Features

Sleep-deprived consumers to take greater interest in relaxation drinks

January 04, 2012

Relaxation drinks are poised to become increasingly popular as a sleep aid and relaxant in a fast-paced, sleep deprived society. – shutterstock.comRelaxation drinks are poised to become increasingly popular as a sleep aid and relaxant in a fast-paced, sleep deprived society. – shutterstock.comLOS ANGELES, Jan 4 – Relaxation drinks are set to experience fast-paced growth over the next few years as North Americans become increasingly aware of the perils of sleep deprivation and seek out sleep aids and relaxants, says a new report that looks at the emerging industry.

While working off of four or five hours of sleep a night used to be considered heroic and a mark of bravado, experts are calling chronic sleep deprivation a public epidemic with serious health consequences.

Enter the beverage market and manufacturers like the Marley’s Mellow Mood, Mary Jane Soda, Mini Chill, Vacation in a Bottle (ViB) and Koma Unwind, drinks that contain melatonin or L-Theanine and are pitched as sleep aids to help users relax and de-stress.

According to a report released last week by market research group IBISWorld, there were about 390 different types of relaxation drinks on the market in 2011.

Between 2010 and 2011, industry revenue increased 50 per cent to total US$73.7 million (RM231.64 million). Over the next five years, the group forecasts an annualised growth of about 25 per cent, to US$223.5 million.

The emergence of the relaxation drink market has become a natural response to the increasingly saturated industry of caffeine-pumped, high-voltage energy drinks, albeit a modest one: relaxation drinks made up 0.3 per cent of the fruit and functional beverage production industry in 2011.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call sleep deprivation a public health epidemic, as it’s been linked to car accidents, industrial disasters, and medical and occupational errors. Sleep insufficiency has also been associated with a slew of health issues, including chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, cancer, increased mortality and reduced quality of life.

Last year, Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail also espoused chronic sleep deprivation as its cause du jour with an article entitled “Sleep deprivation is a national epidemic. And it’s killing us.”

Meanwhile, in the energy drink market, beverage makers are expected to shift their target audience from younger consumers in 2012 to senior citizens, who are keen to maintain active lifestyles and are not averse to using youthful tonics to help them along.

Energy drink brand 5-Hour Energy, for instance, has enlisted US actor John Ratzenberger, best known for his role as Cliff Clavin in the 1980s sitcom Cheers, to endorse the product. – AFP

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