In the US, soda sales have been on the decline for 12 consecutive years. As consumers continue turning away from sugary drinks and toward healthier, lower-calorie options, a new batch of beverages are set to take over. Say hello to functional beverages. 

Enriched with vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, or fruits and vegetables, functional beverages are being touted as a healthier, more energizing, better hydrating version of your average drink. While alkaline water, electrolyte enhanced sports drinks, and ready-to-drink protein shakes may have started this trend, it’s showing no signs of slowing down — if anything, it has stepped on the gas. The functional beverage sector is expected to become the fastest-growing product in the overall beverage category while the global market for functional drinks is projected to reach $93.68B in 2019. 

As innovation in the space continues, expect to see more and more drinks using adaptogens, nootropics, cannabis, and the like to deliver clean energy, cognitive benefits, stress relief, and the oh-so-ambiguous sense of well-being. Then, as sales increase and revenues rise, we’ll likely see big-name celebrities making investments into the space (see Kobe Bryant and Ruby Rose) as big brands acquire standout beverage startups, giving rise to the next evolution of wellness elixirs.

b3f06754-5f0c-42cc-b194-085361c1e558.jpgSoda vs. Everyone → 

Consumers are turning their backs on sugary sodas, creating an opportunity for beverage startups and causing headaches for companies like Pepsi and Coke. Now, sparkling water, ready-to-drink coffee, and “functional” beverages are taking over. The result is a top-to-bottom reinvention of the beverage category.