Sports Drink Formulation and Development
Sports drinks are beverages containing a combination of water and electrolytes (usually sodium and potassium) that claim to replenish water and nutrients lost during exercise.
The first commercially released sports drink was Gatorade in 1967, and it remains the largest player in the sports drink industry. Some other popular sports drinks include Vitamin Water and Powerade.
Sports drinks have been and are predicted to remain one of the fastest-growing markets in the beverage industry. As sugary sodas bring in less and less money, sports drinks continue to grow as they are often perceived as a healthier choice, and their novel flavors often appeal to consumers looking for something different. While sports drinks are consumed by athletes, they also have a wider market appeal and are consumed by people across all demographics, regardless of physical activity level.
There is huge room for growth in the sports beverage industry for natural sports drink alternatives. With consumers today more focused on health than ever before, artificially flavored and sweetened sports drinks remain popular, but more beverage companies are looking to natural alternatives for flavoring and coloring their sports drinks.
With function and sugar reduction a key purchase driver amongst consumers, new sports drink brands offer additional functionality, healthier options and innovative formulas. While legacy sports drinks are still seeing strong sales, many are reformulating or launching low-sugar or sugar-free options. This increased focus on health and wellness means the opportunity for natural and clean labels (formulas with no artificial ingredients) continues to grow as well, appealing both to athletes and active lifestyle consumers.
How to Develop a Sports Drink
An idea is just the start of sports drink development. You also need to discover the best ingredients to use, how to source those ingredients and how to package the beverage. You must also confirm that your sports drink idea is commercially viable — will people want to drink it, and will it be shelf stable or require refrigeration?
BevSource can support you through the sports drink development process. We want to give your beverage business a strong foundation to build on. Our years of experience with supply chain, logistics and production management have allowed us to help hundreds of companies.
We often recommend starting small and producing a small batch of your sports drink. During your pilot run, you can evaluate the beverage's performance, tweak the formula and change the supply chain or production process to improve revenue or results.
How BevSource Can Help You With Sports Drink Formulation
BevSource can do more than help you with sports drink development. If your idea for a sports drink is just that, an idea, we'll work with you to help you develop a beverage formula. We get you on the path toward a winning formula, whether that means tweaking your current formulation or developing a formula for you.
At the end of the day, you remain in full control of your sports drink and maintain ownership of the formula, whether you came up with it yourself or used a flavor house to develop it.
Talk to a Beverage Expert Today
The sports drink market is evolving. As consumers drive demand for drinks without artificial colors or flavors, there is room to get into the market. To learn more, talk to our beverage experts today about how we can work with you to get your sports drink idea to the market.