The new phenomenon of alertness and relaxation drinks, which has developed out of the energy drinks category, has risen in less than five years to a retail value of $521m. A new report by leading food and drink consultancy Zenith International – on the five key country opportunities of the US and Canada, Germany, the UK and Japan – estimates that sales volumes have trebled since 2007 to 133m litres in 2010, with the US becoming by far the largest national market.
“Consumers are now looking for products to help them deal with pressure and to perform effectively without the use of stimulants”, commented Zenith market analyst Cecilia Martinez. “Alertness drinks are designed to reduce stress and focus the mind. Relaxation drinks usually contain ingredients solely to assist relaxation and in some cases to aid sleep.”
The concept of alertness and relaxation drinks started in Japan in 2005 with a flurry of products enriched with GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). This market has now matured, but it influenced an explosion of innovation in the US. In Europe the market is just beginning to emerge, but it is hampered by a changing regulatory environment and the full impact of imminent legislation is yet to be seen.
“Alertness and relaxation drinks serve a different consumer need to energy drinks,” adds Cecilia Martinez. “They allow stressed consumers to purchase products over the counter that can help them unwind and focus better or sleep better.”
Active ingredients in alertness and relaxation drinks have tended to be: vitamin, mineral or plant-based; amino acids such as L-theanine; or hormones, mainly melatonin. Most drinks contain a combination of active ingredients. One particular challenge is to educate and reassure the consumer of their safety and benefit.
Alertness and relaxation drinks are forecast to see continuing annual growth of over 20% to 2013. For further information contact Zenith International on Tel +44 (0)1225 327900.