Should coffee and tea brands be wary of booster beverages?

Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s holidays were relaxing or hectic yet fun (as they often are). I had an enjoyable holiday break, but not a long one, just enough time that when 3 January popped up, I needed an extra ‘kick’ to get me back into the swing of things. As usual, I turned to stronger and additional cups of coffee for that shot of energy. However, for many consumers, their caffeine fix is coming from ‘booster beverages’. New research from market intelligence firm, Fact.MR, reveals that the global booster beverage market, which is estimated at USD $129.3 billion in 2023, is projected to expand at a CAGR of 3.6% during the forecast years 2023-2033. 

According to Fact.MR, the market is expected to grow on the heels of increased adoption by consumers and heightened penetration of booster beverages on supermarket aisles. Furthermore, booster beverages received a lot of public attention during and after the Covid-19 outbreak given their immunity-boosting characteristics. For a long period and for many, tea and coffee were the most preferred refreshment beverages, however, the availability of instant energy-providing beverages was fairly limited until recently. Booster beverages, especially energy boosters, historically, were more often consumed by athletes or active health enthusiasts only. 

The last few years the booster beverage industry has evolved significantly because of extensive product offerings at an affordable cost by manufacturers. Fact.MR reports that the shift in global preferences towards a healthier lifestyle and fitness standards set under the umbrella of spreading use of social media has accelerated product adoption among the general population. Booster beverages have several advantages over traditional drinks, which has led to an increase in demand for the products. For example, booster beverages functionally aid health by either boosting energy or immunity, or improvising skin, hair, or digestion. These applications are further diversifying with ingredients such as caffeine, stimulants, ginseng, pre/pro-bionics, vitamins, and minerals, to name just a few. 

Additionally, the market is being driven by the increasing consumption of booster drinks among teenagers (Gen Z) and young adults below the age of 35 (Gen Z & millennials) who tend to be more health-conscious and fitness-obsessed. Fact.MR notes that because of their ability to improve performance, endurance, and alertness, booster drinks are replacing coffee and tea in the aforementioned age group. 

Fact.MR further finds that the booster beverage market will grow during the forecast period because of factors such as gradually increasing per capita disposable income of the population, increasing population density, expanding variety of flavours in ready-to-drink (RTD) boosters (which is already quite extensive), and a rise in health consciousness at individual levels. Additionally, there is increasing availability of natural and organic ingredients in booster beverages, which has further enhanced booster drink sales. 

Fact.MR’s research also shows: 

  • An increase in personal health awareness among the population and the incorporation of various nutritional contents in the products offered will substantially intensify the demand for booster drinks in the short-term period. 
  • Sales of booster beverages are projected to grow in the long-term period due to the increasing integration of plant-based raw ingredients such as matcha, cascara, and guarana in product offerings owing to their fruity taste and health benefits. 
  • A rise in per capita spending on food and beverages in developing geographies such as East Asia, South Asia, and Latin America will provide lucrative growth opportunities for market players. 

While there is reason for coffee and tea brands to be concerned about the impact of booster beverages, it’s not all rosy for that market. Excessive consumption of booster beverages can be harmful to one’s health. Several booster beverages contain a high amount of caffeine and preservatives, and over-consumption can lead to serious medical problems such as hyperacidity, hypertension, and an increase in heart rate. 

Moreover, Fact.MR’s research notes that caffeine addiction is another side effect of a disproportionate intake of these beverages, which can lead to insomnia, anxiety and dehydration. Hence, the growth of the booster beverage market may be dented due to the aforementioned adverse health effects. So, while coffee and tea brands should be keenly watching the booster beverage market, they should be optimistic yet remain innovative and opportunistic. 

Call me a traditionalist, but I plan to stay with the ‘tried and true’ caffeine boosters — coffee and tea. In fact, I have just enough of a tasty holiday blend left for a couple more cups of coffee… 

Happy coffee and tea sipping in 2023 and best wishes for a healthy and joyous new year! 

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