Energy Drinks: Searching for New Customers

Manufacturers of energy drinks and energy shots may be finding it challenging to attract new customers in the United States, according to market researcher Mintel International’s recent survey. Despite a 136% increase in market sales from 2005 to 2009, a large segment of consumers remain uninterested in the category.

Manufacturers of energy drinks and energy shots may be finding it challenging to attract new customers in the United States, according to market researcher Mintel International’s recent survey. Despite a 136% increase in market sales from 2005 to 2009, a large segment of consumers remain uninterested in the category.

Market penetration hasn’t grown. “Sales of energy drinks and shots have remained relatively strong for the last few years, but the same core group of customers continues to buy them,” says Garima Goel Lal, a Mintel senior analyst. “The category added only one million new energy drink users ages 18 and older from 2007 to 2009, compared to 9.3 million new users [added] from 2005 to 2007, so manufacturers are eager to grow that number again.”

However, there are some positive indications that the market could capture new customers. In the survey, 16% of energy drink non-users and 14% of energy shot non-users would be encouraged to try an energy drink or shot if free samples were offered at a store where they usually shop. Meanwhile, 14% of non-users would be more likely to try energy drinks (11% for energy shots) if they had natural ingredients.