Energy shot drinks to become all the rage?

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 20th March 2009

The rapidly emerging market for energy shot drinks in North America and Europe achieved a 130% boost to 188 million units and a sales value of US$423 million (A$614m) in 2008, indicating the potential for such drinks to gather support in Australia.

The new report from drinks consultancy Zenith International sheds light on the changing demands of consumers in a market which has been growing rapidly since the turn of the century.

Energy shots are an extension of the regular energy drinks market, typically packed in 60ml shrink-wrapped plastic bottles. Manufacturers have sought extra points of difference in an ever more crowded and challenging sector as consumers refine their needs and energy requirements. This has resulted in increasing pressure for innovation amongst the many functional drinks now on offer.

“Standard 250ml and supersized 500ml energy drinks may contain too much volume and too many calories for certain consumption occasions such as driving. Energy shot drinks are a major new opportunity for the energy drinks category,” commented Zenith Market Intelligence Consultant and functionaldrinks Editor Jenny Foulds. “They can be carbonated or non-carbonated; berry, juice or even dairy based; with very wide ranging potential positioning and target markets.”

Further key findings from the 2009 Zenith Energy Shot Drinks report include:

* Energy shots have so far been predominantly a US phenomenon, but are poised to break into other markets.
* Living Essentials, which produces 5-Hour Energy, leads the US market.
* Top energy drink brands such as Monster, Rockstar, Full Throttle, NOS and Red Bull have now entered the segment.
* Production is often outsourced to co-packers.
* Energy shot drinks present traditional energy drinks with new distribution channel opportunities such as the health and nutrition sector.

Zenith anticipates that the combined markets of North America and Europe will reach over 500 million units and a retail value approaching US$1.2 billion (A$1.75b) by 2010, with the concept also spreading to other regions by then.