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CHICAGO -- While energy drinks have hogged the spotlight, its counterpart -- relaxation drinks -- have been quietly making their way into consumers' drinking habits, according to a report by Reuters.
"There is clear potential for further growth in the coming years," said Cecilia Martinez, market analyst at U.K.-based beverage research group Zenith International.
The biggest relaxation brands include Innovative Beverage Group's Drank, Purple Stuff and Jones GABA. Another called Slow Cow is up and coming. Some 22.4 million cases, or 127 million liters (36 million gallons) of relaxation drinks were sold in 2010, double the amount sold in 2008. By 2014, U.S. volume sales will exceed 300 million liters (79 million gallons), Martinez said.
However, these numbers show that relaxation drinks still lag energy drinks. All total, 1.35 billion liters (357 million gallons) of energy drinks were sold in 2009 along, according to Zenith research.
But the time may be right for relaxation drinks to close the gap. "Consumption trends of America show that Americans are always willing to try out new things -- relaxation drinks might be one of those things," said NPD Group Food & Beverage analyst Darren Seifer.
Carbonated soft drinks still hold the lead in the beverage category; however, with growing trend toward healthier lifestyles that could change as consumers look for drinks like juice and water when they go to the cooler. As a result, the news outlet reported, smaller niches are set to pick up a greater piece of the pie over the next decade.
"Relaxation drinks could bring new life into beverages," Seifer said.