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The rise and rise of energy drinks: New data shows 14.4% volume surge in 2011

3 commentsBy Elaine Watson , 21-Mar-2012
Last updated on 21-Mar-2012 at 14:55 GMT

US volumes of energy drinks, ready to drink (RTD) tea and coffee, and sports beverages continued to surge in 2011, while sales of carbonated soft drinks, value-added water and fruit beverages remained lackluster.

Preliminary market data just released by New York City–based Beverage Marketing Corporation shows that volumes in the US liquid refreshment beverage market edged up 0.9% to 29.54bn gallons.

Total volumes up for 2nd year, but still below 2007 peak

This marks a second year of growth after two consecutive declines in 2008 and 2009 but represents a slight slowdown from 2010, when volumes grew 1.3%.

The total volume figure also remains below the 30.38bn gallon peak reached in 2007 before the recession started to bite.

Carbonated soft drinks volumes down 1.7%

Top performers in volume terms remained energy drinks (+14.4%), followed by RTD coffee (+9.4%), sports beverages (+8.8%), RTD tea (+4.8%) and bottled water (+4.1%).

However, volumes of carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) – which account for almost half of total category volumes – were down 1.7% to 13.6bn gallons, while value added water volumes were down 1.7%, and fruit beverages down 2.1%.

However, some CSD brands - notably Dr Pepper and Coke Zero - did achieve growth, notes Beverage Marketing Corporation.

Gatorade breaks 1bn gallon barrier in 2011

Within the sports beverages category, Gatorade chalked up volume growth of 8.1% to 1.028bn gallons, reflecting recent investment in the brand by owner PepsiCo, which is planning significant marketing activity around the brand in the summer, according to bosses on the firm's latest earnings call.

Beverage Marketing Corporation chairman and chief executive Michael C Bellas said: "Beverages' continued growth in 2011 proved their essential vitality.

“The strong showing by high–end and functional products shows that consumers — at least the more affluent ones — are not concerned exclusively with economic considerations when making their beverage selections."

Monster ceo: Energy drinks are innovative, cutting edge, cool and premium

Speaking to investors and shareholders on a recent earnings call , Monster Beverage Corporation chief executive Rodney Sacks said:“The days of energy drinks being a niche category are long gone. Energy drinks are the soft drinks of many generations ago. They are innovative, cutting edge, cool and premium.”

However, the category still garnered a lot of bad press, unfairly, he claimed: “There are still a lot of misconceptions, ignorance and guessing about the energy drinks category.”

Citing Nielsen data that showed the US energy drinks category had grown 14.9% in the 13 weeks to November 19, 2011 in all channels excluding Walmart, he said Monster continued to lead the pack in growth terms, with sales rising 22.1% over the same period.

Beverage Marketing Corporation is a research, consulting and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry.

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3 comments (Comments are now closed)

Energy drink context?

I believe there is no context for energy drinks, other than business. Artificial recreational effect plus energy out of sugar, that's it.
Cutting edge and cool - and kids like 'em. Their energy drink drinking is out of hands. Once you've felt the nice feeling of being refreshed you want to get it again. Except that little by little you'll have to drink bigger doses to get it.
And even if you've some data of individual ingredients effects on health - no one knows the consequenses of drinking great amounts for a long time, especially at young age (don't even tell me about daily amount recommendations, explanation is above).

So energy drinks are bad (except for and only making money).

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Posted by Roope Mäkelä
22 March 2012 | 09h40

Not all "energy" drinks are toxic

BestLife International, Inc. (BLI) manufactures and markets MAXelence®, a new sports/energy drink that incorporates vitamins, chelated minerals, and D-Ribose to help the body recover from exercise and strenuous activities by supporting ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production. MAXelence® is far superior to Gatorade or even 5-hour Energy, Monster and the dozens of other energy related drinks for renewed energy, stamina, muscle recovery, fiber, mineral and vitamin supplementation – entirely without stimulants, processed sugar, or artificial sweeteners (it's sweetened with stevia). MAXelence® is a dry concentrate in a small foil packet or in half and one-and-a-half pound pouches, intended to be mixed into any water, beverage, or juice bottle.

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Posted by Robert G. Williscroft
21 March 2012 | 20h50

The Down Side of Energy Drinks

The “bad press” concerning energy drinks is more than well deserved. The rise in the sale of these toxic products closely mirrors our current obesity epidemic. That’s because virtually all of these drinks contain sucrose, HFCS or some other form of sugar. It doesn’t matter how many vitamins you throw into the mix, you are still dealing with a toxic brew.

Recent research has shown that excessive fructose primarily from sucrose and HFCS is the primary driver behind insulin resistance and central obesity. Once a person has insulin resistance and they consume high glycemic carbohydrates, their brain is subjected to magnified glucose spikes. Because excessive glucose is toxic to nerve cells, over time these magnified glucose spikes seem to trigger a chronic brain disease characterized by symptoms indicating low levels of monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

At this point individuals are often misdiagnosed as having depression, ADHD, PTSD, eating disorders, bipolar II, anxiety disorders, fibromyalgia, PMS, irritable bowel syndrome and similar conditions. We now call this disease Carbohydrate Associated Reversible Brain syndrome or CARB syndrome. Because the brain plays a critical role in auto-regulating fat stores, people with CARB syndrome start to store extra fat at virtually any caloric intake. If they “diet” and restrict calories, they continue to store extra fat as they lose lean body mass becoming a thin obese person.

The next time you think about swilling down an energy drink you also think about the health consequences—that is if your brain is still working.

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Posted by William L. Wilson, M.D.
21 March 2012 | 17h22

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