Mother makes its mark

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 21st May 2009

Coca-Cola Amatil’s Mother is now challenging V for top spot in the energy drink sector as Australia’s leading soft drink producer finally uses its distribution networks to capture a valuable slice of the market.

After a failed launch over two years ago, the ‘new’ Mother was introduced with great success last July and, in the six months to March, shared the leading position in the grocery channel with V – each claiming a 30.1% share of the market.

While taking off in supermarkets, primarily through CCA’s strong pull with retailers and heavy in-store promotion, Mother still lags behind V and Red Bull in the convenience sector.

Marketing Director Lucie Austin told the Sydney Morning Herald that the reformulation and honesty upon re-launch had been well received by their target market.

“Admitting we stuffed up the taste was a refreshing change for consumers who respected the honesty and enjoyed the humour Mother brought,” she said. “Digital (media) was a strong part of our communications strategy for young guys in our target and our ad was viewed more online than it was on TV.”

Amatil remains confident about their ability to steal market share from their rivals in the lucrative convenience sector but Red Bull’s Managing Director, Mike Stacey, is skeptical.

“Mother has had a strong launch performance, however, over the last two to three months sales have started to plateau or decline in dollars and volume,” he told the Herald. “Mother has attempted to lure consumers through … a low price in convenience (stores), running a 2 for $5 price … (and) it will be interesting to see whether this pricing model is sustainable.”

Competition is heating up in the energy drink marketplace, as stalwarts V and Red Bull face pressure from an ever increasing number of competitors. Beyond Mother, Schweppes has recently introduced Spring Valley Smart Energy – which has surpassed their expectations, and is now set to launch ‘Monster Energy’ – the leading energy drink in the US by volume and value.