CENTER STORE

Beverage segment gets significant energy boost

BY Barbara White-Sax



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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SmartBakes streusel cakes hit retail

BY Allison Cerra

IRVING, Texas — Hostess is extending its SmartBakes line with a new breakfast cake.

SmartBakes streusel cakes, available in cinnamon, raspberry and cheese with an indulgent streusel topping, are baked with 100% whole grains and have 3 g of fiber with 150 calories per serving. Each package of Hostess SmartBakes streusel cakes contains eight individually wrapped streusel cakes.

The SmartBakes line, which Hostess launched last fall, also includes such breakfast staples as muffins.

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Publix to debut private-label cheese line

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix is rolling out imported and domestic private-label specialty cheeses in its deli department.

Publix customers will have the opportunity to learn about the specialty cheeses — including such varieties as asiago and Spanish manchego — now offered at stores through weekly sales ads, Publix.com and in-store promotions and presentations, the company said.

“Our customers have told us that they are interested in exploring new cheeses with unique taste and flavors,” said Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations. “With 15 varieties, we have a flavor profile for every customer, from the novice to the cheese connoisseurs. Our goal is to have trained associates share their passion for cheese with their customers.”

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