Marketing energy drinks: Healthier products key to growth

03/09/2019

The size of the energy drinks market could grow exponentially if brands and retailers satisfy consumer demands for healthier and tastier products with lower levels of sugar, according to new research.

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Carabao’s 2019 Taste of the Nation report reveals how to grow the energy drink category - both in terms of attracting new shoppers, but also by increasing frequency of purchase. In the current market, consumers perceive energy drinks to be unhealthy and high in sugar, whilst not delivering the great taste they seek.

The research showed that among infrequent and potential energy drink consumers (people who don’t yet purchase them):

  • Only 8% of shoppers associated energy drinks with great taste

  • 48% perceived energy drinks to be unhealthy, a huge barrier to purchase

  • 35% specifically cited high sugar content as a major deterrent
  • The data also revealed an opportunity to convert infrequent purchasers to regular purchasers, by offering a product that better meets consumer demands. 71% stated that taste was the single biggest driver of purchasing decisions. 23% of potential energy drink consumers also said that low sugar content would encourage them to buy an energy drink more often.

    Value for money was also a critical consideration among those who don’t currently buy energy drinks, with 21% of respondents perceiving energy drinks as “expensive”, providing a strong indicator that the unit price within the category needs to drop to entice new customers.

    John Luck, CMO at Carabao, said: “The energy drinks industry has enjoyed meteoric growth over the last decade. But the double whammy of the sugar tax levy and an increasing consumer desire to look after their health means that a radical rethink is required. Simply reducing sugar at the expense of taste is not going to grow the category.

    “This new research, summarised in the Taste of the Nation report, demonstrates the importance of an energy drink offering which is low in sugar but one that also delivers a fantastic taste. Brands, retailers and wholesalers alike must move rapidly to come to terms with this trend in order to deliver incremental sales - not least because a five per cent increase in category penetration could be worth over £250 million.”

    As the UK’s #1 fastest growing stimulation energy drink brand, Carabao is a very different kind of energy drink, offering a range of fruity flavours - from Green Apple to Mandarin Orange, all of which contain 60% less sugar than major rivals such as Red Bull, Monster or Rockstar.

    Methodology

    Carabao surveyed 650 UK consumers in January 2019. The research was carried out by System1 Group on behalf of Carabao and uses unique methodology to tap into the more subconscious part of consumers’ minds such that an understanding of the true barriers and drivers of purchase can be uncovered.

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