Leading UK vitamins firm Vitabiotics is launching an energy drink aimed solely at men, which can enhance performance without the high caffeine content found in many other rival products.
Wellman High Performance is a natural fruit juice enriched with B vitamins for energy release, guarana and ginseng extracts to boost energy, artichoke and green tea to help cleanse the body and protect from free radical damage generated during exercise, and zinc to help protect the immune system.
Senior brand manager Peter Morton said: "The positioning of Wellman High Performance helps bridge the gap between isotonic 'sports' drinks and the caffeine-based club drinks currently available, offering retailers a real opportunity to maximise revenue from this sector."
Caffeine has been shown in several trials to increase athletes' stamina and recently to reduce muscle pain during a workout. There is little scientific evidence to support the effects of guarana. However there has been some controversy over the effects of high-caffeine energy drinks, mainly as a result of their combination with alcohol.
"We hope to extend the success we have already experienced in the supplements market and capitalise on the growing interest in health and fitness among this target group," added Morton.
Vitabiotics is currently the fastest growing vitamin supplier in the UK, with value growth of 39 per cent in the last year. Export business is also growing fast and now accounts for more than 50 per cent of the company's turnover.
Further brand extensions for the Wellman and Wellwoman supplement ranges are expected in the coming months, as well as new products for the US market. The company, which also markets the Pregnacare and Osteocare brands, has recently moved into new £8 million headquarters in north west London to support its expansion.
Wellman High Performance is packaged in a 250ml can, featuring the Wellman branding and brand ambassador British world champion swimmer Mark Foster.
Promotion of the new product is to include high profile advertising in national and lifestyle press, as well as tube, bus and poster sites. The drink is available in Sainsbury's stores with a recommended selling price of £1.09.
The UK's sports and energy drink market is currently estimated to be worth £700 million (€1.01bn).