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The functional beverage market in the US is worth $8.6 Billion dollars, which represents growth of almost 300% since 2004. It is the fastest growing subsector of the functional food industry, with an annual growth rate of almost 20%. The functional beverage industry is growing at a much faster rate than the general food or beverage market in the US.
There is an obvious rise in the functional beverages market today due to the increasing understanding and awareness of consumers about the health benefits of taking functional drinks. Some of the health benefits are bone health enhancement, heart health enhancement, immune system improvement, cholesterol management, and improvement of mental energy. Other drivers of the growth of this market are the changes in consumer health habits and increasing expenditure on nutrition and healthcare. Gone are the days when drinks were just about tasting sweet and satiating thirst. Nowadays, consumers require more from their drinks, and functional beverages are the new favorites of consumers.
Every day more and more research is being done to find new ways of satisfying customers, and the functional beverage industry has not been left behind in this regard. Fresh ingredients are being developed every day to cover the somewhat unpleasant taste of different supplements like fatty acids and omega-3 amino. The introduction of formulation technologies like particle size reduction and microencapsulation have created new ways of making revenue for manufacturers in this industry. The geriatric population is one of the leading consumers of functional beverages due to the need for them to consume healthy drinks to tackle various age-related ailment. The UN’s World Population Aging Report states that the world population of people over 60 years will increase by about 56 percent by 2030.
Athletes are also one of the leading consumers of functional beverages. The psychological and physical toll of continually participating in sports means these athletes need a regular supply of healthy drinks. Hence, the high demand for functional beverages in the sports industry. The effect of functional drinks on the immune system and general body health has also led to the proliferation in the market.
The Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe are the major markets for functional drinks in the world, while North America is the world leader in this regard. It is predicted that these markets will continue to be at the forefront because of the rising demand for customized drinks and the popularity of functional beverages in these regions. North America is projected to lead with Europe a close second then the Asia Pacific comes after them. The improvement in the standard of living in the Asia Pacific as well as an increase in consumer awareness will cause the functional drinks market in the Asia Pacific to experience significant growth in the next couple of years.
The brilliant idea of making on-the-go functional beverages has made it a lot easier for consumers to get their hands on their favorite healthy drinks. Now, the entire family can benefit from the market, as parents are now supporting the health of their kids through functional drinks.
The various trends in the functional drinks industry are responsible for the accelerated growth of the market. It is, therefore, imperative that business owners and retailers key themselves into this market, as there are many things to be gained from the numerous opportunities available in the industry.