A number of factors have led to the rise in popularity of energy drinks. As the pace of American society gets faster year after year, every demographic struggles to keep up with the day to day challenges of simply existing in today’s frenetic culture. Hours at work grow longer, academic demands on students increase; children participate in more activities and require parents to keep up. All this and more means energy is at a premium and Americans look to products for help.
Three basic products exist within the energy drink category. Energy drinks are beverages that typically contain high levels of caffeine with additional ingredients such as taurine, guarana and B vitamins. Energy shots are concentrated versions of energy drinks and usually contain higher levels of caffeine. Energy drink mixes are powdered forms and get mixed with water or juice. Energy drinks possess the largest chunk of market share at 78 percent of the more than $8 billion sales, according to market research firm, Packaged Facts.
According to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the category shows consistent annual growth from 2008 to 2013 (est.) sales. The market reported two years of 17% increases in 2012 and 2013 (est.) and is expected to continue a steady upward trajectory to 2018.
More than half of Mintel respondents (56%) who use energy drinks and/or shots do so because they are more effective for energy and alertness than other beverages. Just more than one-third (35%) say they are convenient and 31% like the taste. However, some consumers have voiced their concerns related to the healthfulness of energy drinks.
“People’s desire for additional energy to accomplish everything in a given day will continue to fuel positive sales growth for the energy drink category. However, because even a portion of current users are cutting back due to health and safety concerns, companies must educate the public on the health, safety, and global use of energy drinks, shots, and mixes. Innovations in serving size and/or format could keep users active in the category and perhaps inspire new entrants,” says Jen Zegler, global food and drink analyst for Mintel Food & Drink.