Amp Energy, the PepsiCo-owned energy drink brand, today announced the launch of a new USDA Certified Organic line extension.
Available exclusively in 7-Eleven stores nationwide through the end of this year before a wider launch in Q1 2018, Amp Energy Organic will debut in four fruit-flavored SKUs: Citrus, Pineapple Coconut, Grape and Tropical Burst. Each variety contains between 180 and 200 calories per 12 oz. can, along with 120 mg of caffeine and 44 g of organic cane sugar. The suggested retail price is $1.99.
Justin Schwartz, marketing director of flavors and energy for Amp, told BevNET that the launch was influenced by the company’s analysis of consumer trends, which revealed rising demand for cleaner, more recognizable ingredient profiles than what the mainstream energy drink category currently provides.
“When consumers look at the energy category, obviously the ingredient listings are pretty complicated and long,” he said. “Consumers aren’t entering the category in the way we’ve seen in prior generations. So the question was how can we appeal to this conflicted energy drinker who’s mindful of ingredients?”
In response, Amp simplified its formulation down to just five ingredients: organic caffeine from green coffee beans, carbonated water, citric acid, natural flavors and organic cane sugar. Schwartz explained that the company decided against using a natural sweetener, such as stevia, to keep the taste closer to the original Amp formula.
The launch will be supported by a digital and social marketing campaign, along with in-store advertising that Schwartz said will emphasize the brand’s three core offerings of energy, fruit flavors and organic natural ingredients. The existing Amp Energy line will remain on shelves in a limited capacity; further details for the core brand’s future were not discussed.
The announcement of Amp’s new line represents the latest addition to the organic energy drink category, a group that includes products from Rockstar, Sambazon and Hiball, which was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev in July. Schwartz said that Amp’s long history in the category will be an important point of differentiation within the rising organic energy drink market.
“This is an evolving energy consumer that we think is going to be prevalent in the category moving forward, so we understand why we see other similar products popping up,” he said. “Consumers know us for the energy they get as well as the flavors, so I think that sets us apart from others who are continuing to establish themselves in the category. We are a mainstream energy drink today and will continue to be so.”