Functional drinks in UK market surging

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The functional drinks in the United Kingdom (UK) market is projected to surge in the next few years as consumers’ demand for products that support their health and wellness is increasing.

A report prepared by Philippine Trade and Investment Center–London said the value of the UK functional drinks market, which continues to be dominated by energy drinks, is forecasted to reach US$4.75 billion at 1 percent compound annual growth rate by the end of 2027.

“However, even these well-known beverages continue to evolve, with some energy drinks now including functional and more natural ingredients. As consumers become increasingly proactive and conscious of their physical and mental health, this is reflected in their purchasing choices and benefits they seek in a functional beverage,” said the report released by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau.

These benefits include immunity support, sleep aid, cognitive function, mood enhancers, digestive support and physical support, it added.

The report said functional beverages can include ingredients from a wide variety of categories. These are bioactive ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and amino acids; nootropics ingredients that enhance cognitive abilities and overall mental wellness; and adaptogens referring to herbs, roots, and other plant substances.

These ingredients also include functional fibers such as oats, barley, and beta glucan; botanicals and plant extracts; fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and herbs; and  prebiotics and probiotics.

The report identified types of functional drinks in the UK market as energy and sports beverages; protein shakes and meal replacement drinks; dairy beverages and non-dairy options; functional waters, juices and shots; fermented drinks; functional coffees and teas; and carbonates and non-alcoholic drinks.

It said a key observation seen in functional beverages in the UK market is the use of natural ingredients, reduction or complete omission of sugar and sweeteners, synthetic vitamins, artificial flavors or colourings, and preservatives.

“This owes to the shift of consumers’ preference towards healthier and holistic well-being and self-care products, which manufacturers adapt to by constantly introducing new ingredients and innovating formulations,” it added.

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