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Consumers are crying out for balanced and prolonged energy as well as mental performance says latest BENEO research

First quantitative consumer research for Palatinose™ conducted in three countries

June 2011 - The latest international BENEO research study into functional beverages, released today, shows that consumers, no matter their nationality, expect prolonged and balanced energy as well as mental performance enhancement from their functional beverages. The quantitative research*, carried out across Germany, the UK and the US focused on the benefits consumers expect from their energy, sports and functional water drinks. 
New forms of energy and mental performance delivery key for future of functional beverages
It seems that wanting good quality energy provision and mental alertness is not restricted by national borders. The latest BENEO research results show that “prolonged energy”, “balanced energy” and “mental performance” are ranked highest as benefits respondents expect from their sports, energy and functional water drinks. Dr. Christian Niederauer, Market Research Manager, BENEO comments: “Only slight differences in priorities are recorded across the beverage sectors in our consumer research, but the message remains clear – functional beverages need to deliver new forms of energy provision and mental performance if they are to prove successful in the long-term.”   
German, UK and US respondents favour “prolonged energy” and “balanced energy” as the top benefits for sports drinks. When consuming energy drinks, all respondents place high importance on “prolonged energy” (UK: 84%, Germany: 81%, USA: 87%). Only the US favours “mental performance” more (88% and 87% respectively). The provision of “balanced energy” is rated highly by the respondents when consuming functional waters (81% of US, 84% of UK and 76% of Germans).  
All smiles
This quantitative study shows that the non-cariogenic benefits of drinks score well in all countries. In particular, US respondents favour toothfriendly sports drinks (76%), whereas German and UK participants prefer their functional waters to deliver toothfriendly benefits (Germany: 78% and UK: 86%).  
When and where?
The frequency energy, sports and functional water drinks are consumed differs dramatically in the UK, US and Germany. With 30% of the US respondents frequently consuming sports drinks each month, this beverage category seems to be the most favored one for the US-market (energy drinks: 18% and functional waters: 20%). German and UK respondents also show a difference in their frequent monthly consumption, with 31% of Germans prefering functional waters (energy drinks: 23% and sports drinks: 24%) and more than a third (36%) of UK respondents choosing to consume an energy drink (sports drinks: 31% and functional waters: 16%).
Not only does the frequency of drinking functional beverages differ, depending on the country or type of functional beverage, but the times of day it is consumed as well. It seems that all countries are agreed that sports beverages are best consumed during sport (62% of German, 51% of UK and 60% of US respondents). However German respondents feel the need for an energy boost during the evening, with 52% consuming an energy drink, as opposed to UK and US respondents, who prefer to theirs during the day, or at work (UK: 49% and US: 62%).
National fatigue?
The consistency of need across all respondents for prolonged and sustained energy might in part be due to the lack of energy felt across the nations. The female respondents in the BENEO study feel “lacking in energy” the most (USA: 47%; UK: 43% and Germany: 39%). However, this lack of energy crosses ages in all countries, independent of gender: In Germany teenagers are struggling the most (43%) with low energy levels. While in the UK and the USA the groups aged 20-29 and 30-39 years respectively are feeling they lack  energy the most (UK: 45% and USA: 44%).  
Dr. Christian Niederauer, continues: “At BENEO we are committed to continued research into consumer preferences, to ensure that we can best advise potential and existing customers on product development. Research such as this ensures that customers have all the insights and support they need from BENEO to develop, manufacture and market new, innovative and relevant products. The research results in Germany, the UK and the US confirm our belief that consumers are continuing to seek out new ways of boosting their energy and performance in the functional beverages category. We are well placed to maximise functional beverage new product development opportunities with our next generation carbohydrate, Palatinose™.”   
BENEO’s next generation carbohydrate Palatinose™ (generic name: isomaltulose) provides the full carbohydrate energy in the form of glucose over a longer period of time. Glucose is the energy source for physical and mental performance. Being low-glycaemic it releases energy the balanced way without sudden peaks and drops of the blood glucose level. Thus it also supports an enhanced fat oxidation during physical activity. Furthermore, it is the first fully digestible toothfriendly carbohydrate.

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