Drink Trends May 2024

May 17, 2024

Drink Trends May 2024

Health is hot this month. Healthy drink trends are leading the way in May 2024 Drinks Trends, with vitamin and electrolyte infused drinks appealing to all types of drinkers and being developed in a wide range of formats – from water to shakes to booze.

Healthy drink trends

+ Vitamins for all drinks

Optimising health and wellness is seeing drinks brands enhancing increasing numbers of drink types. Vitamin-enriched drinks offer consumers a convenient, affordable and, crucially, tasty way to stay topped up on essential nutrients and minerals.

Many of the formats being developed for this sub-category are naturally aligned to health drink trends – like premiumised functional water and enhanced energy drinks. But other launches show just how big the drinks trend is – like vitamin-enriched alcohol.

Drink Trends May 2024 - Dr Funks Berry & Rose Sparkling Water

Functional water is a leader within the sub-category, as even this essential element has now been premiumised. UK brand VITAL promises “100% of vitamin groups” in its Strawberry & Yuzu and Lemon & Lime flavoured drinks, while Dr Funk’s Berry & Rose sparkling water offers a range of vitamins and minerals.

Shakes offer a slightly more indulgent vitamin- and hydration-boost. Often protein-rich, these suit a wider range of usage occasions, including breakfast, post-gym, or on-the-go. Finnish brand Fazer’s Aito Sunshine Oat Drink gives drinkers 30% and 24% of their vitamin D and vitamin B12 RDI, respectively.

Fortification and functionality are helping brands to reposition energy drinks as “clean” and better-for-you, too. Zero sugar or naturally-derived caffeine creations are key to this, like King Kogin’s energy drinks made using tea-derived caffeine, zero sugar, carbs or artificial colours, and added vitamins like B6. Bizz Energy also offers zero sugar and calories while using a proprietary blend of a steroid hormone and vitamins to offer clean energy without a crash.

Corona Vitamin D

Given the popularity of all the above, it’s little wonder that other drink types are being fortified too. Booze that’s better for you is a natural move for brands conscious of people’s health concerns. Vitamin vodka made headlines years ago now, and Wild Life Botanicals’ vitamin-enriched tipples – “ultra-low alcohol yet ultra-high in goodness” – have been going for five years. Corona has tapped into this too, more recently, and is now said to be bringing its 0% Sunbrew beer, giving drinkers 30% of Vitamin D RDI, to the UK.

Electrolyte-infused drinks

Electrolytes are also sparking drinkers’ interest. Drinks infused with extra electrolytes have boomed, seeing the sub-category grow by 10.3% CAGR in 2023, up to $40.32bn, according to The Food People.

These essential minerals – like salt, potassium and calcium – help with hydration and muscle function by allowing our cells to conduct electrical charges. While a healthy diet will keep them topped up, lifestyle factors like heavy exercise or unexpected illnesses can sap them. But while health trends are largely behind electrolytes growth, as ever TikTok is playing its part too; with more than 90.6m views on electrolyte-themed reels across the social platform.

As such, they’re being used across all drink types, from simple waters and sodas to kids drinks and even supposedly-hangover curing creations.

White Claw Seltzer

As with vitamins, it all starts with water. Electrolyte water is super trendy, like new brand Water Almighty’s still and sparkling creations, boasting seven added minerals. Electrolytes are also making soft drinks feel healthier, like sodas and seltzers which take a health kick into treat territory too. White Claw covers all bases with its 0% alcohol seltzer available in four flavours – including Peach Orange Blossom and Lime Yuzu – offering the flavour and feel of an RTD but with a range of electrolytes and just 15 calories per can. Electrolyte juices offer an extra health angle too. BeWell Shots highlight how they’re blended for “endurance, clean energy and hydration” while Pressed Juicery’s Hydration+ drinks come in Greens, Dragonfruit, or Watermelon flavours with added electrolytes, vitamins and probiotics.

Sports Drink Electrolytes

Sports drinks are perhaps the most obvious format for electrolytes, of course. In this crowded market, brands are appealing to everyone from marathon runners to weightlifters by creating organic blends or partnering with pro athletes.

Current drink trends

Drinks industry trends

Abstinence is on the up in the UK. Figures from charity Drinkaware show that 14% of Brits are now teetotal, while growing numbers are drinking less. Sales of no-and-low alcoholic drinks topped $11bn in the UK in 2022, prompting the launch of the inaugural World Alcohol-Free Awards in March of this year. Winners included fermented sparkling teas and bitter apperitifs, while ‘functional spirits’ were recognised as a growing market too.

By comparison, it’s cocktail sales that are growing over the pond. CGA’s Beverage Trak service shows that cocktail sales in the US grew by 6% in the last quarter of 2023. And tequila now accounts for more than one-third of all cocktails sold, thanks to the ever-popular Margarita. This held the top spot as number one cocktail, closely followed by the Martini and the Moscow Mule.

New launches

International markets have been treated to extra texture in new launches of sweet or spicy flavoured drinks.

Drink Trends May 2024 - Starbucks Melon Frappe

In Japan, Starbucks new Motto Gohobi Melon Frappuccino offers cool, soft and smooth textures, blending green melon juice and milk over an orange melon pulp and jelly base and topped with cream. Over in the US, the coffee shop brand has sweet, spicy and foamy offering, with dragonfruit, pineapple, and strawberry flavoured Spicy Lemon Refreshers, and a Spicy Cream Cold Foam with added chilli powder blend. Also in the US, Burger King tops its new blue raspberry flavoured Frozen Cotton Candy Cloud with a “cloud of creamy cold foam”. And Sprite has developed a proprietary blend of cooling agents in its new Sprite Chill, giving a unique cooling sensation in every sip.

Dr Pepper is also layering its new drink, adding creamy tropical coconut to its original flavour, in both regular and zero sugar versions.

Capitalise on current drink trends

To explore creating your own range of healthy drinks, chat to the Simpson’s Beverages team today. We are experts in the development, formulation, and manufacture of drinks, working with brands to expand, refine or grow their lines and stay apace of the latest drinks industry trends.


Image source: Trendhub The Food People 2024

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