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A new Mintel report suggests older Millennials (aged 27-37) are the core consumers of energy drinks and shots, possibly due to lifestyle changes such as becoming parents.
Energy drinks and shots may be marketed toward young consumers, but parents and older Millennials might actually be the core consumers of this increasingly popular segment of the caffeine market. A new report from Mintel (Chicago) suggests that despite widespread concerns of safety, 64% of older Millennials (aged 27-37) consume energy drinks.
The energy drink/shots category has experienced an extraordinary 56% growth from 2009-2014, but concerns about ingredient safety have dogged the category. According to Mintel’s report, 65% of consumers overall and 74% of older Millennials “express concerns about product safety.” 81% of U.S. consumers want companies to include recommended daily consumption limits on energy drink and shot packaging.
Nonetheless, more than 60% of older Millennials consume energy drinks, and that consumption is growing. Although roughly the same percentage of young Millennials (18-26) consume energy drinks as older Millennials, 29% of older Millennials reported consuming more energy drinks within the past three months, compared with only 16% of younger Millennials who said they drank more energy drinks.
Elisabeth Sisel, beverage analyst at Mintel, suggests one reason older Millennials are drinking more energy drinks and shots is because of energy-intensive lifestyle changes, such as becoming parents.
“Older Millenials are, more likely than not, going through a lifestyle shift, such as getting married or having children, including 55 percent of those age 30-34 with kids,” says Sisel. “As a result, their interests and priorities are shifting and individuals that require more energy are turning to energy drinks and shots.”
Indeed, Mintel reports that “households with children are significantly more likely to consume energy drinks (58%) and shots (48%) when compared to those without children (27% and 18%, respectively),” according to a press release. 68% of U.S. fathers and 38% of U.S. mothers consume energy drinks, says Mintel.
Another widespread consumer attitude-a preference toward natural ingredients-can be seen in the category with 30% of users consuming natural energy drinks and shots. Yet, just as with concerns over ingredient safety, the larger energy drink market “remains largely unaffected by changing consumer attitudes,” says Sisel.
“The majority, a full 90%, of natural energy drink consumers also drink regular energy drinks,” says Sisel. “The steady consumption of both regular and natural energy products implies that U.S. consumers may not perceive energy drinks as negatively as pop culture conveys.”
The report also notes that while the energy drink market continues to grow to an expected $10.8 billion in 2015, the energy shots segment is “spiraling” and is expected to decline in sales for the third year straight.
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