Make room for the new kid on the block: Energy shots, those concentrated versions of energy drinks that are beginning to mirror the high sales figures of their parent product. Energy shots have as big a bite as any one of the leading energy brands in the cooler.
“I sell a ton of energy shots,” said Terri Murray, general manger at Gulf Oil, who has been a big advocate of increasing space to accommodate new energy drinks. “I can’t even tell you how many cases upon cases I sell a week.”
Murray said she’s finding customers are often willing to shell out more money for a two-ounce energy shot than they will for an energy drink. There are a number of benefits that energy shots have over their big-ounce brethren in the cooler.
“You just don’t need as many restroom breaks with energy shots as with energy drinks,” said Danny Linn, purchaser for Poulsbo, Wash.-based D&J Markets. “Truck drivers, they don’t like to pull over.”
Manufactures of leading energy shots also say their products don’t result in the crash or sudden fatigue that comes after copious energy-drink consumption, since the latter are typically loaded with sugars and infused with herbal stimulants.
While Murray suspects her energy shot sales are cutting into her energy drink segment, Linn is still seeing strong sales in both. He said he depends on suppliers and sales representatives to help him stock his stores with products that tout energy benefits.
It’s a wise move, as more and more time-starved consumers are seeking products that will help get them through the day. According to a report by the Institute For the Future, “The Future of Health and Wellness In Food Retailing,” consumers rank products with “high-energy boosts” just as important as organic products.
Living Essentials’ 5-Hour Energy still dominates the energy-shot category, but other contenders are making headway into this profitable segment.
Shots are typically tracked as nutritional supplements rather than beverages and their introduction is forging an emerging category into a major growth sector for c-stores and other retail channels. ??
7-Eleven has increased its space allocation for liquid vitamin supplements. Energy shots now represent 25% of the sales in the health and beauty category at Circle-K, which last year launched a proprietary line of GaZzu energy shots to complement GaZzu energy drinks.
Seventy-one key decision makers from 71 chains evaluated the nine companies in this segment for the 2009 CSD Brand Preference Study. Top performers were identified as Living Essentials 5-Hour Energy, NVE Stacker and Upshot (by Drinks That Work). Ranking as honorable mentions were BDI Mini Thin Rush and NRG.
Of the 71 retailers who evaluated this segment, a little more than half said that had only been contacted by one or two 2-ounce energy-shot companies in the last 60 days.
Of the remaining 49% of retailers, 10% said they had been contacted by three or four companies and 39% said they hadn’t received any sales presentations. None of the retailers reported sales presentations from five or more companies in the last two months.