Low-calorie options 
energize sports drinks

Sports drinks and energy beverages remain the driving forces behind the beverage category. Dollar volume across all three channels for both segments spiked nearly 15% for the 12-week period ended April 17, according to SymphonyIRI Group data.

Consumers have responded to lighter versions of traditional sports drinks. The category still is led by PepsiCo’s Gatorade, which, boosted by the popularity of its G Series label, grabbed the title of the fifth-largest 
beverage trademark by volume during the 
year, according to Beverage Marketing Corp. 
“After declining in 2009, Gatorade enlarged by more than 6%,” said Gary Hemphill, SVP information services at Beverage Marketing.

Coca-Cola’s Powerade trademark is nipping at its competitor’s heels. The brand grew more than 19% last year, according to Hemphill. Buoyed by sales of Powerade Zero, it is gaining share and outpacing category growth.

Energy beverages continue to post double-digit sales growth. Despite waves of bad press for the products, consumers show no sign of losing their appetite for the caffeine-fueled drinks. Energy shots also are showing significant growth.

“The reality is that energy drinks are uniquely and provably delivering that benefit [of more energy], and are at times delivering it with ingredients other than common caffeine and sugar,” said a recent report from Packaged Facts.


The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Energy/Sports Drinks Mid-Year Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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