Imbibe on 2022 Sports Drink Trends: Label Claims, Cognitive Health, and More

 In Nutritional Outlook, Press

press sports drinks 10-22As more consumers adopt sports nutrition beverages as part of an active lifestyle, consumer preferences are diversifying. Today, the term sports drink has come to mean many things.

As this umbrella category broadens, it will be essential for brands to tailor products to better appeal to specific consumer segments. Here are some of the consumer trends shaping the sports drinks market.

Esports: Cognitive Drinks Grow

The rise of esports opened up several new avenues for sports drinks. While traditional sports drinks typically focused on hydration as a key benefit, esports beverages heavily center on cognitive health benefits.

Today’s esports drinks can target specific aspects of brain health or induce certain brain-states, says Erin Costello, communications and events associate for drink developer Imbibe (Niles, IL).

“Cognitive support, focus, and digital performance are all market opportunities” in this category, Costello says. “G Fuel has seen success with multiple product lines, including powders and ready-to drink [RTDs] that enhance gamers’ performance.” The company’s marketing is on point, too. “They’ve taken influencer marketing by storm; they’ve created partnerships with movie franchises and professional gamers,” she says.

Label Claims Matter

As consumers seek more functional benefits from their sports drinks—benefits like focus, eye health, and satiety—they are also moving away from old-school fillers like sugar. There is continued demand for reduced-sugar and low-calorie sports drinks, with consumers both inside and outside the gym reaching for sports drinks, Costello says.

“According to the International Food Information Council, 25% of consumers say the total sugars information on the Nutrition Facts label has the most influence on their purchases,” Costello explains.

Shoppers are also searching for key benefits and ingredients on labels. For instance, “Sports drinks are relied upon for enhanced performance and hydration through added electrolytes, B vitamins, and caffeine,” she notes.

Access the full article on Nutritional Outlook.