This week HYDRIVE Energy will launch HYDRIVE Decaf, a new caffeine-free energy drink made with B-Vitamins, D-Ribose and Choline. The new beverage will be launched alongside HYDRIVE Extra Strength, a product with 20 percent more caffeine than leading energy drinks.
“25 percent of consumers don’t drink caffeine and whenever we sampled our products, we always said, ‘We wish we had something to give these people,’” said Mike Weinstein, chairman of HYDRIVE Energy. “So when we decided to extend the product line, instead of adding another flavor, we decided to simultaneously come out with a product that had more caffeine [than our regular line] and then another with none at all.”
Weinstein acknowledged that while his was not the first decaffeinated energy drink on the market, he stated that many beverages that claimed to be caffeine-free were, in fact, not.
“If a product is made with guarana, green tea, or yerba mate – as many of these ‘decaffeinated’ beverages are – it is not caffeine-free,” Weinstein said.
Though when asked about competition with 5-Hour Energy Decaf, a product with zero caffeine, Weinstein said that he doubted that his beverage would compete with 5-Hour at all.
“5-Hour has zero caffeine, but it’s an energy shot, not a refreshment drink. With HYDRIVE, you get energy and hydration as well.”
Both HYDRIVE Energy Decaf and Extra Strength will initially be distributed within the convenience store channel in the Northeast and Midwest. However, in noting that HYDRIVE Decaf was more oriented toward female consumers (who tend to make fewer purchases within the c-store channel), Weinstein said that sales of the product would be more outlet driven and as such, “it might just be something that takes a little more time to catch on.”
“But the subcategory [of decaffeinated energy drinks] isn’t very large, so HYDRIVE Decaf doesn’t have to be really big for it to be successful for us,” Weinstein continued. “And while our Extra Strength product will most likely perform better at first, it could be Decaf that is bigger in the long run.”