August 18, 2017
New energy product launches are helping energy drinks and shots gain some of their lost momentum.
By Howard Riell, Associate Editor
Fueled by flavor extensions, cross-bundling, limited-time offers and Americans’ nonstop lifestyle, energy drinks are finding new consumers who are reviving lagging sales.
At the same time, energy shots continue to provide a convenient alternative.
For the 52-week period ending May 14, 2017, energy drinks sales in the convenience store channel rose 1.83% to $9.05 billion, according to data from Chicago research firm Information Resources Inc. (IRI). For the same period, sales of energy shots were $731.1 million, down 7.57% from a year ago.
“Energy drinks continue to grow, but somewhat more modestly,” said Gary Hemphill, managing director of research for Beverage Marketing Corp. (BMC). “The last half of 2016 experienced a slowdown. The need state of energy is a large one, so we believe the category is likely to maintain solid growth in the years ahead.”
Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar remain the leading brands.
New-product activity in the category has been strong, as marketers attempt to draw in new consumers, but also increase consumption among loyal consumers. Studies show while the demographics of customers have broadened in the last couple of years, the core consumer of energy products continues to be younger males.
“There is a broad set of leading, established energy drink brands like Monster and Red Bull,” said Chris Randall, managing director in global consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting’s Consumer Products division. “However, the functional beverage category is evolving, and other drinks like Kombucha are slowly becoming more mainstream. Many of the new, hot introductions focus on ‘natural’ in both drinks and shots, plus the combination of protein and energy.”