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Relaxation Nation: Trends in Calming Beverages

Contact Author Kristen Walker, Mintel Research Consultancy
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This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine. The full content is not currently available online.

The proliferation of technologies aimed to help consumers stay connected, efficient and virtually accessible has led to increasingly hectic lifestyles. As consumers continue to pack more work, school and social activities into already overscheduled day planners, many are seeking ways to stay energized and motivated; energy drinks have subsequently boomed in-market. In fact, Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) finds that global energy drink introductions jumped 10% from 2006 to 2009. Despite this strong year-on-year boost in energy drink activity, a counter trend has emerged, and “anti-energy” drinks are seeing traction in market. Relaxation, stress relief and calm-inducing positioning platforms have moved beyond herbal tea to bring a new benefit to the functional beverage market at large.

Give the People What They Want
Research published in Mintel’s report, "Functional Beverages—US," published in 2009, finds that there is strong demand for functional beverages that work as mood enhancers and stress relievers. Nearly half (45%) of all functional beverage buyers expressed a desire for beverages that help enhance mood, while another 49% of all functional beverage users would like more beverages with the benefit of relieving stress. Although this functional benefit represents just a small percentage of overall beverage activity worldwide, drinks positioned around relaxation and calming have more than doubled from 2006 to 2009 and are on track to continue this trajectory through 2010.

Functional Calming Ingredient Activity
Today’s “prove it” consumer mentality means that manufacturers must create products that provide specific benefits and back the beneficial claims with a transparent formulation. Trusted functional ingredients, clear labeling and savvy positioning must all work together to help build consumer trust, and many manufacturers of relaxation and anti-stress beverages have found innovative ways to tout their unique benefits.

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