Game on: Arla Foods Ingredients introduces RTD energy-drink concept for gamers

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Arla Foods Ingredients
Image Credit: Arla Foods Ingredients

Related tags Arla foods ingredients gamers Energy drink

Dairy company Arla Foods Ingredients wants to attract the attention of CPG companies making products for gamers with its new energy drink concept that provides an elevated protein content and better-for-you ingredients.

The 310 milligrams ready-to-drink concept called PROGRAMER was designed with video-game enthusiasts (i.e., gamers) in mind and features 15 grams of Arla Foods’ “clear whey protein isolate” Lacprodan SP-9213, which is “stable in a variety of heat-treatment processes,” Cido Silveira, business development and marketing head of South America for Arla Foods Ingredients, told FoodNavigator-USA.  

The concept is formulated with caffeine, taurine, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, B3, B6 and B12 to boost concentration and vision health. The beverage is 60 calories per 310 milligrams and is sugar-, fat- and lactose-free. 

PROGAMER will be featured at the upcoming Nutri Ingredients Summit in São Paulo, Brazil and is available to CPG companies globally, Silveira explained. 

Challenging the ‘stereotype of gamers ... guzzling down energy drinks’

In the past, many CPG brands focused on providing bold flavors or caffeine-heavy beverages to attract the attention of gamers, which represents more than 2.4bn consumers globally, according to Statista​. 

Arla Foods wanted to challenge this "stereotype of gamers bingeing on unhealthy snacks and guzzling down energy drinks" with the PROGAMER concept by providing a nutrient-rich alternative to what is currently available on the market, Silveira shared in a press release​. 

Gamers who participate in e-sports events and competitions need specific nutrients and products to boost their concentration, focus and alertness to perform their best, similar to traditional sports athletes, and casual gamers also are looking for products to fuel their gaming, he noted.

“Looking at the launches, we saw these nice spots where we can bring more nutrition into those ready-to-drink beverages. And one of the ways to bring more nutrition is to add protein. Protein is a basic thing that everybody needs. We also have the benefit, especially with protein, that it will give you more satiety," Silveira said. 

The energy-drink category sees growth in better-for-you, clean-label  

Larger than the gamer-specific segment, the energy drink category is growing globally and outpacing sports drinks growth, Silveira said. The global energy drink market was valued at $92.3bn in 2022 and is expected to reach $220.9bn by 2032, growing by a 9.2% compound annual growth rate from 2022-2032, according to DataHorizzon Research​.

Consumers are becoming more sophisticated in looking for energy drinks, including searching for specific ingredients, like amino acids, he said. Clean-label, functional and better-for-you trends are continuing to influence product launches, as consumers demand more out of energy drinks, he added.  

"We are seeing more and more producers using the front of the pack to [callout branch chain amino acids and] essential amino acids. Something that in the past you would not imagine because consumers were not educated enough. So, now you are starting to see that, and sometimes if consumers are not educated enough, the producers are trying to educate them to understand how much nutrition [is] in that product, so they can be selected instead of their competitors," Silveira said.

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