CHICAGO--The retail market for sports drinks will near $3 billion in 2002 and should top $4 billion by 2007, according to new research from Mintel Consumer Intelligence. Its Sports Drink Market report also explored differences among groups consuming sports beverages and their perceptions of the drinks. Mintel (www.mintel.com) found that only one third of adults see different benefits among brands of sports drinks, while half of teens found this to be true. Sports drinks are also moving out of the gym, as nearly 60 percent of adults and 75 percent of teens see the beverages as refreshment drinks rather than sports-specific.
Teens are also more likely to have consumed sports drinks (79 percent vs. 50 percent of adults) and more likely to be heavy users (defined as one to three beverages per week). Men are also more likely to consume sports drinks--60 percent of men have ever consumed a sports drink, a rate almost twice as high as that for women.