HEALTH

V8 targets seniors with healthy energy shot

BY Michael Johnsen

Energy shots have delivered a jolt to pharmacy sales to the tune of an incremental $50 million in the past year. That business was borne out of targeting the typical all-nighters: college kids cramming for exams, truck drivers and third-shift workers. But seniors?


That’s what a Wall Street Journal report published earlier this month picked up on after finding that such marketers as Living Essentials and NVE Pharmaceuticals have been tweaking their advertising targets — Living Essentials directly with the AARP and NVE with cable placements on the older-skewing Learning Channel and Discovery Channel. 


Now Living Essentials and NVE will be joined by the likes of Campbell Soup following the announcement last month that the company plans to expand its V8 franchise into the energy shot space. Campbell will be positioning its V8 brands — which resonate well among seniors — as healthier alternatives to most energy drinks on the market today. “We are branching into the energy drink market with the kinds of nutritious beverages that V8 is known to deliver,” stated Dale Clemiss, VP of V8 Beverages. “People can now feel good about drinking an energy drink or shot with a combined serving of vegetables and fruit, and powered naturally by green tea.” 


V8 energy shots already are available at select locations in Colorado, Florida and Minnesota. 


In addition to attracting older buyers, energy shot manufacturers are busy trading their consumers up from the one-shot purchases at the check-stand and two-shot packs in the over-the-counter section. “[We’re] trading up existing consumers to larger purchases — from singles to multipacks,” said Elaine Lutz, Living Essentials’ spokeswoman. To that end, Living Essentials has folded four-pack offerings into the drug, food and C-store channels and has added a 10-pack 
for mass retailers. 


 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Energy Shots Mid-Year Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Hit me with your best shot

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The energy shot market is dominated by Living Essentials, which fields the most recognized shot — 5-Hour Energy, the shot you take to avoid that “2:30 feeling.” With an annualized $58.3 million in incremental sales across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), retail sales are certainly feeling a little caffeinated. 


5-Hour sales were jacked to the tune of $152 million across food, drug and mass, according to SymphonyIRI Group for the 52 weeks ended April 17, representing 62.3% growth versus the prior year — and that’s also not including Walmart.

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Adults thirsty for weight-loss/nutrition drinks

BY Michael Johnsen


The overall weight-loss/nutritional shake category spans ready-to-drink diet aids (Slim Fast), pediatric nutrition needs (PediaSure) and adult nutrition needs (Ensure and Boost). Out of all of these, it’s adult nutrition that creates the most synergy with the backbench; seniors need protein and supplementation to ensure a healthy life free of broken hips and fractured elbows. But that isn’t the only prescription-heavy demographic checking out the latest Ensure and Boost flavors. People coming out of surgery and cancer patients are increasingly being turned on to their nutritional needs and how adult nutritional products can help fulfill those needs. 


There’s also the increased protein needs associated with aging and a sedentary lifestyle. Clinical research shows that beginning around the age of 40 years, people can start to lose 8% of muscle mass per decade, which can lead to loss of strength and mobility.


That process accelerates as people get older — older adults lose approximately 3% of their lean body mass per year, according to published reports. It’s a process called sarcopenia, and it can be combated with exercise and proper nutrition. In the United States, an estimated 53% of men and 43% of women older than 80 years are sarcopenic.


Those are the factors behind product introductions like Abbott Nutrition’s Ensure ImmunBalance, which contains both prebiotics and probiotics to help boost the immune system, and Ensure Muscle Health, a ready-to-drink solution that contains Abbott’s proprietary ingredient, Revigor, a source of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate — or HMB, an amino-acid metabolite — and 13 g of protein. 


While sales are down across the core Ensure brand, according to SymphonyIRI Group data, that may be a case of self-cannibalization. 
Just outside the top five in this category are Ensure Muscle Health, which generated $12.3 million for the 12 weeks ended April 17 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart). Ensure Immunbalance comes in at $9.2 million for the quarter, up 181.8%.

 

 The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Weight Loss/Nutritionals Mid-Year Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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