Private label$266,983,3296.66.90.1
Muscle Milk$255,644,338-1.76.6-0.4
Pedia Sure$251,170,454-0.46.5-0.3
Slim Fast$175,036,16814.14.50.4
Ensure Plus$145,220,360-1.23.8-0.2
Category Total*$3,868,552,6324.81000

*Includes brands not listed.

Source: info Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago. Full U.S. Supermarkets, medicine stores, mass merchandisers, gas and also convenience stores, armed forces commissaries, and select club and also dollar retail chains for the 52 weeks ending March 24.


Shifting focus

Although numerous associate sporting activities drinks with athletic activities, research mirrors that consumers significantly are making use of these assets during very different drinking occasions.

“Despite the nomenclature and also legacy association of sporting activities drinks with details athletic activities, much more consumers note drinking beverages from this segment while doing chores such as yard job-related (35 percent) or be sure at home (34 percent) than they do throughout a workout or when recovering indigenous sports,” Mintel’s Formanski says.


Consumers suggested the quantity of protein content in a beverage results their acquisition decision, Mintel’s Karen Formanski says. The Protein2o Plus power line boasts 15 grams of protein in every bottle. (Image courtesy the Protein2o)

Among consumers who execute drink sporting activities beverages as soon as working the end or playing sports, after-game usage outperformed in-game.

“We have customer data on usage occasions only for the sports drinks segment,” Formanski says. “Amongst consumers who had purchased a sports drink in the past three months, 31 percent detailed workout recovery as an chance for drinking sports drinks, if 26 percent claimed they had consumed a sports drink during a workout.”

The ~ workout focus has frequently been linked with the emerging protein drinks market, which progressively is becoming much more mainstream, professionals note.

“Protein drinks are a niche category that have begun to move beyond the health and wellness food channel,” BMC’s Hemphill says. “The success that Muscle Milk with its attractive name and also backed by the power of the Pepsi distribution system has actually helped to tendency the as whole category.”

Mintel’s Formanski adds that the amount of protein content is intriguing consumers to take it a look in ~ the beverage category.

“Consumers of drinks in this group rate high protein content as the best motivator for purchasing,” she says. “Some the the most successful brands usage marketing concentrated on basic healthy, energetic living, with focus on the prominence of protein that is in tune with customer preferences.”

Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based Protein2o released its Plus power line, i m sorry boasts 15 grams the protein in mix with 125 mg that caffeine. Protein2o Plus energy is made through 100 percent whey protein isolate through caffeine derived from green coffee beans, the firm says.

The protein drink space also is seeing an appearance of brands that are fortified plant-based proteins.


An increasing variety of protein drink featuring plant-based ingredients room hitting the market. ALOHA Protein Drinks carry out 18 grams of protein with only 5 grams the coconut sugar. (Image courtesy the ALOHA)

For example, new York-based ALOHA broadened its organic, plant-based expertise beyond protein powder and also bars with its recent addition of protein drinks. Easily accessible in chocolate Sea Salt, Coconut and also Vanilla, ALOHA Protein Drinks carry out 18 grams that protein with just 5 grams of coconut sugar. ALOHA\"s protein drink provides a proprietary mix of pea and brown rice protein while include a blend of electrolytes to replenish nutrients, prebiotics for boosted gut health and MCT oil obtained from coconuts for organic energy and also endurance, the company says.

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Plant-based proteins is not the just attribute gaining heavy steam in the sports and also protein drinks segments. Organic and natural positioning will pat a big role in the future of this markets, professionals note.

“The majority of consumers aged 18-54 feel that nutrition and performance drinks contain too many artificial ingredients, and major players will need to adapt,” Mintel’s Formanski says. “Emerging brands with all-natural ingredient profiles, along with enhanced waters that room inherently totally free of man-made ingredients, will proceed to put pressure on sales of drinks in this group with more traditional formulations.”

Euromonitor’s report details that despite sugar content, sporting activities drinks historic perception together a healthy and balanced beverage has actually benefited the category. However, new entrants are challenging that perception and also placing a greater emphasis on today’s variation of “healthy.”

“Sports drinks with added vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that deserve to provide certain health services are gaining traction in the U.S.,” the states. “Brands such together BODYARMOR, which have plant-based ingredient are likewise quickly progressing in the ranks. BODYARMOR is the only major brand to sustain confident sales growth. V8 has additionally entered the healthy and balanced hydration play field, v a vegetable and also fruit juice-based isotonic drink. V8 Hydrate exemplifies the guarded transition toward the natural and healthy. More and much more of these products are meant to be viewed hitting the shelves, particularly as enlarge producers adopt the wellness trends began by smaller sized brands.” BI