Red Bull to introduce an energy shot in 2009

, Assistant Editor

Red Bull will enter the fast-growing energy shot market in 2009, according to Patrice Radden, spokeswoman for Red Bull North America.

“We recognize that some consumers are interested in a smaller package to deliver their energy needs in the form of an energy shot,” Radden said in a statement. “Currently, there is not a premium brand in this fast-growing segment. Red Bull plans to fill this void and offer Red Bull Energy Drink in a shot format in 2009.”

The move into the relatively-new energy shot category marks a departure for Red Bull. The product debuted on U.S. shores in 1997, and offered only one SKU until the introduction of a sugar free variant in 2003. Market pressures later forced the company to add additional can sizes, and the company rolled out their first non-energy drink product, Red Bull Simply Cola, earlier this year.

Red Bull’s energy shot entry, while notable, is only the latest example of established energy brands like Rock Star, NOS and Monster releasing miniature versions of their 8 or 16 oz. products. Each of those brands follows Living Essentials, who introduced the 2 oz. 5 Hour Energy shot in 2005. The energy shot market is expected to achieve $500 million in sales this year.

Details about Red Bull’s forthcoming energy shot are scant. Radden said the company is still working on when and how the product will be debuted.

“Once details are finalized, we will send out a more formal announcement,” Radden said.