For many years now, the energy drink market regionally and globally has been mostly dominated by big brand names such as Red Bull and Monster.
In recent years though the growth of the health and wellness trend within the food and beverage industry has motivated market players to look at healthier, better-for-you versions of energy drinks to differentiate from those high in sugar and caffeine content.
One of these newer players is Hippo Energy Drink, which has gained a strong consumer base in markets across Thailand and the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam) markets within the ASEAN region.
“Right now the trends are all about healthy and refreshing – it has become clear that in Thailand and ASEAN anything that is healthy and refreshing is gaining a huge margin and profits in the market,” Hippo Energy Drink parent company Hippo Foods & Beverage Founder Inthad Thassaneephab told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“It is also based on these characteristics that a lot of companies and products are doing very well and growing very fast, so we are trying to adapt to this trend as well as I do believe it will continue to grow strongly for at least another three to five years.
“It has not been easy especially in these past few years with the pandemic as everything has been changing at such a fast pace, but we have managed to launch products to meet these trends including low-sugar, non-sugar, zero-calories and so on.”
To complicate things further, the health trend may undoubtedly be quickly gaining in popularity in this region, but this does not mean that all the consumers in this market are on board.
“Some markets simply are not yet ready to fully embrace healthier products, especially if it means sacrificing on taste,” he said.
“For instance, many consumers in the CLMV markets are unwilling to completely remove sugar content from their energy drink options as they feel this takes away from the drinks being refreshing, which is a higher priority in this case.
“So what we have had to do is still use sugar for the products in these markets, and figuring out the levels and taste and flavours to really appeal to consumers here really needs a lot of deeper market understanding.”
Hippo believes that the best way forward to not only overcome these challenges but stand apart from its big-name competitors is to create energy drinks that are unique and different from current market offerings.
“One major unique point is of course that we have developed the healthiest, most natural energy drink formula possible with caffeine from green tea and the various low to no sugar options,” he said.
“Then we also have a wide range of flavours from pomegranate to peach, each of which have different ingredients to differ from our competitors and really stand out.”
Watch the video above to find out more.