Lance Collins, the veteran beverage entrepreneur who founded NOS and CORE Hydration, is returning to the energy drink space with Adrenaline Shoc, a new “Fitness Enhanced Energy” brand that seeks to seize the momentum in a fast-growing segment of the energy space.
Adrenaline Shoc (also called “A Shoc” for short), will launch nationwide in June, with sales, distribution, and field marketing handled by Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), which has also invested in the brand with a potential path to acquisition. Collins, who also founded better-for-you brand Outlaw Energy, told BevNET that the line is poised to launch in roughly 30-40,000 stores, largely in the convenience channel, adding that the fitness channel and ecommerce will likely be targeted in the future. Regional focuses for A Shoc will include all of California, Texas, and Nevada as well as Denver and Chicago with a broader expansion planned for September.
“I did NOS, which is a huge energy drink today,” said Collins. “But to me this is like 10 NOSs. I want to go after a modern energy drink design for today’s active generation. It’s more approachable for fitness-focused consumers who lead active, healthy lifestyles.”
The line features eight flavors — Original, Acai Berry, Cotton Candy, Frozen Ice, Fruit Punch, Peach Mango, Sour Candy, and Watermelon — with 300 mg of caffeine per 16 oz can sourced from green coffee beans, yerba mate, coffee fruit extract, and guarana. All SKUs are zero sugar (sweetened with sucralose), zero calorie, and contain electrolytes sourced from ocean minerals and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). The line has a suggested retail price of $2.79 per unit.
A frequent collaborator with the JAB-owned beverage conglomerate, Collins told BevNET that KDP became involved with A Shoc last year, shortly after completing its $525 million acquisition of Collins’ previous startup CORE Hydration. He noted that A Shoc operates its own independent sales and marketing team, but is closely connected with KDP’s marketing and regional and national accounts teams, which will allow the brand to scale rapidly out the gate. Among the in-house team members are several food and beverage industry veterans, including former Popchips VP of finance and administration Jason Sutherland, who will serve as CFO.
Led by the prodigious growth of Bang, fitness oriented energy drinks such as Celsius, C4 and Monster’s just-released Reign have emerged as a significant category disruptor over the past year. According to a first quarter survey of convenience store retailers by Wells Fargo Securities released last week, 90 percent of retailers either carry or plan to carry Bang, while newer performance energy brands including Nutrabolt’s ready-to-drink C4 line are on the rise.
A spokesman for A Shoc said the brand hopes to broaden the consumer base by appealing to both men and women. Noting the influence of the #MeToo movement, a spokesman for A Shoc said the brand is aiming to build a roster of brand ambassadors who represent an even male/female split and create marketing campaigns that avoid some of the hyper-sexualized advertising that has long defined many of the category’s leading brands but has alienated some female consumers. The brand has already signed about 100 influencers for a social media marketing campaign at launch and will also focus heavily on field marketing and sampling.
“The ‘old energy’ was designed 20 years ago,” Collins said. “The consumers are changing big time and we’re trying to capture that new demand without selling those old energy ingredients that you can’t even pronounce.”