Beverage segment gets significant energy boost

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Dollar sales for energy drinks were up 8.2% in drug stores for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 31, 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group. Energy shot dollar sales in the channel fared even better, with sales surging nearly 12% for the same period.

Despite occasional controversy, demand remains strong for the beverages, and the segment is poised to become even more significant as its appeal broadens beyond its original target consumer group.

Gary Hemphill, SVP at Beverage Marketing Corp.’s information services division, said the core market for energy drinks has been younger males, but that appeal is evolving. “Energy is a need that spans both sexes and a wide range of ages,” he said. “So the energy-drink consumer has begun to broaden well beyond the original core consumer, and companies have begun to market their products accordingly.”

New entries, such as Hiball’s sparkling energy water and sparkling energy juice, Nor-Cal Beverage Co.’s Go Girl, PurBlu Beverages’ Give Energy and Steaz’s energy beverages, clearly are targeted to a new audience.

Sean Seitzinger, partner at SymphonyIRI saw more growth coming from the energy drink space as manufacturers tap into the growing boomer market. “In the next five years, we’ll see more products designed around memory enhancement,” he said.

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