U.S. Soldiers Claw for a Monster Boost
Flattop jokes aside, it’s clear that the world’s largest fighting force likes a good buzz.
A recent article published by Business Insider details the U.S. military’s love affair with caffeinated drinks, and in particular, Monster Energy, which is the top-selling cold beverage brand at the general/department stores operated by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. Exchanges (as the stores are called) sold 3.3 million Monster drinks in the past year, outpacing Mountain Dew, the second best-selling drink, by a half-million units, according to the article, which polled former and current U.S. soldiers about why the energy brand is such a huge draw within the military.
Respondents noted that in a profession that will often require alertness amid long stretches without sleep, energy drink consumption becomes part of routines, particularly for overseas deployment. Monster’s value proposition is another key reason why the brand pulls well with soldiers. Compared to an 8.4 oz. can of Red Bull, Monster Energy drinks, most often sold in 16 oz. cans, are a better bang for your buck, according to Geoff Ingersoll, the managing editor of the Marine Corps Times.
As surprising as it might seem, military personnel view Monster as a healthier alternative to soft drinks, based on the lower sugar content of the energy drinks as compared to beverages like Coke and Mountain Dew. Soldiers also view Monster’s Lo-Carb line as an appealing option, considering the demands of staying physically fit.
However, it’s Monster’s ability to reach out to and resonate with members of the military that is perhaps the brand’s biggest asset. Monster operates a military-specific Facebook page, one described as “dedicated [to] the brave men and women who proudly serve their Country,” that has over 98,000 “likes.” Monster has also sponsored a military tour with a freestyle streetbike team and launched a collection of color-changing cans that honored U.S. armed forces.
Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts Eye Growing Demand for Non-Dairy Creamers
While the military certainly appreciates its caffeinated jolts, a similar pick-me-up is a critical part of the day for most Americans, many of whom get their fill from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. And with non-dairy consumption becoming an increasingly important trend, the coffee shop giants are beginning to experiment with options other than soy.
Earlier this month, Dunkin Donuts announced a new partnership with Blue Diamond to offer the vanilla variety of its Almond Breeze Almondmilk for use in hot or iced coffee and lattes at select Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide. The company pointed to customers’ growing desire for non-dairy creamers as the key driver in its decision to add the new product, and praised the nutritional content of almond milk as healthy option for its customers.
Meanwhile, Starbucks is now testing coconut milk in company-owned locations in Los Angeles, Cleveland and Oregon, according to Reuters. Notably, Starbucks passed on almond milk as a possible addition to its creamer line-up citing the “critically important safety of our customers with nut allergies.”
Green Juice – A Sugary Secret?
While green juice (those blends often made with leafy vegetables like kale and spinach), has been lauded as the fast-growing sub-segment of the super-premium juice category, ABC News questioned just how healthy they are. Keying in on the sugar content of the beverages, ABC looked at three of the most popular green juices on the market: Evolution Fresh’s Sweet Greens and Lemon, Naked’s Kale Blazer and Odwalla’s Original Superfood Smoothie.
Though all of the drinks may have passed the taste test, it was clear that Evolution Fresh emerged as the healthiest option, with 100 calories and 20 grams of sugar per 15.2 oz. bottle. Packaged in same-sized bottles, Naked’s variety, on the other hand, contained 190 calories and 36 grams of sugar per bottle while Odwalla’s option packed in 240 calories and 47 grams of sugar.