Energy drinks sector gaining momentum

By staff writer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Caffeine Coca-cola

New concepts and strong marketing have driven the global energy
drinks market into the mainstream.

Consumption leaped by 18 per cent in 2004 to 2,410 million litres, according to the new 2005 Global Energy Drinks report from specialist drinks consultancy Zenith International.

And new innovations, which have been a driving factor, continue to feature strongly in this segment.

Coca-Cola for example is set to launch a mid-calorie cola containing coffee in France called Blak. The product is said to contain twice the caffeine of regular coke, a third less than the average cup of coffee and well below what's normally in energy drinks.

The concept of caffeine based 'body and mind stimulating' energy drinks originates from Japan and Thailand. Although Asia Pacific remains the top region, with a 58 per cent share of total volume in 2004, its lead is expected to decline as other areas develop.

North America for example has just overtaken West Europe to hold the next largest share at 15 per cent. From small beginnings, its average growth since 1999 has been an impressive 68 per cent a year.

The United States is expected to become the largest national market by 2009.

"Although energy drinks are a small niche within the broader soft drinks category by volume, their contribution in terms of growth and premium value are far more significant,"​ said Zenith senior market analyst Sophie Carkeek.

"Their sustained growth is testament to the segment's staying power. Red Bull is the undisputed global market leader, but a broadening of product types and proliferation of brands means that its share is gradually being eroded."

Red Bull remains the archetypal energy drink, but rival companies are formulating products, using an array of other energy boosting ingredients such as green tea, yerba maté and ginkgo biloba as well as revitalising ingredients such as vitamin C, schizandra, açaí, ginger and cranberry extracts.

Energising beverage formulations that feature many of these ingredients are also encroaching on other drinks sectors such as carbonated soft drinks, iced teas and smoothies.

Among other points highlighted by the Zenith report: Thailand had the highest national consumption in 2004 at 11.6 litres per person; North America and the Middle East are expected to see the fastest growth rates over the next five years. Providing detailed forecasts by country,

Zenith expects global energy drinks consumption to reach 4,100 million litres in 2009.

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