Functional water is defined as water containing antioxidants, protein, or other supplements. Mintel’s analysis looked at a variety of “hybrid/fusion drinks,” including functional tea, sparkling juice, functional coffee, etc., and found that functional water is leading the pack in popularity.

The interest in natural, functional beverages is on the rise as consumers continually recognize the health benefits gained from incorporating various supplements into their diets. Mintel reports, “31% of bottled water users are willing to pay a premium for waters with added health benefits.” Furthermore, age is a key factor shaping interest in trying new fusion drinks. Younger age groups, like Millennials, are the most likely to try new fusion drinks; as age increases the interest in trying hybrid beverages decreases.

Which health claim is performing the best among functional beverages? From December 2016 to November 2019, product launches with an antioxidant claim grew by 775%. The growth of functional water products with an antioxidant claim has outpaced other functional beverages by leaps and bounds over the last five years, including juices, teas, coffees and carbonated soft drinks.