By Stephen Rust, Joint Managing Director at V360°.

Energy food and drink has become a big market across the globe and is showing promising future potential. For example, Grandview research recently forecasted that the global energy drinks market is to reach USD 84.80 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 7% during the forecast period (2018-2025).

This growing demand for energy food and drink has come from consumers discovering that these products can support them in living a more active and healthier lifestyle. The key opportunity is to continue making energy food and drink more relevant and accessible to new consumer segments, and prove it is not just for elite athletes, gym junkies, teenagers and college students.

As energy food and drink is continually extending into more formats and categories this is helping improve its relevance for more usage occasions, and for different consumer segments – right from the professional athlete to the once a week casual stroller. Energy Bomb gum, Hy-drive energy water, snacking balls like Bounce or Raw, and recently launched mandarin orange energy juice from Carabao in UK, are just a few examples of some of the many new and different formats and categories offering energy solutions.

Whether the motivation is for an immediate physical boost, extending physical endurance, or improving mental focus consumers are seeking more energy solutions that have clear health benefits and are naturally sourced. For instance, according to Innova Market Insights data, more than 60 percent of snack nut and seed launches in the US now use a health benefit claim. Coincidentally, that same percentage of consumers want energy snacks that contain healthy attributes. Natural ingredients and flavours will play a key role in this trend with the introduction of more energy products containing ingredients like kale, spinach, green-tea extracts, ginger, chia, turmeric, seaweed and so on.

For retailers to benefit from the growth of energy food and drink is to form a central ‘one-stop energy location’ in-store, especially in the bigger format supermarkets. This will help draw and guide shoppers to explore and find the new and emerging energy food and drink solutions. While the smaller format stores where a ‘one-stop energy location’ maybe unfeasible, the opportunity is to attribute more of the range to energy solutions in the most relevant categories such as drinks, bars and snacks for example.

Finally, communication both in-store and on pack will have to continually endeavour to move perceptions of energy food and drink from just being macho, overly science based or juvenile to a more tasty, natural and healthy energy solutions for all.