The functional drink market is booming and is projected to hit $200,080.3 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2021 to 2030, according to recent statistics by Allied Market Research. Health-conscious consumers increasingly turn to functional drinks as a healthy and convenient alternative to sugary soft, sports, and energy drinks.
Functional drinks contain functional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances like probiotics, fiber, and antioxidants. They are designed to help enhance immunity, improve cognitive performance, reduce fatigue, boost energy levels, regulate metabolism, and provide soothing relief.
The ever-evolving and expanding functional drinks market is highly competitive and diverse.
Savvy entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the functional drinks market must stay updated with the newest functional drink types, trends, and ingredients. Read on to learn more about functional drinks, their types, and the latest trends and ingredients currently dominating the market.
Latest Trends in the Functional Drink Market
Functional drinks are quickly becoming the go-to choice for health-conscious consumers as a tasty and convenient way to get essential nutrients. Companies are constantly innovating and formulating beverages with unique ingredients, textures, and flavors to appeal to different consumer palates.
Some of the latest trends in functional drinks include the following:
Plant-Based, Organic, Cannabidiol (CBD), and Vegan Protein Functional Beverages
Rising consumer demand for healthier functional beverages has spurred the growth of plant-based functional drinks made without artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
Organic functional drinks have also seen an uptick in popularity as consumers increasingly seek out beverages with natural and minimally processed ingredients.
Drinks infused with CBD offer improved sleep, focus, anti-inflammatory properties, and relaxation. Vegan protein beverages appeal to fitness enthusiasts and are becoming popular as more consumers opt for plant-based diets.
Single-Serve and Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Packaging
Consumers increasingly gravitate toward functional drinks in single-serve or RTD packaging for convenience and portability. These drinks can be enjoyed anytime and on the go without mixing or preparing ingredients, making them ideal for busy lifestyles.
Companies now cater to this demand by offering functional drinks in convenient packaging designs such as cans, bottles, and pouches.
Modern Taste Profiles and Innovative Flavors
The stiff competition in the functional drinks market has prompted companies to develop creative flavors and innovative taste profiles such as matcha, exotic fruits, herbs, spices, flowers, and tea blends to appeal to a broader consumer base.
Companies also use functional ingredients such as collagen, probiotics, and omega-3 for health benefits.
Capitalizing on these trends will help you gain a competitive edge in this lucrative market, appeal to more consumers, and maximize ROI. You, however, must understand the different types of ingredients manufacturers use and how to formulate beverages that meet consumer demands.
Ingredients a Functional Drink Contains
The success of functional drinks relies heavily on the choice, quality, and combination of ingredients manufacturers use. You want to formulate delectable, refreshing, safe drinks loaded with health benefits. Typical functional drink ingredients include:
Vitamins and Minerals
The body needs essential vitamins and minerals to function optimally. Functional drinks are formulated with water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B, C, and D, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron to support metabolism, immunity, and overall health.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs like ginger, turmeric, ginseng, and Echinacea are frequently used in functional drinks for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Spices like cayenne, cinnamon, and cardamom improve digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, and boost the immune system. Herbs and spices also improve flavor, creating unique functional drinks with a modern twist.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote gut health, boost immunity, and improve digestion. Functional drinks are often enriched with probiotics to improve digestive health and overall well-being. The most common probiotic used in functional beverages is Lactobacillus.
Botanical extracts like green tea, chamomile, and peppermint are common in functional drinks, as they offer numerous health benefits, including improved digestion, better sleep, quicker muscle recovery, and enhanced metabolism.
Plant extracts naturally contain plant compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and terpenes that improve mental alertness, clarity, and mood and reduce stress.
Dietary Fibers and Added Raw Fruits
Dietary fibers help to improve digestion and regulate blood sugar levels, while raw fruits provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for improved health.
Prebiotic fibers like inulin, pectin, and guar gum are used in functional drinks to promote healthy gut bacteria, while added raw fruits like berries, apples, and oranges provide flavor, texture, and functional benefits.
Aim to create safe, tasty, and functional beverages by carefully considering the type, quality, and combination of ingredients used in your drinks. Research and experiment with different flavors to create innovative functional drinks that meet consumer demands.
5 Popular Functional Drink Types
The functional drink market is highly diverse, and functional drinks can be broadly classified into five major categories:
1. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are formulated with electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium to help replenish fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat during physical activity. They also contain functional ingredients such as amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to support performance and endurance.
2. Energy Drinks
Functional energy drinks increase energy levels, reduce fatigue, and improve alertness by stimulating the central nervous system. They contain functional ingredients such as caffeine, taurine, guarana, and B vitamins. The instant burst of energy makes them popular among athletes and sportspeople.
3. CDB-Infused Drinks
CBD-infused functional drinks like Delta 8 are gaining traction in the functional drink market. They contain cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound extracted from hemp plants that helps reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, improve mood, and promote better sleep.
4. Enhanced Waters
Plain water has a bland, rancid taste that many people find difficult to consume. Enhanced waters are low-calorie, low-sugar drinks that contain functional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, and herbs to improve flavor, increase its benefits, and make drinking water more enjoyable. Popular functional enhanced waters include vitaminwater, Hint, and Propel.
Kombucha is a functional drink made by fermenting tea and natural sweeteners with yeast and bacteria. It’s loaded with probiotics, antioxidants, polyphenols, enzymes, and B vitamins that promote digestion, improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and boost mental clarity. Kombuchas are available in various flavors, including ginger, raspberry, and lemon.
You can incorporate one or more functional drink types to enhance your product line, access a broader customer base, and maximize profits. Think from your target audience’s perspective to create beverages tailored to their needs.
Partner with an experienced beverage manufacturer to navigate the functional drink market and create innovative products.
MetaBrand Is Your Reliable, Trusted, and Experienced Beverage Manufacturer
MetaBrand is an experienced independent beverage formulation and manufacturing company with a decade of experience in the beverage industry. Our experienced R&D team helps you to create unique, innovative, and high-quality drinks that meet customer needs and compliance requirements.
We do everything in-house and will guide you from ideation and assessment to production and distribution. Contact the MetaBrand team today to learn more about functional drink manufacturing and position yourself for success.
RTD stands for “Ready-to-Drink” products. RTD products refer to beverages or liquid-based products that are pre-packaged and ready for consumption without the need for any additional mixing or preparation.
These products are convenient and can be consumed directly from the packaging without any additional steps. RTD products are popular among busy individuals who are looking for on-the-go refreshments or quick and hassle-free options.
They are commonly available in various forms such as cans, bottles, or pouches, and encompass a wide range of beverages including functional drinks, juices, soft drinks, energy drinks, iced teas, coffee, and more.
A functional drink is a beverage that contains ingredients specifically chosen for their potential health benefits and functional properties. These drinks are formulated to go beyond basic hydration and provide additional advantages to the consumer’s overall well-being.
Functional drinks typically contain ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, probiotics, fiber, antioxidants, and other bioactive substances.
Plant-based products tend to be rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which are beneficial for health.
Plant-based products have been associated with lower risks of chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers.