#TrendSpotting: Functional Areas Key for 2024 and Beyond 

 In Trendspotting

Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging food and beverage trends.


An Imbibe survey on health and wellness and functional beverage purchase behavior conducted in September 2023 showed variations from gender to generation. What stood out were some of the striking consistencies across the board, highlighting the universal importance of certain need states that resonate with consumers across demographics. 

Recovery    |    Vitality    |    Healthy Aging

Trending Need State #1: Recovery

Hydration has firmly established itself as the top wellness need among today’s discerning consumers. As more people recognize proper hydration’s vital role in maintaining their overall health and vitality, the demand for innovative and enjoyable hydration solutions has soared. Most consumers (89.7%) ranked “stay more hydrated” as their top wellness priority.  

market product

Market leaders like Gatorade and Liquid IV continue to expand their offerings here, but entrepreneurs and major brands continue to throw their hats in the ring. O2 Recovery rebranded to O2 Hydration to embrace this trend.  

Amidst this burgeoning trend lies an exciting opportunity to create delicious and differentiated functional beverages that not only quench thirst but also cater to consumers’ nuanced tastes and preferences. Although this need state is well-cemented in the beverage market, the opportunity remains strong, as our survey indicated that hydration/sports drinks were purchased the most by consumers in the past three months.  

Trending Need State #2: Vitality

Our survey says that energizing the body and mind is consumers’  third most valued wellness need. As our modern lifestyles become increasingly fast-paced, many prioritize optimizing energy levels. There is a growing awareness of the importance of vitality in maintaining an active and fulfilling life. However, despite the evident demand, there remains ample room for innovation in the energy-boosting market.  

Energy and sports/hydration drink users are more likely to be interested in almost any functional beverage category – giving room for the energy drink market to continue to capture non-consumers. Energy-promising products now may not even contain caffeine, while others rely on natural sources, including:  

Green Tea




green tea

Player1 and Gorgie target digital gamers and women, respectively, which paves the way for more hyper-focused energy (or vitality) based on an audience or activity.  

So, what does this mean for brands? 

Our survey indicates that functional beverage consumers care most about effectiveness, taste, and price. Imbibe can deliver ingredients that help you achieve your goals through our product development team or directly to yours.   

Trending Need State #3: Healthy Aging

Beverages are emerging as a platform for preserving healthy skin and hair. The desire for radiant skin and lustrous hair isn’t solely about aesthetics; it’s intrinsically linked to overall well-being and self-confidence. 86.3% of consumers said they consider maintaining healthy skin and hair a vital component of their wellness journey, coming in at fourth overall.  

market product

Biotin, hyaluronic acid, and collagen are the most frequent ingredients used, as seen in Le Jolie Medi Spa’s ‘Pick Me Up Potion’ and Lemme Live’s Lemme Glow functional gummies.  

At the same time, the smallest number of consumers purchased beauty-boosting beverages within the past three months among functional beverage buys. Despite this need’s undeniable significance, there is a noticeable gap in the market for effective, holistic solutions. Backed by the right flavors, taste modulation tools, and expertise, Imbibe can support this endeavor.   

Ultimately, while consumers want these functional benefits, needing their beverages to taste great is essential, with 96% citing it as the most important product attribute. With the addition of functional ingredients, the taste experience can go sour, cardboardy, grassy, or dirty, and that’s where the proper tools and technical know-how come into play.  

All three functional categories will be featured in our product demos at SupplySide West, in our on-site meeting room (MR26). Come and taste our drink mixes while learning how Imbibe’s team and tools can best support your brand’s growth.   

Email marketing@imbibeinc.com to book time at the show or for portfolio renovation, optimization, or innovation support.  

See many of you in Las Vegas!  

Contact Us

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