Consumers are Replacing Traditional Breakfast with Nutritional Drinks

The adage “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is no longer valid today, thanks to the rise in the popularity of performance and nutritional drinks. With the dietary habits of people evolving, many people opt for nutritional beverages as a favorite breakfast item these days.  About 35% of Americans agree that they do not adequately take care of themselves because they live very busy lifestyles and drinking performance drinks has become the norm for breakfast. Research conducted by Mintel indicated that 39% of people consume nutritional drinks every morning as a meal replacement while 48% consume them as part of their daily meals.


What Consumers Think About Nutritional Drinks

About 80% of consumers view nutritional drinks as a guilt-free beverage. Moreover, 69% believe that they are excellent sources of nutrients compared to tablets and pills. Many consumers drink nutritional drinks because they provide a more convenient method for eating whole foods.

Nutritional beverages are marketed very effectively by convincing consumers that they can maintain healthy lifestyles just by drinking them. The functional characteristic of nutritional drinks sets them apart from the rest of the beverages sold in the market.

Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, Beth Bloom, noted that performance drinks are the epitome of modern drinks as they provide the convenience that can fit the lifestyle and diet choices of the average American. Moreover, as many consumers move away from eating the traditional three meals a day, such beverages, fit in perfectly with their current lifestyle as they are affordable and accessible to many people who live very busy lives.

The Large Market Share of Nutritional Drinks

The favorable attributes of nutritional drinks are the reason why they are gaining a significant market share in the beverage category. Currently, there are now a lot of types of drinks under this category which includes weight loss formulas and sports drinks. Many consumers look for three basic characteristics when buying nutritional drinks including flavor, amount of protein, high fiber content, essential vitamins, and minerals.

Between 2010 and 2015, there was a surge in the sales growth of nutritional drinks of around 67% which is equivalent to $31 billion. Most of the sales come from sports drinks, which the industry growth is pegged at 22% during the same period. Weight loss drinks only have a 5% growth.

According to the Mintel’s Global New Products Database, manufacturers of products such as fruit juices, water, coffee, and tea have used the functional positioning as a platform to sell their goods to the market. Currently, many products have used the value of having functional attributes which are challenging the nutritional drinks in their strategy. Since the competition is very tough, the market has diversified the choices to their consumers. Nutritional beverage manufacturers should focus on promoting and substantiating their products’ efficacy by going for more natural products.

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