The global health drinks market reached a retail value of US$274 billion in 2011, equating to 44% of retail value sales of non-alcoholic beverages.
Naturally healthy drinks made up the largest share (64%) of all retail sales, whilst organic beverages were the smallest with just US$3 billion of retails sales, equivalent to just 1%.
Demand for healthy beverages is moving away from purely low-calorie variants to those which whilst low-calorie also offer added health benefits through either greater natural ingredients or added functionality.
Superfruit juice has become more appealing to the mass market as manufacturers offer healthy, convenient beverages with modern packaging at affordable prices. To improve affordability, the juice content is being lowered and by 2014 global sales of superfruit juice drinks (up to 24% juice content) are set to overtake 100% superfruit juice.
Like all industries in the drinks trade, the market is dominated by brands owned by multinational firms such as PepsiCo and Coca Cola. These companies invest heavily in product development, and this ensures that the market is constantly evolving. New flavours are continually being introduced to the market, as are new combinations and product concepts.
One potential problem for the market is the ever-increasing buying power of the leading supermarkets. The supply contracts for these multiple retailers are key for producers and traders, and supermarkets are able to squeeze their profit margins.
Further to this, manufacturers must discount products heavily if there has been poor weather resulting in slow sales throughout the summer.
Aside from milk and juice, one of the more talked about trends in this space, is the coconut water craze.
Vita Coco, one of the big players in the coconut water market, enjoyed a 400% rise in sales between 2007 and 2009, to $20 million. Of course, with the backing of high-profile celebrity investors like Madonna, Matthew McConaughey and Demi Moore, it's no surprise Vita Coco has been tried by many tastebuds.
The future looks bright for the industry, and it is up to companies to keep pace with the various unmet needs and create the right products and package sizes for consumers of all ages, so that they are relevant to consumer lifestyles.
For more information on the global health drinks market, see the latest research: Global Health Drinks Market
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