China Food

Shuttlecock exercise is a big business to wake up electrolyte drinks and replenish water for the body?

this summer’s beverage scuffle is imminent. Will the new electrolyte beverage become the strongest dark horse?

Text: EVA fan

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

In 7 days, there were tens of millions of fans and more than 100 million live viewers. Liu Fuhong successfully set off an upsurge of home fitness with the compendium of Materia Medica shuttlecock exercise, which also made more people realize that the house economy under the epidemic is not only convenient for fast food, but also contains a huge demand for sports and fitness. The summer breath is getting stronger, the fitness enthusiasm of Chinese people is gradually heating up, and sports drinks have become the focus of the market. Compared with the tasteless pure water, the sweet and cool sports drink has become the first choice for many people to replenish water after sweating.
In the 1980s, Jianlibao, known as “Chinese magic water”, was born. As the earliest electrolyte sports drink in China, Jianlibao successfully engraved the strong correlation between “electrolyte replenishment” and sports nutrition in the cognition of Chinese people. Over the past 40 years, electrolyte water is still the main force in the sports nutrition and functional beverage market.
Driven by the concept of healthy diet, consumers no longer only pursue the pleasant experience brought by drink thirst quenching, but hope to find more accurate products in different scenarios. The electrolyte beverage industry has ushered in a new test.
In the past two years, foodaily has observed that domestic electrolyte beverage brands are following the consumption trends of health, youth and personalization, jumping out of the fixed consumption scene and single target group, and constantly exploring the road of breaking the circle in the new consumption era. “Change and upgrading” will become the theme of lasting echo on the electrolyte beverage track.

Vitality, water replenishment, rapid charging and electrolyte form a new force of beverage consumption

Night running, dancing, playing ball, cycling… Under the great health trend, fitness exercise has become an open way for more and more people to live in their leisure life after work and school. Carrying a bottle of sports drink with them has also become the standard for fitness. Unlike energy drinks, sports drinks contain less caffeine, taurine and other neuroexcitatory substances. They do not focus on relieving fatigue and refreshing in scenes such as staying up late and studying overtime. Instead, they are configured according to the physiological consumption of the human body in sports scenes. They charge the energy consuming body in time around basic nutrients such as carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins and electrolytes to maintain fluid balance.
Carbohydrates are used to maintain the normal supply of physical strength, vitamins are used to boost energy metabolism, and electrolytes are used to strengthen cell water replenishment. The main ingredients of various sports drinks are different, among which electrolyte drinks are the ones with a rising heat. According to the insight into 2021 beverage consumption trend jointly released by cbndata and tmall, with functional highlights such as rapid water replenishment and maintaining body homeostasis, electrolyte topped the list of search terms for different nutrients in 2021 tmall platform beverage market, which attracted consumers’ attention.
Source: cbndata x tmall
The body that heats up due to exercise generally keeps its temperature constant through sweating. This process is often accompanied by the loss of sodium and potassium plasma, which is seriously easy to lead to electrolyte metabolism disorder, and even symptoms such as limb fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Therefore, compared with simple water replenishment, the recovery of the body after exercise requires the joint charging of “electrolyte + water”. After supplementing electrolyte, it can also produce a certain osmotic pressure, which is helpful for water to stay in blood vessels and accelerate the body’s water replenishment.
As a member of energy drinks, electrolyte drinks have been highly tied to sports for many years and have developed steadily under the guidance of traditional giants such as Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and nongnongshan spring. Nowadays, with the deepening of the concept of health, more FMCG brands have noticed the market potential of electrolyte drinks and entered the market one after another.
Source: Allied Market Research
According to the data of allied market research, the global electrolyte beverage market will reach US $32.519 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach US $56.473 billion in 2030, with an average annual growth rate of 5.3%. The Asia Pacific region has the fastest growth and huge market potential, and China is an important market for electrolyte drinks in the world.
According to the latest 2022 electrolyte beverage trend report released by tmall new product innovation center, from April 2021 to March 2022, the growth rate of functional drinks reached 38%, which is the fastest growing category in the domestic beverage market. In the secondary track of functional drinks, electrolyte drinks performed prominently, ranking first with a growth rate of 225%, with a “back wave” trend of speeding up.  
Photo source: 2022 electrolyte beverage trend report, tmall new product innovation center x HCR Huichen, April 2022
Domestic electrolyte beverage brands are rising strongly and begin to impact the leading position of international giants. The alien electrolyte water under the beverage Unicorn Yuanqi forest successfully occupied the second place in the tmall functional beverage brand list and the first place in the tmall electrolyte beverage list within one year of listing, blowing a new storm in the electrolyte beverage market. At the same time, many new players, including plum garden and Panpan food, have joined the track chase, which further promotes the continuous fermentation of the heat of electrolyte drinks.

To penetrate the sports scene, electrolyte drinks should be both “plus” and “pro”

The consumption upgrading war with “health” as the core has started in an all-round way, and the product competition is becoming increasingly fierce. It is obvious that a single efficacy claim can no longer meet more and more “picky” consumers. With the emergence of the “super drink” with multiple effects in one, electrolyte drinks are bound to make changes and upgrades. Based on health needs, making use of nutrition addition and subtraction to create a “plus version” of new hydrating products has become one of the keys to advanced.
Source: Ipsos insight into the new trend of food and beverage in the post-2021 epidemic Era
Ipsos pointed out in the report “insight into the new trend of food and beverage in the post-2021 epidemic era”: under the new normal of health, more than 60% of consumers said that the publicity content about the increase and decrease of food and beverage ingredients can well meet their functional needs. How to do a good job of “+ functional health ingredients, – Sugar & Fat & calories” has naturally become a new topic in the research and development of new beverage products.
As a leading brand of electrolyte drinks, Gatorade has been deeply engaged in the field of sports nutrition and continued to promote product innovation. In May 2021, Gatorade launched a new sports drink gatorlyte in the United States to create an exclusive positioning of “rapid replenishment”. Compared with the classic model, the grade of gatorlyte’s replenishment formula is greatly improved. In addition to sodium and potassium, three electrolytes – magnesium, calcium and chlorine – are added, and the sugar content is lower, so that the electrolyte can be transported to the whole body quickly. It is understood that each bottle of gatorlyte contains 50 calories and 12g sugar, which is greatly subtracted from the original Gatorade (48g sugar).
Source: gatorlyte
As a “power bank” for replenishing water and repairing after exercise, if electrolyte drinks can add a buff – which can improve immunity, it will not only more accurately meet the ultimate demands of consumers, but also refresh the consumption cognition of electrolyte drinks with single function for a long time, and greatly improve the competitiveness of products.
Last February, American Beverage startup hey aloe released its first A5 Imun containing aloe extract ™ Hey aloe active, an energy drink, aims to promote cell hydration, restore and enhance immunity. Aloe, which is famous for its extreme hydration, has always been a common ingredient in skin care products. Adding it to drinks has the same effect. Hey aloe active drink is rich in electrolytes. It not only nourishes cells by using the hydrating characteristics of aloe, but also helps immune response, cell repair and auxiliary digestion through the anti-inflammatory properties and probiotic effect of the active polysaccharide acemann in aloe extract.
Source: Hey Aloe
In addition to the unlocking password of component addition and subtraction method, further subdividing the scene demand is an innovative value-added way to make electrolyte drinks more “pro”.
After exercise, human muscles will wear out to varying degrees. Isn’t it perfect to repair muscles while replenishing water? For the body loss after exercise, ascent, a sports nutrition company, launched a water-based beverage recovery water combining protein and electrolyte, which can help the human body recover better after exercise. The product is made of ascent’s patented natural whey protein formula. Each bottle contains 2.5G natural leucine, which can trigger the synthesis of muscle protein.
Image source: Ascent
An article published in today’s dietian, a professional nutrition journal, pointed out that the demand for sports water replenishment depends on individuals and is affected by individual sweating rate, exercise mode, intensity, environmental conditions and duration. Therefore, the electrolyte beverage with single formula obviously can not meet the actual needs of different people under different sports conditions. In the face of more diversified sports scenes, how can brands create a more professional sports product matrix with customized ideas?
Recently, the brand alien of Yuanqi forest launched a new product, alien electrolyte water pro, for people who exercise with medium and high intensity and 30 minutes for a long time. It entered professional sports tracks and is committed to providing professional “charging” solutions for multiple sports scenes. The electrolyte content of each bottle of electrolyte water pro is ≥ 700mg, and the potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium and chloride ions provided are 3.5 times higher than those of the conventional version. BCAA (three branched chain amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine) is added to the product to help the body recover after exercise.
Source: Alien electrolyte water
From the perspective of nutrition and physiology, the intake of ordinary purified water, vitamin drinks or high sugar energy drinks after exercise belongs to a single unbalanced supply. The osmotic pressure of such drinks is high or low, which can not be quickly absorbed by the body, and may also cause discomfort such as stomach sagging. The osmotic pressure concentration of isotonic beverage is similar to that of body fluid. The components are scientifically proportioned according to the loss of human sweat, which can promote the rapid hydration of intestines and stomach and make human body fluid tend to be normal.
Isotonic electrolyte beverage has balanced strength in water, electrolyte, energy value and rapid absorption, which is a more scientific professional water replenishment choice. Last February, the brand of nongnongshanquan launched the “isoosmosis” series, focusing on the concept of “sports water replenishment, professional isoosmosis”. The series includes two flavors of sea salt grapefruit and sea salt green orange. They have two options for high-intensity exercise and aerobic exercise respectively, including sugar / 0 sucrose, which can meet the needs of multi scene athletes.
Photo source: Nongfu mountain spring

Break through the conventional formula and realize the double max of consumption scene + user portrait!

The strengthening of consumer cognition in professional scenes such as sports and fitness has had a great impact on the surrounding population. Electrolyte drinks are extending from sports scenes to more non sports life scenes. According to the 2021 beverage consumption trend insight report jointly released by cbndata and tmall, from 2019 to 2021, the number of non sports people consuming electrolyte drinks on the platform increased by 12 times!
Source: cbndata x tmall
John Sherwin, founder of American beverage brand hydrant, said: most people find it difficult to consume the amount of water recommended by the World Health Organization every day, so they fall into a state of chronic water shortage for a long time. Electrolyte drinks on the market rarely consider the daily slight dehydration of ordinary people. Therefore, hydrant focuses its development on daily life and is committed to solving the problem of long-term chronic water shortage of ordinary people.
Hydrant launched a powder granule containing electrolyte, a small amount of sugar and real fruit juice. It has 80% less sugar than ordinary sports drinks on the market, increases the electrolyte content by 3 times, and only 20 calories per share. Drinking it after mixing with water can speed up the speed and efficiency of water absorption by the human body.  
Hydrant focuses on the morning of working people – after sweating all night and losing water and electrolyte by breathing, get up in the morning and drink hydrant granules to quickly replenish water and start a new day. Hydrant wants users to establish the habit of replenishing water every day. It is specially designed as a package of 30 small bags – you can see the physical improvement brought by persisting in replenishing water for a month.
Image source: hydrant
For a long time, the common electrolyte drinks on the market, no matter from the visual effect, functional ingredients or taste design, are mostly from the perspective of men. With the improvement of women’s consumption ability, more “she” practice an active lifestyle, and electrolyte drinks usher in new growth points. The 2022 electrolyte beverage trend report released by tmall new product innovation center shows that the female market has grown strongly in the past year, with sales growth of nearly 300%. While striving to broaden consumption scenarios, electrolyte beverage brands also need to reconstruct user portraits.
Photo source: 2022 electrolyte beverage trend report, tmall new product innovation center x HCR Huichen, April 2022
Diva’s, a well-known beverage brand in Europe, focuses on the development of women’s drinks. The hydrating drink series launched by Diva’s selects three kinds of melon juice with strong moisturizing effect, combined with natural moisturizing agent hyaluronic acid, and has good hydration effect through the addition of vitamins, antioxidants and electrolytes to meet women’s demands for replenishment and moisturizing.
Source: Diva’s
The hydrating electrolyte powder developed by Australian brand aquamamma electrolyte drink provides targeted hydrating solutions for pregnant and lactating women. The product is low in sugar, sodium and calories, rich in vitamin C, magnesium and folic acid, which can help alleviate morning sickness, nausea and pregnancy fatigue. The small bag form of powder granule allows mothers to easily place it in the car, handbag or mother and baby bag, which is easy to carry and within reach.
Source: babylovenz
Contemporary women dominate most of the household expenditure, and baby food is an important part of “her economy”. EU billion think tank estimates that consumption upgrading and demand segmentation will promote the overall market scale of infant and child food to reach 336.3 billion yuan in 2021. In the future, with the implementation of China’s three child policy and its supporting facilities, the baby food market is expected to grow to more than 500 billion yuan.
How many opportunities will electrolyte drinks have in the baby food market with great potential? Do children who are naturally active and often sweating need exclusive hydrating drinks?
In 2020, an article published in nutrition pointed out that children generally do not take the initiative to drink water, resulting in their often unconscious dehydration. Although most parents will consciously hand over the kettle to their children, if they drink too much tasteless boiled water, their children will inevitably have a sense of resistance. The unique flavor of electrolyte drinks has become the best choice to help children maintain moisture and health.
Berri Lyte electrolyte solution recognized by American pediatricians replenishes water for children in a natural way. This organic plant oral liquid is full of electrolytes and revitalizing nutrients. Four distinctive fruit flavors are easy for children to accept.
Source: Berri Lyte
The electrolyte solid drink launched by the children’s series kids hydration of the American brand SOS cooperates with viacomcbs, the world’s leading entertainment company, and obtains the role image authorization of the popular animation paw patrol, which uses simple and honest cartoon dogs to stimulate children’s interest in replenishing water. The product contains zinc, vitamin C and only 3G sugar, without artificial ingredients. Children’s water absorption rate after drinking is three times faster than that of drinking alone. In addition, it also helps to improve attention and immunity.
Source: SOS hydration

One bottle, one stick, one tablet… Multivariable word
for electrolyte drinks

In the new consumption era, with the accelerated pace of life and the increasingly fragmented eating behavior, people expect more convenient and simple product forms. The volume of electrolyte drinks is often four or five hundred milliliters, which makes it a burden for people to store at home and carry out. Solid drinks are more flexible, portable and have a long shelf life. They have become a popular hydrating dosage form.
The strip granule launched by liquid I.V, an American electrolyte beverage brand, is suitable for consumption scenes such as going out, travel and sports. People can’t carry bottled drinks on the plane, but they can carry a liquid i.v. granule in their pocket. Liquid i.v. provides three times the content of electrolyte and improves the hydration of ordinary water to human body by 2-3 times.
Source: liquid i.v
In addition to strip granules, effervescent tablets are also common dosage forms. The electrolyte microbubble powder launched by Aland, a well-known domestic nutritional and health brand, can be directly added to water or milk with slight bubbles to taste the new taste without stimulating the intestines and stomach, relieving thirst and “body thirst”. Different from the conventional strip packaging, Aland has designed a patented “planet packaging” based on the inspiration of cosmic galaxies, which is more fashionable and interesting, and meets the needs of generation Z young consumers for “beauty is justice”. Customized “planets” of different colors can be stacked and combined by DIY, and can also be used as a recording method of daily exercise to guide consumers to establish drinking habits.
Aland’s patented planet suit. Source: Aland
The electrolyte effervescent tablets developed by Nestle’s brand nuun shorten the dissolution time in water by half compared with conventional products. One tube contains 10 tablets, which is light and convenient to carry. It is the electrolyte supplement drink with the highest market share in the United States.
Source: nuun
Powder and effervescent tablets also need the cooperation of water to recharge the human body. What should we do in the outdoor field without drinking water? The “power generation salt steam sheet” designed by fix x body can be called an outdoor water replenishment artifact. The product simplifies the eating procedure to the greatest extent, directly contains the whole piece in the mouth without brewing, and replenishes electrolytes anytime and anywhere. The product is rich in vitamin C, potassium and calcium. Milk mineral salt is added to create the unique flavor and bubble taste of salt lemon.
Image source: fix x body
Ice products bring cool and pleasant, which is a rare consumption experience for normal temperature drinks. So, will turning electrolyte drinks into a “sports Popsicle” be an idea of having the best of both worlds? According to Foodbev, Coca Cola and the jel SERT company, a maker of popsicles, jointly launched powerade sports popsicles in the United States. Unlike the classic bottled powerade, the new product adds B vitamins and contains four electrolytes: sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Source: jel SERT & Coca Cola

Looking for a new story of cross category integration, “everything can be electrolyte”?

There is no way to verify when the concept of bubble fire came into being, but the experience that bubbles bring to the heart is “shared by everyone”. Everything can add “Qi”, and bubbles are becoming an innovative magic weapon in the beverage market. New products such as tea, low alcohol wine, fruit juice, coffee and yogurt with bubbles emerge one after another. How can electrolytes miss this tuyere?
At the beginning of 2021, the innovation of low alcohol liquor products in the United States came to the intersection of functionalization. Electrolyte elements stood out in many R & D and design directions and became the core selling point of many new low alcohol liquor products. Upslope, an American beer brand, cooperated with Skratch labs, a sports nutrition company, to transform and upgrade the classic product spike snowmelt. It combines the original formula of hard soda with the mixture of Skratch Labs’ Sports hydrating beverage. The new product contains a variety of electrolytes (sodium citrate, magnesium lactate, calcium citrate and potassium citrate) and vitamin C, lower carbohydrates (2 grams of sugar), 100 calories and 5% alcohol precision, It does not contain artificial additives. It is the perfect choice for people with health awareness and a preference for slightly drunk outdoor activities.
Source: the wine and cheese place
In addition to bubbles, integration with other categories is also a way to tell new stories. Oaza, an American functional coffee brand, launched a cold extract coffee drink with enhanced electrolyte. Sodium bicarbonate, magnesium citrate and calcium citrate are added to coffee to help regulate body fluid levels and integrate hydrating and refreshing effects. Each bottle provides 200mg caffeine, 0g sucrose and 30 calories.
Source: Oaza
With the sour and sweet taste, refreshing bubble feeling and healthy fermented food label, CommScope tea has quickly become popular all over the world, captured the taste buds of many superstars, and the sales volume is rising. Last June, Nova, an American brand specializing in Kangpu tea, launched a new high-performance series of power and recovery. Recovery is mixed with natural ginger and lime, probiotics are added to promote intestinal health, and liquid supplements produced by buoy hydration are added to the formula to achieve the purpose of systemic recovery after exercise.
The North American electrolyte beverage brand buoy mentioned above can be described as a dark horse in the water replenishment industry in the United States. They advocate integrating water replenishment into their lifestyle. Different from the common bottled water replenishment drinks or instant supplements on the market, buoy has developed an odorless liquid supplement, which is palm sized and easy to carry. It can be added to any beverage. It is close to the life of consumers with the novel concept and humanized design of “hand-held water replenishment station”.
Source: Bristol arms

Focus on the sports circle and integrate into the cool culture. How can the marketing magic cube of electrolyte beverage come up with new tricks?

The polishing of the product core is important, but how to accurately convey the ever-changing innovative concepts to the C-end, expand the brand voice, and make good products and brands truly rooted in the hearts of consumers is also a lesson that needs careful thinking. For electrolyte drinks, sports and fitness people are still the main audience. The routine of light sports such as running and aerobics has further accelerated the popularity of the category. Therefore, the penetration of sports scenes will still be the core point of electrolyte beverage marketing in the future.
Founded in 2020, electric x, a sports drink brand, launched “essence free electrolyte drinks” for urban sports fashion people and female consumers. The products are divided into slim and plus. Slim adds dietary fiber and L-carnitine to sports people who prefer Zero sugar and zero energy, and plus adds glycogen and glucose imported from Germany to solve the fatigue in sports scenes.
Image source: electro x
In order to walk out of the core differentiation route, electro X has integrated sports into the brand gene since its inception. They held offline activities with well-known sports brands such as lululemon and orange fitness, established a sports community of more than 100 people, and signed 12 brand friends in the field of sports. At the same time, electro x also exclusively sponsored Design Miami Shanghai international design exhibition, the 27th Volvo Golf China open, the first Shanghai rowing open in 2021 and other activities. Next, electro x will also reach in-depth cooperation with head sports brands to further improve their voice in the field of sports.
Source: electro X & lululemon
Catering to young people and carrying out in-depth Youth Dialogue with them have become the core points of building brand power at present. In just two years, alien electrolyte water has topped the list of tmall electrolyte drinks brands as a dark horse, which is inseparable from being in touch with the hearts of young people.
Aliens manage brands with tide brand thinking, aiming to form a trend culture of “fashion replenishment” in generation Z. In order to better integrate into the young circle, aliens designed the king’s glory KPL competition, Spartan warrior competition, Hainan Wanning surfing and other activities. By matching the offline sports scenes, the alien electrolyte water is incarnated as a necessary fashion icon for trendsetters, giving young users the emotional value of “trendy cool” and “stylish”, stimulating young people’s emotional identity into purchase desire, and promoting the formation of the consumption cognition of “drinking aliens when replenishing water”.
Source: alien alien alien


In 2019, Meng Xing (online name diaoye), chairman of ALF essential oil, once issued a heroic oath in the we media that “in the new consumption era, every consumer product is worth doing again”. Now, new consumption has entered the “second half”, from “grabbing traffic and making explosive products” to paying attention to “content driven” and “long-term ism”, and returning to the competitiveness of the product itself has become the consensus of each industry.
Not long ago, the 2022 electrolyte beverage trend report first proposed the concept of “5.0 era”. From the simple focus on sports supplement in the era of 1.0 to the focus on ingredient health and clean labels in the era of 4.0, and then to the concept of sustainability in the future, which runs through the whole life cycle of products and brands. The evolution of the hydrated beverage industry vividly reflects the changes of consumption concept.
Photo source: 2022 electrolyte beverage trend report, tmall new product innovation center x HCR Huichen, April 2022
When men and women, young and old, and millions of Chinese people, even in their homes, have to punch in and sweat with Liu Zhenhong every day, and when more and more brands print sports and sports elements on the packaging and implant them into the brand image, the golden age of electrolyte drinks is becoming more and more clear.
“Reconstruction” of potassium, sodium and calcium, fission of new space. How big a business is it to replenish water for 1.4 billion people?

Cover image source: lesmils

Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
Join the community: Cherry (micro signal: 18261804307).

Related reading
Food people are “watching”

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.