Figures supplied to FoodNavigator-USA by SymphonyIRI as part of our new series on the shots market reveal sales of 5-hour Energy surged 35.78% to $924.448m in the 52 weeks ending August 7 (covering supermarkets, drugstores, gas/c-stores and mass market retailers excluding Walmart), giving it an 88.04% share of the market.
Sales of brand extension 5-hour Energy Extra Strength jumped 91.47% to $13.626m or 1.3% of the market, taking their combined share to 89.34%.
As 5-hour has a strong presence in Walmart, its total retail sales over the period would have easily broken the $1bn barrier were Walmart’s figures included in the data.
Private label sales jump 93% to $11.53m
By contrast, its closest competitor – the Stacker 6-hour power energy shot – saw sales dip 6.39% to $29.38m over the same period, giving it just 2.8% of the market, while third-positioned Red Bull posted a 44.2% slump in sales to $20.25m, giving it a 1.93% share.
None of the remaining branded players was able to notch up more than $8m in sales over the period, although Spike Double Shots, E6 six-hour energy shots, Energy 2000 and Tweaker shots all reported strong growth, albeit from a small base.
Sales of private label products were also up strongly, rising 93% to take fourth place in the rankings, generating sales of $11.53m.
Most brands clocked up sales in the $1-4m range, representing a tiny fraction of the overall market, which was up 27.2% to $1.05bn.
Unit sales were up 25% to 317.388m, while the average price per shot was $3.31.
Who drinks energy shots?
While smaller players have attempted to attract younger consumers, 5-hour Energy’s success has been in large part down to its ability to appeal to office workers and older consumers trying to stay alert, say experts.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA earlier this week, Euromonitor drinks analyst Richard Haffner said: “Energy drinks and shots are appealing to different groups. Energy drinks are about rebelliousness, and are associated with extreme sports, young people, and young men in particular. They are all about a social scene.
“Shots appeal to a wider group including older people, women and professionals, the office audience, and are not about being rebellious, but conformity: staying alert, working harder. Drinking one is not a social activity; it’s more of a solitary thing.”
Garima Goel Lal, senior analyst at Mintel, added: “Energy shots have potentially more of a universal appeal than energy drinks, which are typically aimed at 18-34-year-olds. We’re seeing that 55+ year olds are buying energy shots.”