Energy drinks start to run out of steam, says Mintel

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Energy drinks, Energy drink, Caffeine, Mintel

Despite a massive increase in recent years, new research from Mintel suggests that energy drinks and shots may be struggling to find new customers in the US .

Between 2005 and 2009, Mintel said US energy drink sales grew 136 per cent as the concept of highly caffeinated soft drinks grabbed the imagination of many consumers.

But now research from Mintel indicates that marketers may be failing to grow the pool of interested consumers. According to its recent survey data, 74 per cent of consumers say they don’t consume energy drinks/shots and 69 per cent of those non-users say they are not interested in trying them.

Limited pool

Mintel Global Market Navigator (GMN) data reinforces the point, revealing that the number of energy drink consumers remained pretty flat at about 15 per cent of all adults between 2007 and 2009.

“Sales of energy drinks and shots have remained relatively strong for the last few years, but the same core group of customers continues to buy them,”​ said Garima Goel Lal, senior analyst at Mintel. “The category added only one million new energy drinks users aged 18+ during 2007-2009, compared to 9.3 million new users during 2005-2007, so manufacturers are eager to grow that number again.”

Why not?

Survey responses reveal some of the reasons why energy drinks have failed to make their mark on a wider audience. Non-users cite high prices (48 per cent), too much caffeine (43 per cent) and a general feeling that energy drinks/shots just aren’t good for you (43 per cent) as reasons why they have not consumed any in the past three months.

“The fact that seven out of 10 people are not interested in the energy drink category suggests the need for manufacturers to develop products aimed at a wider audience,”​ said Garima Goel Lal. “Providing consumers with more flavors, less sugar and reduced caffeine content are all ways for companies to attract more customers.”

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