Wind up or down? 2009 welcomes relaxation drinks

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Late-2000s recession, Drink

Consumers in 2009 were greeted with a swathe of new drinks to help them enjoy a night in, as much as a night out, according to Mintel figures.

Relaxation or “anti-energy” drinks turn the energy drink movement on its head. Instead of giving people the kick they need to meet the demands of an active lifestyle, relaxation drinks help them unwind from their busy schedules.

Relaxation trend

Despite being very much niche products, relaxation drinks are spreading across shelves in several major economies. According to a word search on the Mintel GNPD database, there were 150 relaxation drink launches in 2009, compared with 93 in 2008.

In the backdrop of recession that is a significant increase. The US is leading the relaxation charge with brands like Drank, Blue Cow and My Purple Stuff.

But other countries are also embracing the relaxation concept including the UK, Japan, and France.

Relaxation is expected to continue to make in-roads moving forward. Zenith International analyst Jenny Foulds said: “This trend is expected to proliferate in the near future through growing use of botanical ingredients such as melissa balm, chamomile and lavender.”

Energy drink launches

While relaxation drink launches are multiplying, Mintel figures suggest the number of energy drink launches slipped in 2009, from a much higher base of 840 launches in 2008.

The Mintel GNPD shows 682 launches in 2009 - an 18.8 per cent drop on the previous year. The recession is likely to have put a break on new product launched, although in many markets numbers were up.

Indeed, the decrease in launches comes almost exclusively from the US where launch numbers fell from 383 in 2008 to 137 last year. In other major economies including UK, Japan and Germany launch numbers were up. As the world economy recovers, we can expect energy drink launch numbers to recover and anti-energy drinks to continue to spread across the shelves.

Related topics: Energy Drinks & Beyond, Markets

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