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Coca-Cola Launches Second Sports Drink Within Half a Year in China

  •   29 Sep 2019
  •    Lennie Tao
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    • Imported sports drinks must comply with GB 15266-2019.
    • In 2017, China’s sports drink sector reached a valuation of USD 360.4 million and is expected to reach USD 451.7 million by the end of 2023 at a CAGR of 4.5%.

    Right after the launch of Powerade in June 2019, Coca-Cola launched another sports drink in the Chinese market on September 24th. Zhu Danpeng, a renowned food industry analyst believes it’s an important indicator of the transition Coca-Cola is currently undergoing in China as it attempts to align with evolving trends in product development and consumer preference. Although Coca-Cola is extremely competitive in China’s carbonated soft drinks and juice sector, it is relatively weak in sports drink, which is considered to be China’s next big beverage market.

    Aiming at the High-end Market, Aligning with Clean Label/Natural Trends...

    Providing coconut water, electrolyte, vitamins and rich in potassium, the new product Body Armor is now sold on Tmall [1], targeting the high end of the sports beverage sector. The products branding right down to its name aligns with major trends in China including increased interest in strength and conditioning, bodybuilding, powerlifting and crossfit, clean label and natural products. The promotional price is now RMB 108 for six bottles (RMB 18 for each). However, the original price is 299 yuan for 6 bottles, which would be 8 times the unit price of an average sports drinks.

    As reported by Beijing Business Today [2], according to Coca-Cola, Body Armor is an imported product, which is now only sold through E-commerce channels. Besides, it is said Coca-Cola will keep introducing high-end beverage products to China in future.

    Potential of China’s Sports Drink Market

    In 2017, China’s sports drink reached USD 360.4 million and is expected to reach USD 451.7 million by the end of 2023 at a CAGR of 4.5% (data from Mordor Intelligence [3]).

    As noted by Mordor Intelligence in its report [3], advertising linked to high-profile sports events are the main drivers of the Chinese sports drink market. The increasing number of consumers participating in sporting activities for fitness reasons is also driving demand for sports drinks, which in turn is being driven by high-level policies implemented by the Chinese government.

    On Sept. 2nd, 2019, the State Council released a Guideline aiming to build a world sports power [4]. Based on this, China will implement new strategies to kickstart the development of its sports industry by 2020. The plan is that by 2035, 45% of the citizens (around 530 million people) will be working out frequently. What’s more, in 2022, China is going to hold the 2022 Asian Games and Winter Olympics, which will be two most significant sporting events in China that year.

    Compliance Tips

    Reference Link

    [1] Coca-Cola's Tmall store
    [2] Interview with Coca-Cola, Beijing Business Today
    [3] China Sports Drink Market, Mordor Intelligence
    [4] China's Guideline aiming to build a world sports power
    [5] GB 15266-2009 Sports Beverage

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    ChemLinked Editor

    Lennie has broad experience in the food sector, especially in dairy products and health food.

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