Jan. 8, 2014, U.S. – Nearly six in 10 energy-drinking Americans say they are concerned about the safety of energy drinks and shots, indicates new research from Mintel.
Despite the suggested fears over safety, the energy drink, shot and mix category has shown consistent annual growth from 2008 to 2013 sales. The market reported two years of 17 per cent increases in 2012 and 2013 and is expected to continue a steady upward trajectory to 2018.
“Energy drinks and shots faced significant scrutiny following lawsuits and proposed legislation that began in 2012. The media attention publicly challenged the safety and health effects of this pick-me-up category,” said Jenny Zegler, global food and drink analyst for Mintel Food and Drink, in a press release.
“However, loyal users continue to drink the products because they are viewed as more effective than other beverages. This continued level of activity in the face of adversity has helped the category’s rise to continue.”
More than half of Mintel respondents (56 per cent) who use energy drinks and/or shots do so because they are more effective for energy and alertness than other beverages. Just more than one-third (35 per cent) said they are convenient and 31 per cent like the taste.
Health and cost are the leading reasons when it comes to cutting down on energy drinks. Indeed, 39 per cent of Americans surveyed said energy drinks are not good for their health and 35 per cent said they have heard negative information about their health effects. Thirty-five per cent said they are just too expensive.
“Manufacturers must address these health issues in order to retain current users, while concerns about price should be addressed by promotions and limited-time discounts.”
When marketing to energy drinkers, men and women should be viewed differently. More than three-quarters of women aged 18-34 (79 per cent) who drink energy beverages agreed that companies should include recommended daily consumption limits on the packaging of their energy drinks versus 71 per cent of men. Sixty-two per cent of women aged 35 and up said they worry about the safety of energy drinks and shots compared to only 51 per cent of their male counterparts.
“People’s desire for additional energy to accomplish everything in a given day will continue to fuel positive sales growth for the energy drink category. However, because even a portion of current users are cutting back due to health and safety concerns, companies must educate the public on the health, safety and global use of energy drinks, shots and mixes. Innovations in serving size and/or format could keep users active in the category and perhaps inspire new entrants.”