Drinks still high on energy


There’s plenty of pep left in energy drinks. “Energy drink performance accelerated in 2011, and we expect strong growth once again in 2012,” said Gary Hemphill, SVP of Beverage Marketing Corp.’s information services division. “The energy need-state is large, and demographics for the category have begun to broaden, which has helped to continue the strong growth.” The segment now represents more than one-tenth of the total carbonated soft drink market, according to Beverage Digest.

Rumors circulated in May about a Coca-Cola/Monster acquisition or partnership. While the possible pair-up appears to have fizzled, Monster has been a hot property in the energy drink category and still is on the rise. The No. 2 brand in the category has been nipping at Red Bull’s heels. Red Bull holds a 45% dollar share and saw sales increase nearly 14% across all three outlets for the 52 weeks ended April 15, according to Symphony­IRI Group data. Monster Energy has a 21% dollar share but saw sales increase 17% during the same period.

Monster Energy Co. is growing its volume through innovation. The company’s Monster Rehab line — made with tea and juice, and lower in calories than traditional Monster — and its super-concentrated M3 are bringing new users to the category. Java Monster, a coffee/energy drink combo, also has been a strong introduction. The company recently launched Ubermonster, a nonalcoholic, premium fermented malt beverage, into the growing kombucha segment. The product is packaged in 16.9-oz. glass bottles with a crown closure.

Red Bull also recently launched Red Bull Total Zero, which has no calories, sugar or carbohydrates. The new introductions are designed to attract new users. Men in the 18- to 24-year-old age range still are the primary consumers of energy drinks, but research from Mintel indicated that more consumers ages 25 to 34 years have embraced the beverages.

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