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Energy drinks were an active subset of the early soft drink industry, which was originally dominated by pharmacists and less scrupulous patent medicine salesmen. Coca-Cola, for instance, was originally marketed as an energy booster; its name was derived from its two active ingredients, both known stimulants: Coca leaves and kola nuts (a source of caffeine). Fresh coca leaves were replaced by “spent” ones in 1904 because of concerns over the use of cocaine in food products, and the federal lawsuit United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola forced the company to cut back the amount of caffeine in the formula by 1916, thus bringing an end to the first wave of energy drinks.
In the UK, Lucozade Energy was originally introduced in 1929 as a hospital drink for “aiding the recovery;” in the early 1980s, it was promoted as an energy drink for “replenishing lost energy.”
One of the first post-Forty Barrels energy drinks introduced in America was Dr. Enuf. Its origins date back to 1949, when a Chicago businessman named William Mark Swartz was urged by coworkers to formulate a soft drink fortified with vitamins as an alternative to sugar sodas full of empty calories. He developed an “energy booster” drink containing B vitamins, caffeine and cane sugar. After placing a notice in a trade magazine seeking a bottler, he formed a partnership with Charles Gordon of Tri-City Beverage to produce and distribute the soda. Dr. Enuf is still being manufactured in Johnson City, TN and sold sparsely throughout the nation.
In Japan, the energy drink dates at least as far back as the early 1960s, with the release of the Lipovitan. However, most such products in Japan bear little resemblance to soft drinks, and are sold instead in small brown glass medicine bottles or cans styled to resemble such containers. These “eiyō dorinku” (literally, “nutritional drinks”) are marketed primarily to salaryman. Bacchus-F, a South Korean drink closely modeled after Lipovitan, also appeared in the early 1960s, and targets a similar demographic.
In 1985, ” Jolt Cola ” was introduced in the United States. Their marketing strategy was focused on the caffeine content of the drink as means to promote the rule of staying awake. Its initial slogan was “All the sugar and twice the caffeine.”
In 1995, PepsiCo launched Josta, the first energy drink introduced by a major US beverage company (one that had interests outside energy drinks), but Pepsi discontinued the product in 1999.] Pepsi would later return to the energy drink market with the AMP brand.
In Europe, energy drinks were pioneered by the Lisa and a product named Power Horse, before the business savvy of Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur, ensured his Red Bull product became far better known, and a worldwide best seller. Mateschitz developed Red Bull based on the Thai drink Krating Daeng, itself based on Lipovitan. Red Bull is the dominant brand in the US after its introduction in 1997, with a market share of approximately 47%.
In New Zealand and Australia, the current leading energy drinks product in those markets V was introduced by Frucor Beverages. It is now serves over 60% of market in New Zealand and Australia.
By 2001, the US energy drink market had grown to nearly 8 million per year in retail sales. Over the next 5 years, it grew an average of over 50% per year, totaling over $3 billion in 2005. Diet energy drinks are growing at nearly twice that rate within the category, as are 16-ounce (470 ml) sized energy drinks. The energy drink market became a $5.4 billion market in 2007, and both Goldman Sachs and Mintel predicted that it would hit $10 billion by 2010.
The market is currently estimated at over $12.5 Billion, having grown 60% between 2008-2012. Major companies such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Molson, and Labatt have tried to match smaller companies’ innovative and different approach, with marginal success.
Since 2002, there has been a growing trend for packaging energy drink in bigger cans. Since in many countries, including the US and Canada, there is a limitation on the maximum caffeine per serving in energy drinks, this allows manufacturers to include a greater amount of caffeine by including multiple servings per container. Popular brands such as Red Bull, Hype Energy Drinks and Monster have increased the amount of ounces per can.
For example, when Red Bull first came on the U.S. market, it was primarily in 250 mL (8.4 oz.) cans; it now sells cans as big as 600 mL (20 oz.), and Monster now sells a can as big as 32 oz. (946 mL). Most energy drinks in the United States, with a few exceptions, primarily sell their drinks in 16 oz. (473 mL) cans, a trend provoked in part by companies such as Rockstar Energy promoting the 16-ounce cans over Red Bull’s smaller ones in the mid-2000s. Conversely, the emergence of energy shots has gone the opposite way with much smaller packaging.
In 2007, energy drink powders and effervescent tablets were introduced, in the form of a tablet or powder that can be added to water to create an energy drink. These can offer a more portable option to cans and shots.
The energy drink industry became an $5.4 billion industry in 2007. Both ” Goldman Sachs ” and ” Mintel ” predicted to reach $ 10 billion by 2010. The energy drink industry is estimated at more than $ 12.5 billion, with an increase of 60% between 2008 and 2012.
Major companies such as Pepsi, Coca -Cola, Molson and Labatt have tried to match with innovative and different approach to smaller companies, obtaining a marginal success.
Energy drinks are typically attractive to young people. Approximately 66% percent of its drinkers are between the ages of 13 and 35 years old, with males being approximately 65% of the market.
A 2008 statewide Patient Poll conducted by the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Institute for Good Medicine found that: 20% of respondents ages 21–30 had used energy drinks in high school or college to stay awake longer to study or write a paper; 70% of respondents knew someone who had used an energy drink to stay awake longer to study or work. Energy drinks are also popular as drink mixers.
UK supermarkets have launched their own brands of energy drinks at lower prices than the major soft drink manufacturers prices.
As of 2009, the industry has moved towards the use of natural stimulants and reduced sugar.
On August 14, 2012, the word “energy drink” was listed for the first time in the mainstream Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
It is projected that energy drink sales will grow to a value of 21.5 BILLION dollars by 2017, driven by continued economic recovery and expansion of retail distribution.