Liquid Snooze: Introducing Relaxation Drinks

Energy drinks aren't just amping up consumers—they're fueling a new beverage niche.

How to combat a day saturated by Red Bull and Starbucks? Scale back? Of course not! A new wave of companies has seized upon America's overstimulating liquid habits, selling soporific drinks aimed at helping people relax and fall asleep.

These anti-energy drinks, laced with things like melatonin and rose hips, comprise 350 new products, including Unwind, Dream Water, and Drank. Growth has been anything but snoozy: As the energy-drink market hit a high of $1.8 billion last year, relaxation drinks reached $49 million — a number that's expected to increase by at least 50% in 2011, according to research firm IbisWorld. "You would think energy drinks would be a fad, but it's lasted," says Technomic beverage-industry analyst Joseph Pawlak, citing the complementary nature of rev-up and wind-down drinks as a growth factor.

Some calming elixirs skirt FDA oversight through dietary-supplement labels, which allow drink makers to position their bottles alongside sleep aids in Walmart and Walgreens stores nationwide. "We're trying to be as mainstream a sleep enhancer as possible," says Dream Water co-owner David Lekach. Others are cozying up to their supercharged counterparts in the beverage aisle. As Drank founder Peter Bianchi says, "I am the Red Bull of the relaxation industry."

Add New Comment