Move aside, energy drinks. Functional beverages are having a moment.

Customers are clamoring for beverages with collagen (for skin), nootropics (for mood), and melatonin (for sleep).

Source: Som Sleep

Move aside, energy drinks. Functional beverages are having a moment.

Spend enough time on Instagram, and you’ll encounter an ad for a beverage that promises to change your life.

These products are known as “functional beverages,” a market defined by nonalcoholic drinks with special ingredients for added benefits.

The trend has recently exploded

Per Bloomberg, as of the end of May functional drinks grew 360% YoY (vs. 9% for the rest of the beverage market).

Main ingredients include:

  • Collagen: A protein that helps with skin elasticity (e.g., SkinTē)
  • Probiotics: Bacteria — widely available in yogurt and kombucha — that promotes gut health (e.g., Huzzah)
  • Nootropics: Chemicals that are designed to improve mood (e.g., Lightwave or, as Bloomberg calls it, “the anti-Red Bull”)

The anti-Red Bulls have a market of their own

Som Sleep’s zzz’s-inducing beverage is sold in ~2k Walmarts and is used by 60+ pro sports teams.

Even Pepsi jumped on the trend in late 2020 with its L-theanine and magnesium-powered Driftwell. (Gizmodo said it tastes “like a nightmare.”)

We may just stick to our favorite sleep-inducing drink: red wine with a splash of turkey leg.

Topics: Food

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