This Packaged Facts report examines the $33.6 billion US energy and sports drink market, which is projected to grow at an average rate of 6.4% annually through 2027.
Energy and sports drinks account for the largest segment of the overall functional beverage market, representing over half of functional beverage sales in 2023.
Energy drinks purport to provide functional benefits including increased energy and boosts in cognitive function/brain activity. They contain stimulant ingredients, typically caffeine, and claim to provide mental and physical energy. Some of these beverages are carbonated or sweetened, and they tend to contain other functional ingredients such as taurine, guarana, panax, L-carnitine, and ginseng for energy and focus.
Sports drinks are used for enhanced hydration and sports performance. These products typically contain electrolytes, and they are made to hydrate efficiently before, during, or after exercising. They tend to contain salt, minerals, and sometimes sugar to help replenish the body’s natural concentration of these substances.
Energy and sports drinks have a more mature market than many other functional beverages. Some of the top sports and energy drink brands (e.g., Gatorade, Powerade, Red Bull) have been marketed for decades, although there is still room for expansion in these product segments. Unlike other functional beverages, traditional versions of energy drinks and sports drinks may not have an especially healthy perception among consumers due to concerns about added sugar content, energy crashes, or lack of nutritional value.
Many newer introductions to the market go beyond traditional formulations and have better-for-you claims compared to standard energy and sports drink formulations to address the desire for products that are more healthy or have additional functional features.
With a focus on “what’s next” and current consumer trends, Energy & Sports Drinks: US Market Trends & Opportunities is packed with insights about consumer trends, behavior, and motivations to help beverage producers, retailers, packaging companies, employers, and investors gauge consumer perspectives and find areas for growth in a competitive market.
delivers actionable predictions and recommendations designed to guide producers, retailers, and investors in making business decisions by providing data and insights about consumer behavior and what consumers think about these products. Energy & Sports Drinks: US Market Trends & Opportunities Scope
is the go-to source for a complete understanding of U.S. consumer trends regarding sports and energy drinks. This report combines Packaged Facts’ extensive monitoring of the food and beverage market with proprietary surveys, and evaluates current trends and future directions for marketing and retailing, along with consumer patterns during the pandemic and inflation area and across the broader food and beverage market. Energy & Sports Drinks: US Market Trends & Opportunities
This Packaged Facts report analyzes the dynamics of the current landscape of the sports and energy drink market. Consumer demographics, perceptions, motivations, and behavior pertaining to sports and energy drinks and attitudes on food, diet, health, and product packaging are taken into account. Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers are also analyzed in a broad sense, as well as in the context of buying/using sports and energy drinks.
Energy drinks are segmented by the following product forms:
Sports drinks are segmented by the following product forms:
This report includes sales of the above items from:
Grocery stores, supermarkets, and discount grocers (e.g., Kroger, Safeway, ALDI)
Mass merchandisers (e.g., Walmart, Target, Meijer) and warehouse clubs (e.g., Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s)
Convenience stores (e.g., Pilot/Flying J, Circle K, 7-Eleven) and dollar stores (e.g., Dollar General, Family Dollar)
Other retailers, such as gift stores
All online outlets, including online-based grocers (e.g., Amazon, Thrive Market, FreshDirect), third-party pack-and-deliver companies that use their own workforces to purchase groceries at various stores and deliver them to customers (e.g., Instacart), brands that sell their own food products via their websites, direct-to-consumer, and online sales from websites or apps of retailers in the previous categories
Historical numbers for the retail sports and energy drink market are provided from 2017 through 2022. Market forecasts are provided from 2023 through 2027.
Additionally, the percentage of energy drinks sales that are single-serving size packaging vs. multipacks and multi-serving sizes are provided for 2023. The percentage of sports drinks sales that are single-serving size packaging vs. multipacks and multi-serving sizes are also provided for 2023.
The reasons for and implications of shifts in consumer perception and behavior are analyzed in the context of future market opportunities.
Additionally, has dozens of tables highlighting numerical survey data on consumer demographics and psychographics and numerous marketing photographs. This report goes in-depth on COVID-19 and inflation trends that have affected the food and beverage market. Energy & Sports Drinks: US Market Trends & Opportunities Report Methodology
The information contained in
was developed from primary and secondary research sources. Primary research includes interviews with food and beverage market experts; participation in and attendance at food industry events; and extensive internet canvassing. Energy & Sports Drinks: US Market Trends & Opportunities
Primary research also includes national online consumer polls of U.S. adult consumers (age 18+) conducted on an ongoing basis by Packaged Facts to analyze attitudes of consumers and their relevant food and beverage preferences.
Survey data from MRI-Simmons are used to analyze the demographics and psychographics of consumers.
Supplementing Packaged Facts’ exclusive surveys are analysis of the 2022 and 2023 Food & Health Surveys conducted by the International Food Information Council, which analyze consumer food purchase decisions, diet and lifestyle choices, snacking activity, and perception of health benefits in foods. Key Consumer Trends
The 18-44 age group is more likely to shop for groceries online. Beverage sales through such outlets are important to this demographic, so sports and energy drink brands tend to reach out to potential customers via digital marketing. Newer brands or niche products targeting this market are particularly likely to market through social media, and may even be sold primarily direct-to-consumer (DTC).
Many traditional energy drinks are perceived as unhealthy due to their added sugar/sweetener, lack of nutritional value, and/or the possibility of energy crash, whereas other functional beverages have a healthier perception. Younger people are often less concerned about their health and are open to more caffeine, sugar, and other ingredients that older consumers may avoid or cut back on. More recent developments in energy drink options target a slightly older, more health conscious demographic with products that have less sugar content and feature natural caffeine sources and/or plant-based ingredients that have healthier perceptions. Packaging Trends
Packaging aesthetics can be important to beverages by bolstering brand recognition and justifying higher prices for premium products.
Additionally, sustainability is a key packaging trend that affects the sports and energy drink market – and the food and beverage market overall – and will continue to drive change in the packaging industry. Packaging that is deemed excessive, wasteful, environmentally unsound, or otherwise hard to dispose of or recycle creates frustration and can negatively affect the experience of buying or opening beverages.
Sports and energy drinks are being targeted for sustainable packaging changes because the young demographic most likely to use these products is especially concerned about environmental sustainability. Packaging suppliers, retailers, and beverage marketers alike have placed focus on improving the environmental footprint of their product packaging.
However, marketers must balance the form and function of packaging with these desires; fundamentally, the most important aspect of packaging is that it protects the product it contains. For beverages, this means no leaks/spillage, longer shelf life, keeping beverages hot or cold, and preventing contamination; additionally, beverage packaging that facilitates easy consumption on-the-go is key for sports and energy drinks. These beverages are often sold in single servings with a convenient cap or dispensing feature to make drinks easy to consume, pour, or reseal without spilling.