Nearly one-in-three of British people (32%) surveyed said they would cut the amount of energy drinks high in sugar they consumed if prices were to increase.
One in five (20%) said they would stop drinking high-sugar energy beverages altogether.
Almost half (49%) of those surveyed enjoyed energy or sports drinks, with the number rising to 80% of men aged 16–24, according to Mintel’s report.
The report followed UK government plans to tax sugary drinks, which early this month was predicted to threaten up to 4,000 jobs and cost up to £132M. The much-criticised levy will be charged on drinks with a high sugar content from April 2018.
Uplift in product innovation
The prospect of the new tax had already caused an uplift in product innovation, claimed Mintel.
Its Global New Product Database revealed 28% of sports and energy drinks launched in the UK so far this year carried a low, no or reduced sugar claim.
Mintel senior food and drink analyst Amy Price said: “Sugar continues to be an issue in the market and the pending sugar tax is expected to have an adverse effect on consumption.
“Positively for the market, however, a strong minority of sports and energy drink users would not change their habits following the introduction of the sugar tax.
“Ongoing investment in low, no and reduced sugar formats will be essential to providing a different option for consumers, especially if these are at a lower cost to the consumer.”
However, topping consumers’ wish lists for product innovation was the introduction of more health-oriented ingredients.
More than a quarter (28%) of energy and sports drinks consumers said they would want to see cold-pressed juice included in these drinks. A quarter would like to see mineral water as an ingredient.
“This health halo could be mined by sports and energy drinks brands to capitalise on the trend through products that look to cold-pressing techniques,” said Price.
Energy drinks research – at a glance
- 48% of people in the UK drink energy drinks
- 80% of men aged 16–24 drink energy drinks
- 32% would consume fewer energy drinks if prices rose
- 20% said they would stop drinking them if prices rose
- 28% of new energy drinks had reduced or no sugar