Functional drink market trends
Trends in the functional drink market.

Functional food and beverages are convenient to carry and are easier to be consumed in different scenarios. Fitness enthusiasts favor energy drinks after exercising; office professionals prefer beverages that help improve memory and stabilize emotion; consumers on weight-loss diets like meal replacement food.  

As Chinese consumers have more disposable income, people started pursuing an upscale healthy lifestyle that supports a strong immune system and a good mental state.  

The pandemic hit hard on people’s lives, presenting unprecedented uncertainties to normal life. Consumers have started focusing on products that improve their immune system, by looking for certain ingredients that include not only trace elements but also natural nutrients, such as curcumin.

Research suggests that curcumin can help in managing oxidative stress and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and hyperlipidemia. In fact, curcumin extract has been already adopted as functional raw material in the US and Canada. In the global F&B industry, the compound of curcumin extract, vitamins, probiotics, fresh ginger, and other nutritious ingredients are becoming popular.  

Functional ingredients are beneficial to consumers’ mental health. curcumin helps reduce chronic inflammation; probiotics have advantages in curing intestinal diseases; Gamma-aminobutyric acid directly improves sleep, stabilizes emotion, and enhances intestinal health.  

Mintel China surveyed 3,000 internet users aged 18 to 49, showing that 70% of the participants are interested in trying functional drinks that help relieve fatigue, and 56% of them are likely to try functional drinks that help improve their immune system.  

Low sugar is also a hot topic in the F&B industry in recent years. 53% of consumers from 18 to 24 will check the calorie content before purchasing products, and 51% of them will check the sugar content.  

Juice brings diversified flavors and nutrition to beverages. In 2019, China’s juice beverage market reached 143.5 billion yuan (~USD 21 billion). Adding low-concentration juice to turmeric beverages will deliver additional nutritional values to consumers.

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