Huge Growth, Tiny Footprint

Energy shots are the fastest-growing part of the energy drink category and are stealing the momentum from their bigger – in package size – rivals, according to Consumer Edge Research founder Bill Pecoriello.

In fact, the largest energy shot brand, Living Essentials’ 5-Hour Energy, now grabs nearly one out of every ten dollars spent on energy drinks in the convenience store channel, according to a category analysis by Beverage Digest.

The upshot, if you will? The energy shot category, which currently consists of approximately 250 brands in the US, is taking share and usage occasions away from energy drinks, according to Pecoriello.
The total energy market is still growing – up 4.7 percent over the 12 weeks ending May 17, according to Pecoriello’s data from Information Resources Inc. – but the growth has shifted. Energy shots grew by 84.5 percent during that period, while energy drinks slipped by 0.8 percent.

Overall, energy shots now account for 11 percent of the energy market and the big brands have yet to make a serious impact on the sub-segment. Living Essentials’ 5-Hour Energy still owns 78 percent of the category, followed by NVE Pharmaceuticals’ Stacker 2: 6 Hour Power with 7 percent. Hansen has made the biggest impact of the beverage players to flood into the category, with its Monster Hitman.

The lasting legacy of 5-Hour’s endurance could be a new major beverage player – or it could be one that gets swallowed up quickly by a huge offer from a bigger company, Pecoriello projected.

“Using past history as a barometer, an independent or ‘new’ player should be able to sustain itself in this sub-segment,” he wrote. “Red Bull and Hansen were both relatively non-existent in US beverage before the creation of the energy drink segment.”