Tropical energy. A new kind of category blurring?

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tropical sports and energy drinks are 'another case of category blurring,' says Mintel analyst. Photo credit: Rebecca Siegel.
Tropical sports and energy drinks are 'another case of category blurring,' says Mintel analyst. Photo credit: Rebecca Siegel.

Related tags: Energy drink

Both Red Bull and Lucozade Sport have launched tropical flavours of their sport and energy drinks – something Mintel says is another example of these sectors trying to slurp soft drink market share.

Alex Beckett, global food and drink analyst for market analyst firm Mintel, told us: “The emphasis on all-out energy is diminished in this new line. It’s another case of category blurring – energy drinks looking to entice soft drink users and broaden their overall appeal by dropping their characteristic brashness and focusing on flavour, and summery lifestyle.”

“Also these are sweet, fruity flavours which should suit as an alcohol mixer."

Mango-Passion-Fruit-500ml

The launch of Red Bull’s yellow Tropical Edition in the UK follows its launch in the US, Canada, Austria and Germany, where it sits amongst the Blue (blueberry), Silver (lime) and Red (cranberry) Editions.

red bull tropical

The company said together these colours would stand out on shelf.

Meanwhile, Lucozade added mango and passion fruit flavour to its electrolyte Lucozade Sport range, which unlike its Lucozade Energy range does not contain caffeine.

The company said the launch built on a trend for exotic flavours, as documented by the success of its FIFA Word Cup Brazilian guava flavour back in 2014.

Tracking NPD 

Beckett said Red Bull and Lucozade were not alone, citing the examples of Gatorade's tropical passion flavoured sport drink and Rockstar’s tropical orange.

Beckett also noted the Tropicana Energy fruit juice range containing caffeine from guarana launched in the UK back in late 2013.  

“As Tropicana Energy has already identified, there’s exciting innovation potential in the fruit and energy area. Especially with 26% of UK adults keen to try a fruit juice drink with added caffeine for an energy boost – rising to a huge 39% of under-34s,”​ he said.

However, despite this consumer interest, just 2% of European sports and energy drinks launches in 2014 had a tropical flavour compared to 17% which were ‘plain’, 8% lemon and 7% orange. 

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