“The energy shots market began to emerge in Britain in the past 12 months,” Tom Smith, the company’s trade communications manager told NutraIngredients.com. “The category is still establishing so it’s difficult to predict growth rates.”
The company will be hoping UK growth matches rates seen in the US where for the year ending August 9th 2008, sales of energy drinks were 16 per up on the year before, according to data from Nielsen.
Showing booming growth despite the recession, the value of the US energy shot market is expected to top $500m (€340m) by the end of the year.
Matt Hollier, Red Bull’s head of off trade, is upbeat about the prospects for UK growth matching US rates: "The energy shot market in the US has already been a massive success and we expect the same to happen in the UK. With the sports and energy category continuing to drive growth in soft drinks, energy shots will add to this and provide big impulse sales opportunities for retailers across the UK.”
Red Bull's entry into the shot category will grow the company’s consumer base by introducing a premium shot from a trusted brand, whilst engaging new consumers, creating new consumption occasions and delivering incremental business for retailers, added Hollier.
Since the Energy Shots are non-carbonated, have less liquid and don't need to be chilled, Red Bull believes they will have a host of new usage occasions. "As we found with the success of our 473ml can, which is now the biggest selling big can energy drink, consumers look at Red Bull as the signpost of the category and trust the brand to deliver the energy they want when they need it most," he said.
Sugar free version
Red Bull Energy Shots will be sold across the UK in a 60ml shot which will contain the same amount of energy as a 250ml can. A sugar free version will also be available. Red Bull brand extensions are rare with its only other variables from the slimline 250ml can coming in the form of a near 500ml maxi can and Red Bull Cola.
The company recommends that the product should be stocked in ambient impulse purchase locations. But they should not be sold from chiller cabinets in order to avoid confusing consumers.
Other European launches are planned but Red Bull could not confirm when or in what locations.
Red Bull launched its first product in the UK 13 years ago.