4REAL Functional Beverage: Communication Plan Recommendation


The presentation will introduce the product, namely the 4REAL functional beverage, describe the current business situation, and demonstrate target, category, and media insights. Additionally, the integrated plan recommendation and measurement plan will be presented. Essentially, 4Real is a functional beverage that combines hydration, energy, health, wellness attributes, and weight management characteristics.

According to a 2021 survey, energy drinks and sports drinks were the two most popular functional beverages in the United States, with fifteen percent and thirteen percent of questioned consumers purchasing them in the previous three months, respectively, as shown in Figure 1 (Ridder).

Leading functional beverage category in the United States in 2021 (Ridder)
Figure 1. Leading functional beverage category in the United States in 2021 (Ridder)

During the pandemic, the functional beverage industry in the United States experienced substantial modifications in response to customers’ changing requirements. Energy drinks have also fulfilled the day’s needs, helping customers stay alert and focused, dealing with disruptions in schedules (Glanbia Nutritionals). The functional and energy drinks market is oversaturated; competitors make unsubstantiated health claims. The business challenge is to break through the clutter and gain the consumer’s trust. The fundamental barrier is low customer awareness regarding 4REAL and its benefits. The driver is to demonstrate that this product is unique in the market and create new demand by introducing 4REAL to customers. The over-arching strategy is to beat competition via differentiation strategy and aggressive promotion on social media. Customers need a unique product because they seek wellness benefits. The plan will solve the problem of tough competition and low awareness by providing valuable insights and assessing the target group’s preferences.

Business Situation

The business objective is to sell one million units in the first year, and the communication objective is to drive 50% aided awareness within the target. The 4REAL is the perfect product for customers’ current needs because it offers all the necessary benefits. Customers nowadays are increasingly concerned about their health. According to US Functional Market Insights for 2022, people seek the following benefits in energy and functional drinks: hydration, energy-boosting, calming/relaxing, immunity, and digestive aid benefits (Glambia Nutritionals). And that precisely is what 4REAL is about: hydration, energy, health & wellness attributes, and weight management characteristics. The two fundamental barriers are customers’ low awareness of the product and a high level of competition. Essentially, 4REAL will be priced competitively with Gatorade and Powerade. Gatorade has the highest share in the US sports drinks market at 67.7 percent, followed by Powerade at 13.7 percent (Arthur). Nevertheless, the primary drivers are the product’s unique combination of benefits and the possibility of creating new market demand. Thus, by targeting consumers efficiently, 4REAL has a great potential to overcome the competition because of its benefits.

Table 1. Benefits’ comparison

Powerade Gatorade 4REAL



(Bantilane and Bjarnadottir)

Wellness attributes
Weight management

Essentially, Powerade and Gatorade were explicitly designed for athletes. People who engage in continuous and sustained activity may benefit from Powerade and Gatorade (Bantilane and Bjarnadottir). Gatorade has a significant amount of sugar and food dyes, which may raise the risk of specific health issues, such as gaining weight and type 2 diabetes (Fletcher and Marengo). In comparison, 4REAL was created to ensure that the drink is safe for health and contains the necessary vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the 4REAL target audience is Millennials (ages 18–34) who have an active lifestyle and are careful of their nutrition and what they eat OR who presently consume energy drinks. Thus, 4REAL will create new demand in the functional and energy market by combining energy/hydration and nutrition/wellness/weight management attributes.

Target, Category & Media Insights

My target is a Millennial from 18 to 34 years old. The name for the persona could be Michael. Michael looks beyond himself to understand what can be done to improve the community’s quality of life and work; this characteristic is inherent in Millennials (Skentelbery). He is proactive and health mindful; Michael is ready to spend money on fitness, nutritious eating, and self-care (Harvard Pilgrim Health Care). According to Goldman Sachs, Millennials exercise more, eat healthier, and smoke less than prior generations. Michael enjoys an active lifestyle; well-being is a daily, active endeavor. He wants to purchase energy and functional drinks not because of their energy and hydration benefits but also because of vitamins and possible wellness advantages. Because Michael aims to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the Millenial does not like products that can harm his health. Michael likes social media; he uses Facebook and Instagram daily. Furthermore, when making purchase selections, he consults his internet networks.

According to the Nielsen Company, Millennials are among the most mobile media consumers across all age categories. National TV and internet news reach among Millennials 21-37 is 95% monthly. Millennials are far more likely to rely entirely on internet news and acquire information from digital and mobile sources (The Nielsen Company). National TV news, for example, has a monthly reach of 90% among those 38 and older on both broadcast and cable (The Nielsen Company). Nevertheless, that number reduces to 61 percent among the desirable Millennial group. Notably, Facebook is the most popular social networking platform among millennials. According to the 2020 Consumer Culture Report, Facebook is used on a daily basis by 77% of those aged 18 to 34 (Pickard-Whitehead). Instagram is the second most famous social media medium among millennials, with 70% using it every day. The Consumer Culture Report demonstrates the significance of internet advertisements, such as Facebook advertising, influencing buying behavior (Pickard-Whitehead). For instance, 75% of millennials acknowledge that web advertisements affect their shopping decisions. Therefore, the best marketing channels to reach Millennials are Facebook and Instagram.

Based on Google Trends, when searching ‘Sports drink (beverage)’ in the United States in the past twelve months, the most interest was demonstrated by North Dakota, the District of Columbia, and Kansas.

Interest by sub-region
Figure 2. Interest by sub-region (Google Trends)

The Claritas tool was utilized to identify the age group interested in sports drinks. For instance, the highest percent of the population in North Dakota (zip code: 58103), the District of Columbia (zip code: 20001), and Kansas (zip code: 66101) is 25-34 years old (Claritas). Thus, Millennials are specifically interested in sports or, in other words, functional drinks.

Integrated Plan Recommendation

It is vital to start adverting via Facebook and Instagram to capture the target’s imagination and get them to engage and share the brand. The tagline for the campaign is “Let’s Be Real.” Instagram influencers specializing in healthy lifestyles will promote the brand by sharing stories and writing posts on the drink’s benefits. Additionally, they will encourage individuals to try the drink and share the feedback online. Thus, the larger Millennials’ target group will be reached. Advertisements on Facebook with “Let’s Be Real” and a commercial picture showing happy, active, and sporty Millennials enjoying the drink will appear in the feeds of people aged 18-34 via Google Ads. Moreover, convenience stores, grocery stores, and big-box outlets will distribute free product samples. The people will be asked to take a selfie with 4REAL and post it on social media with the hashtag #letBeReal. Five lucky contestants will be selected to receive gifts, namely running watches.

Measurement Plan

The time frame for the measurement plan is 12 months. In this period, the metrics applied will be sales and reach/impressions to measure success. The fundamental goals are to sell one million units in the first year and drive 50% aided awareness within the target (72,161,298 people). The total reach/impressions should be approx. Thirty-six million eighty thousand six hundred forty-nine impressions on social media (Facebook and Instagram). The sales and reach/impressions will be analyzed each month to show the progress of the campaign.


4REAL is precisely what the energy and functional drinks industry needs right now! Its composition and benefits perfectly suit consumers’ demands and desires. Because the product outperforms the market leaders in terms of characteristics, 4REAL will become a dominant player. Millennials are looking for something different, a unique product that will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when it comes to functional beverages. The 4REAL is the answer!

Works Cited

Arthur, Rachel. “Gatorade, Powerade & BodyArmor: How PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are Playing in the Sports Drink Category.” Beverage Daily, 2021, Web.

Bantilane, Cheri and Adda Bjarnadottir. “What’s the Difference Between Powerade and Gatorade” Healthline, 2019, Web.

Claritas. “ZIP Code Look-up.” Claritas, claritas360.claritas.com/mybestsegments/#zipLookup.

Fletcher, Jenna and Katherine Marengo. “Is Gatorade Good or Bad for you?” Medical News Today, 2018, Web.

Glanbia Nutritionals. “US Functional Beverage Market Insights for 2022.” Glanbia Nutritionals, 2021, Web.

Goldman Sanchs. “Millennials.” Goldman Sachs, Web.

Google Trends. “Sports Drink.” Google Trends, Web.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “Millennials and Healthcare Benefits.” Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Web.

Pickard-Whitehead, Gabrielle. “Millennials Still Using Facebook More Than Any Other Social Media Site.” Small Business Trends, Web.

Powerade. “Powerade and the Science of Hydration.” Powerade, Web.

Ridder, M. “Top Functional Beverage Categories in the United States 2021.” Statista, Web.

Skentelbery, Hannah. “5 Key Features of Millennials’ Lifestyle.” Warrington Worldwide, Web.

The Nielsen Company. “Millennials on Millenials: TV and Digital News Consumption. Nielsen, 2018, Web.

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BusinessEssay. "4REAL Functional Beverage: Communication Plan Recommendation." April 13, 2023. https://business-essay.com/4real-functional-beverage-communication-plan-recommendation/.