Energy drinks resilient in declining European beverage market
18 June 2015
Despite difficult financial times, energy drinks show robust growth in Europe. This is due to flavour and ingredient innovations, as well as the emergence of low calorie options that meet the needs of a small, but growing, health-conscious consumer group, finds new report by Canadean.
According to the report, the European energy drinks market is expected to increase by 4.9% to reach close to 550 million litres in 2015. “Energy drinks are highly submerged in people’s daily routines, which might be one of the reasons why they are so resilient in countries where other categories such as carbonates and beer have been continually declining,” says Angela Wynne, analyst at Canadean. Even in countries like Greece and Russia, where consumers spend less on beverages due to the economic circumstances, energy drink volumes have stayed stable. The report finds that the widening range of flavours and product extensions are the main drivers behind the continued expansion of energy drinks. Nevertheless, energy drinks remains a niche market, accounting for less than 0.1% of total beverage consumption.
Fruit-flavoured energy drinks prove to be popular
The volume of fruit-flavoured products has increased by around 11% between 2013 and 2014, with new flavours such as orange, mojito, lemon-lime or pineapple-lime being launched. “These new flavours are targeting consumers who do not like the classic taste of energy drinks and who use them for refreshment, especially during the summer time,” says Wynne. In some countries, such as Hungary and Poland, new flavour innovations have succeeded in bringing back the younger generation to energy drinks.
Energy drinks with natural ingredients on the rise
Canadean also witnessed some development in energy drinks with natural ingredients, such as naturally sourced caffeine and drinks without taurine. In Latvia, Aldaris (Carlsberg Group) launched ‘Super Manki’ in 2014 – a natural energy drink free from caffeine and taurine. Guarana is also becoming more popular, with product ranges in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany often containing the guarana berry as an ingredient.
Low calorie options to meet concerns over health
Low calorie energy drinks have also increased by 11.6% across Europe between 2013 and 2014, as consumers see low calorie options as a way to overcome the current health concerns over energy drinks. “The industry is trying to change the perception of the category and tap into the new health-conscious demographic to ensure its future growth,” says Wynne. However, the market share of low calorie energy drinks is low (<0.1%) and likely to remain low as most energy drinks are consumed by young men who are less concerned about calorie content.
All numbers used in this text are based on Canadean's 'Quarterly Beverage Tracker Q1-15,' published in May 2015.
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