HEALTH

Energy drinks carrying more natural ingredients

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON Business Insights on Friday issued a new report finding that more and more energy drink manufacturers are introducing natural ingredients to their drinks range, shifting the energy drink market from a stimulant, instant boost energy drink model to a more sustainable, longer lasting energy lift model.

The energy drinks market continues to offer significant growth opportunity and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 4.5 percent in Europe through 2011, which is expected to grow the dollar volume to $5 billion. Within the region, the Italian market will experience the fastest rate of growth at 10 percent, followed by Sweden with 7 percent. .

According to Productscan, of all sports and energy food and drinks launched globally in 2007, 7 percent claimed to be natural and 12 percent claimed to be high in vitamins. These products contain ingredients such as oats and ginseng (a well established energy provider) and more novel superfruits such as acai and goji berries.

By formulating drinks with such ingredients, manufacturers are not only able to make a natural claim; there is also the added benefit of positioning the product as an everyday soft drink, targeted at consumers looking for vitality and wellness benefits, the company stated. Sports drinks in the United States, such as Gatorade, are consumed for general wellbeing and hydration, not just for sporting activities, and manufacturers in Europe have the opportunity to tap into this trend.

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P&G’s ThermaCare acquired by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. Wyeth Consumer Healthcare’s acquisition of Procter &Gamble’s ThermaCare brand has been finalized, Wyeth reported, according to published reports.

Terms were not disclosed.

ThermaCare, the leading brand in the heat/ice pack category as measured by Information Resources, Inc., generated sales of $51.1 million for the 52 weeks ended July 13, across food, drug and mass (minus Wal-Mart) channels.

ThermaCare fits Wyeth’s strategy to accelerate growth through innovation, organic geographic growth and strategic acquisitions in the division’s base business, which includes pain management, respiratory, nutritional, gastrointestinal and topical products, the company stated in announcing the deal in July.

ThermaCare will join the company’s pain franchise that includes Advil.

The heat wraps are manufactured in Albany, Ga., in a facility that will be maintained by Wyeth.

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N.J. legislators propose age verification to purchase OTC cough/cold medicines

BY Michael Johnsen

TRENTON, N.J. Two New Jersey lawmakers are proposing a ban on the sale of some cough/cold products to minors out of concern for potential abuse—most notably the abuse of the cough suppressant dextromethorphan—in a bill to be introduced this fall, according to a report in Newsday published Wednesday.

The bill is being proposed by Sens. Barbara Buono, D-Edison, N.J., and Tom Kean, Jr., R-Westfield, N.J., and would require retailers to verify a customer’s age before selling any product containing DXM.

The industry in the past has supported both federal and retail efforts to implement sales restrictions prohibiting the purchase of products containing dextromethorphan by those under the age of 18. In 2007, Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., introduced S. 2274, the Dextromethorphan Abuse Reduction Act, which would prevent teens under the age of 18 from purchasing cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, a bill that was supported by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and the Parternship for a Drug-Free America.

Most retailers already require cashiers to verify the age of the consumer before selling DXM products.

“DXM abuse can have lasting and potentially fatal consequences for teenagers who misuse this legal, inexpensive and easily accessible substance in order to achieve a high,” Buono told the New York regional daily.

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