October 2011 Management Briefing - Functional Drinks
This month's management briefing for just-drinks' subscribers takes an in-depth look at the boom category functional drinks.
The functional beverages category represents a key part of the functional food industry and, as such, exemplifies two defining yet contrasting characteristics of this sector of the market: Its considerable growth potential and its ability to court controversy.
According to Leatherhead Food Research, the global market for functional food and beverages, currently worth around US$23bn, is set to grow by between 3% and 5% over the next five years. Both specialist and mainstream drinks manufacturers have fostered that growth and are seeking to capitalise on it.
As stated previously, there is no more challenging issue for producers of functional drinks than the debate around how health claims should be substantiated and communicated through labelling and marketing. This is underlined by the extensive health claims evaluation process conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which was concluded in July.
This briefing has highlighted the growth in many functional beverage categories in recent years and the strong indications of further growth potential. While there are challenges ahead for marketers of functional beverages, there are also some extremely positive factors.
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