Sports and energy drink market set to reach £1 billion

Market on track to hit new highs – and top £1.5 billion in five years
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Market on track to hit new highs – and top £1.5 billion in five years

The market for sports and energy drinks is thriving according to the latest figures from research firm Mintel.

The sector has grown 51 per cent between 2004 and 2008, and is set to reach £1 billion for the first time.

2008 saw the market reach £941 million, showing growth of 10 per cent from 2007’s £855 million. In terms of volume, 2008 saw 484 million litres sold, a rise of 10 per cent on 2007’s 442 million litres. 2009 is expected to see volume sales reach 525 million litres, breaking through £1 billion value for the first time.

The future for the market is bright too, Mintel claims, with value sales expected to reach £1.5 billion in the next five years, rising 48 per cent. Volume sales are predicted to surge by 44 per cent to 757 million litres.

The sports and energy drinks are proving more resilient than others, as senior drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth explained: “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."

Penetration is still a significant task for the sector to tackle however, with only a third of the population using energy and sports drinks – a fraction not improved on in five years.

Forsyth added: "The challenge for the industry going forward is to grow its user base by successfully targeting females, 35-54 year olds and workers. 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 and 34 do more exercise than anyone else. A more mainstream opportunity lies in targeting mental rather than physical energy."

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