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Energy Drinks and Shots: U.S. Market Trends


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Health and wellness-related beverage products are seeing increased consumer penetration. In sharp contrast to this classic beverages—especially colas—are seeing consumer attrition.  Functional ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, namely energy drinks, sports drinks, and tea, have increased consumer penetration over the past few years.

While the energy drinks and shots market may be a small component of the non-alcoholic beverage industry, it is perhaps the most dynamic market. This market grew between 60% from 2008-2012 according to Packaged Facts estimates in the all-new research report Energy Drinks and Shots: U.S. Market Trends. In 2012, total U.S. sales for the energy drinks and shots market was worth over $12.5 billion.

Intense competition surrounds the beverage industry as marketers seek to increase market penetration and consumption frequency. This is accomplished through positive alignment as a healthy and/or functional beverage. Thirst quencher/sports drinks remain the most formidable competitor for energy drinks. This type of beverage attracts a large constituency of energy drink users. Additionally, energy drinks are subject to competition from other energy-boosting beverages such as coffee and tea beverages. An increasing number of new product innovations that tap into the energy trend but are outside of the beverage industry are also competitors in this area.

At present, energy drinks have the lowest consumption rates of any RTD beverage. This point reflects the market’s relative infancy and also its growth potential. Experian Simmons analysis shows the growth trend of this market, with the incidence of energy drink usage among adults rising from nearly 13% in 2006 to 17% in 2012. A modest segment of heavy users also exists:
5% of adults consume energy drinks 5-7 times per month and less than 2% drink energy drinks 10 or more times.
Consumers 18-34, men, Hispanics, Pacific region residents, and adults with children in the household are demographics that over index in energy drink usage.

Packaged Facts estimates that energy drinks account for a 78% market share, followed by 18% for energy shots, and energy drink mixes (roughly 4%) in 2012. A few select marketers dominate the energy drinks and shots market. This report demonstrates the first mover advantage in each category. The result is a market that is highly dependent on a handful of key brands, namely Red Bull, Monster Energy, 5-Hour Energy, and Rockstar Energy.

Retail distribution of energy drinks and shots continues to expand at a fervent pace. These products are accessible at nearly any retail outlet from major grocery outlets to dollar stores to smoothie shops to sporting goods outlets. Packaged Facts estimates that convenience stores hold the largest share of market sales (59%), followed by mass merchandisers (13%), supermarkets (10%), club stores/warehouse (5%), and drug stores (2%). In aggregate, all other retailers contribute a significant 11% to market sales.

Overall growth of energy drinks and shots is influenced positively by new product launches and expanded retail distribution. Economic factors and shifts in the U.S. adult population by age and ethnicity/race are also factors to market growth. An increasingly competitive market for “energy-boosting” products is perhaps the market’s greatest threat.

Packaged Facts projects sales of energy drinks and shots will grow to a value of $21.5 billion by 2017. This growth will be driven by continued economic recovery, expansion in retail distribution, and strong potential in new product development. Market opportunities are evident through product innovation (especially in energy drink mixes), the ability to increase consumption frequency, the targeting of older consumers, and leveraging interactive packaging.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope of Report
    • Methodology
    • Energy drinks still have modest consumption rates
      • Table RTD Non-Alcoholic Beverage Usage, 2006-2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
    • Innovative beverages
      • Healthy beverages
      • Customizable and portable beverages
      • Relaxation beverages
    • Innovation opportunity
    • Encourage more frequent consumption
    • Target older consumers
    • Interactive packaging could remedy labeling concerns and more
    • Industry context
    • Energy drinks and shots deliver impressive growth
      • Table Total U.S. Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots, 2008-2012 (in millions and percent change from previous-year period)
      • Explosive growth from 2011-2012
      • Mass-Market Category Performance
      • Product performance: Three core energy drink brands steer category growth
      • Product performance: Living Essentials dominates energy shots
      • Product performance: Kraft Foods' enters category with well-known brands
    • Convenience stores capture largest share of energy market sales
    • Market Innovation
      • "Diet" energy drinks
      • Proliferation of "natural" energy
      • Cross-pollination of energy drinks
    • Sales of energy drinks/shots projected to reach $21.5 billion by 2017
      • Table Projected U.S. Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots, 2012-2017 (in millions of dollars and percent)
    • Top Marketers Dominate Energy Drink and Shot Sales
    • Energy Drink Usage
      • Table Energy Drink Usage Rates, 2006-2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
    • Young adults are core users of energy drinks
    • Frequency of Energy Drink Usage
    • Energy drink brand usage
      • Table Energy Drink Usage Frequency by Selected Brands, 2012 (U.S. adults)
    • Energy drink consumers strive to be youthful and health-minded
      • Table Agreement Indexes Among Energy Drink Users for Selected Health and Nutrition Statements, 2012 (U.S. adults)
  • Competitive Context for Energy Drinks
    • Highlights
    • Scope
      • Market Definition
      • Methodology
    • Energy Drinks in RTD Beverage Context
      • Energy drinks still have modest consumption rates
        • Table RTD Non-Alcoholic Beverage Usage, 2006-2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Energy drinks vs. colas
      • Energy drinks vs. sports drinks
      • Energy drinks vs. coffee/tea beverages
        • Table Coffee and Tea Usage, 2006-2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
    • Energy Drink Users' Consumption of Other Beverages
      • Energy drink users also enjoy other RTD beverages
        • Table Indexes Among Energy Drink Consumers for Use of Selected Other Beverage Types, 2012 (U.S. adults)
    • Competitive Context: Beverage Innovation
      • Innovative beverages
    • Market Opportunities
      • Innovation opportunity
        • Table Usage Rates for Selected Types of Beverage Mixes, 2006-2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
        • Table Index Among Energy Drink Consumers for Use of Selected Beverage Mix Types, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Encourage more frequent consumption
      • Target older consumers
      • Interactive packaging could remedy labeling concerns and more
  • The Market
    • Highlights
    • Industry context
      • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots, 2012 (in millions and change from previous-year period)
    • Market Size and Growth
      • Energy drinks and shots deliver impressive growth
        • Table Total U.S. Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots, 2008-2012 (in millions and percent change from previous-year period)
    • Market Composition
      • Dynamic market allows for growth across all categories
        • Table Total U.S. Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots by Product Category, 2008-2012 (in millions)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots by Product Category, 2012 (in millions and change from previous-year period)
      • Sales performance for energy drinks
        • Table Total U.S. Sales of Energy Drinks, 2008-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Energy Drinks by Marketer and Brand, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and percent)
      • Sales Performance for energy shots
        • Table Total U.S. Sales of Energy Shots, 2008-2012 (in millions and percent change from previous-year period)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Energy Shots by Marketer and Brand, 2012 (in thousands and percent change from previous-year period)
      • Energy drink mix
        • Table Total U.S. Sales of Energy Drink Mix, 2008-2012 (in millions of dollars and annual percent change)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Energy Drink Mix by Marketer and Brand, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and change from previous-year period)
    • Retail Distribution
      • Convenience stores capture largest share of energy market sales
      • Retail expansion of energy drinks and shots
        • Table Total U.S. Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots by Retail Channel, 2012 (in millions of dollars and percent share)
    • Factors to Market Growth
      • Market Innovation
      • Convenience store channel store growth
        • Table Number of convenience stores, 2006-2012
      • Economic conditions
      • Shifts in population of key demographics
      • Linking energy drink/shot consumption with health risk
      • Competitive energy products
    • Market Forecast
      • Sales of energy drinks/shots projected to reach $21.5 billion by 2017
        • Table Projected U.S. Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots, 2012-2017 (in millions of dollars and percent)
  • The Marketers
    • Highlights
    • Top Marketers Dominate Energy Drink and Shot Sales
      • Top Energy Drink and Shot Marketers by Category
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Energy Drinks and Shots by Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales, 2012 (in millions of dollars and change over previous-year period)
      • Top Brands
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Energy Drinks and Shots by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales, 2012 (in millions of dollars and percent share)
        • Table Top Brands of Energy Drinks and Shots by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales, 2012 (in millions of dollars, share, and change over previous-year period)
    • Company Profile: Red Bull North America
      • Performance: Continued Growth
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Red Bull North America Energy Drinks and Shots, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and percent change from previous-year period)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Red Bull Energy Drinks and Shots, 2011-2012 (in volume and units and percent change from previous-year period)
      • Brand Qualities
      • Marketing Strategies
      • The Red Bull Consumer
        • Table Demographic Snapshot of Red Bull Energy Drink Consumers, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Opportunities and Outlook
    • Company Profile: Monster Beverage Corp.
      • Performance: Strong Innovation
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Monster Beverage Corp. Energy Drink, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and change from previous-year period)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Monster Energy Drinks, 2011-2012 (by volume and unit metrics and percent change from previous-year period)
      • Brand Qualities
      • Marketing Strategies
      • The Monster Energy Consumer
        • Table Demographic Snapshot of Monster Energy Drink Consumers by Age Bracket, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Opportunities and Outlook
    • Company Profile: Living Essentials
      • Performance: Slow and Steady
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Living Essentials Energy Shots, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and percent change from previous-year period)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of 5-Hour Energy Shots, 2011-2012 (in volume and units and percent change from previous-year period)
      • Brand Qualities
      • Marketing Strategies
      • The 5-Hour Energy Consumer
        • Table Demographic Snapshot of 5-Hour Energy Shot Consumers by Age Bracket, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Opportunities and Outlook
    • Company Profile: Rockstar International
      • Performance: Solid Growth Supported by Innovation
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Rockstar International Energy Drink and Shots, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and change from previous-year period)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Rockstar Energy Drinks, 2011-2012 (in volume and unit metrics and percent change)
      • Brand Qualities
      • Marketing Strategies
      • The Rockstar Consumer
        • Table Demographic Snapshot of Rockstar Energy Drink Consumers by Age Bracket/Generation, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Opportunities and Outlook
    • Competitor Briefs
      • PepsiCo
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of PepsiCo Energy Drinks, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and change from previous-year period)
      • Kraft Foods
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Energy Drink Mixes, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and change over previous-year period
      • High Performance Beverage
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Energy Drinks and Shots, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and change over previous-year period)
      • Coca-Cola Company
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Coca-Cola Company Energy Drinks, 2012 (in thousands of dollars and change over previous-year period)
      • Private Label
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Private Label Energy Drink Products, 2012 (in millions of dollars and change over previous-year period)
    • Marketers and Brands to Watch
      • Energy drink brands by dollar growth
        • Table Top Energy Drink Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales Growth, 2012 vs. 2011 (in percent and dollar change over previous-year period)
      • Energy shot brands by dollar growth
        • Table Top Energy Shot Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales Growth, 2012 vs. 2011 (in percent and dollar change over previous-year period)
      • Energy drink mix brands by dollar growth
        • Table Top Energy Drink Mix Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales Growth, 2012 vs. 2011 (in percent and dollar change over previous-year period)
  • The Consumer
    • Note on Experian Simmons Data
    • Highlights
    • Energy Drink Usage
      • Table Energy Drink Usage Rates, 2006-2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Young adults are core users of energy drinks
        • Table Energy Drink Use by Age Bracket and Generational Cohort, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Men more likely to consume energy drinks
        • Table Energy Drink Use by Gender, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Energy drinks are popular among minority race/ethnic groups
        • Table Energy Drink Use by Race/Ethnicity, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Pacific region residents show uptick in energy drink consumption
        • Table Energy Drink Use by Region of Residence, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Parents of young children more likely users of energy drinks
        • Table Energy Drink Use by Presence and Age of Children in Household, 2012 (U.S. adults)
    • Frequency of Energy Drink Usage
      • Table Energy Drink Usage Frequency, 2006-2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Energy drink brand usage
        • Table Energy Drink Usage Frequency by Selected Brands, 2012 (U.S. adults)
    • Attitudes of the Energy Drink Consumer
      • Energy drink consumers strive to be youthful and health-minded
        • Table Agreement Indexes Among Energy Drink Users for Selected Health and Nutrition Statements, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Energy drink users seek convenient short cuts
        • Table Agreement Indexes Among Energy Drink Use for Selected Time and Convenience-Related Statements, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Energy drink consumers experiment with food flavors and products
        • Table Agreement Indexes Among Energy Drink Users for Selected Food Statements, 2012 (U.S. adults)
      • Willing to try new beverages, but may prefer alcoholic varieties
        • Table Agreement Indexes Among Energy Drink Users for Selected Beverage Statements, 2012

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