September 11-15, 2017

Blog Entries Tagged as energy

Energy Drinks Find a Way

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Category: General Blogs  |  Tags: energy

The headline of my column this month is inspired by a line from the movie “Jurassic Park.” As the main characters are standing in the dinosaur lab, Jeff Goldblum’s scientist argues that “life finds a way.” They may try to control which dinosaurs they bring back to life, but some things have a life of their own. And, as anyone who’s watched the movie knows, these characters will eventually run into a teensy weensy bit of trouble as a result.

Anyway, what does “Jurassic Park” have to do with the beverage business? Replace the word “life” in the quote with any successful beverage category under attack today and there you have the theme of this month’s column.

That line from the movie—which I guess is always sloshing around in the back of my mind along with dozens of other memorable movie quotes—popped to the forefront of my cerebrum the other day as I was thinking about the different forces aligning against beverages. There’s the government, with its attempts to limit sizes of some drinks or impose taxes on them or ban them altogether. And then there are the consumers themselves, who have turned to the courts. One of the most well known cases of this is the lawsuit against Monster energy drink by the family of a young woman who died after allegedly drinking the product. The lawsuit alleges Monster’s formulation was somehow to blame for the young woman’s death.

The “Jurassic Park” quote came to mind when I noticed that despite all of the recent negative publicity about energy drinks, despite all of the controversy, the category is finding a way. Much of the ingenuity and creativity that originally made the category the enormous success that it is today, is now being poured into the emerging category of more natural and/or organic energy drinks. These are drinks touting New Agey—and presumably healthful—ingredients like guarana, yerba mate, açai, green tea, and the like.

Let’s face it, energy drinks are here to stay. The category has been racking up billions of dollars. Consumers just love it. Apparently there was this gap in the market when it came to what consumers needed. They wanted something beyond just coffee to give them a boost of energy and enhanced focus throughout the day and the energy drink category emerged to fill that need. And as of late, the category has either been evolving into, or splitting into, something different.

Time will tell if we end up with a standalone “natural” energy drink category existing side-by-side with the mainstream energy drink brands, or if all the controversy and negative publicity somehow forces the top energy drinks to reformulate in a new direction.

Either way, you can bet that the energy drink business will find a way.

Let the Games Begin: BevStar 2013 Call for Entries

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Category: General Blogs  |  Tags: energy

With the dawn of a new year comes a new chance for your brand to shine. Whether you're playing in the alcohol or non-alcohol space (or both even), you are cordially invited to submit your product to our third-annual BevStar Awards competition. It's our annual celebration of innovation across all of the major beverage categories. And the best part? It's absolutely free to enter, aside from whatever shipping costs you need to incur to get a sample of your product to our judging team.

Since this is about innovation, we ask that your product be new(ish). That means it should have been launched no earlier than Sept. 2011. If it hasn't been launched yet, that's fine. As long as you've got a product, a package and a plan to roll it out before summer 2013, it's eligible. (The product has to exist. Ideation is great, but execution is critical.)

Once again, we'll be awarding gold, silver and bronze awards in the following categories:

• Carbonated Soft Drinks

• Water/Enhanced Water

• Functional Beverages (including sports drinks, but not including energy drinks—those get their own category. We got a ton of energy entries last year.)

• Energy Drinks

• Beer

• Mead, Cider and Sake

• Wine

• Spirits

• Ready-to-Drink Tea & Coffee

We'll also present special achievement awards for marketing innovation, social media initiatives and environmental sustainability.

To enter, please e-mail the following to :

1. Product Name

2. Parent Company Name

3. Contact Info (address, phone & e-mail)

4. High-resolution product image

5. A brief description of the product and why you believe it should win a BevStar award.

6. The names of any packaging, label design, ingredient and branding companies or individuals that helped develop or market your product.

If your product passes the written test, we'll send you instructions on where to ship product samples for the practical test. We ask that you limit the samples to one bottle/can/carton/etc. per product entered.

Keep in mind, tasting is only one component of our selection process. Your product has to offer the whole package, which includes, well, the package and its overall market positioning.

The submission deadline is March 1. Winners will be notified by June 1 and we'll showcase winning products in the July 2013 issue of Beverage World.

If you've got any questions you can e-mail me directly.

We're looking forward to your entries!





Reaching New Heights

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Category: General Blogs  |  Tags: energy

While I was researching and writing this month’s cover story on energy drinks, it occurred to me that there are few other consumer products that have been as creative, even ingenious, in their use of marketing.

Energy drinks didn’t get to be where they are today—one of the fastest growing, most vibrant beverage categories—just by fulfilling a need state, though that has certainly been a very important key to their success. After all, many consumers today, in all types of demographic groups, have come to rely on their daily energy drink for that extra bit of mental alertness and energy each day. To many of them, a cup of coffee is sort of their grandfather’s drink.

But a big part of the reason they feel that way is because of the category’s superb marketing. Energy drink companies have created excitement around their products that is unmatched by other beverages, and most other consumer products. Sure, other beverage companies like Coke and Pepsi are known as marketing powerhouses. There are few companies that can compete with them. But some of the smaller energy drink companies have taken marketing to a whole new stratosphere—literally.

For example, you must have been asleep under a rock this past October if you didn’t at least see some mention of the Red Bull Stratos project. Felix Baumgartner, sponsored by Red Bull, broke the world record for the highest and fastest jump in history—an incredible 24 miles. First, he rode in a space capsule attached to a 850,000 cubic meter helium balloon to a record-breaking altitude of 36,576 meters (120,000 feet). On his way down he broke the sound barrier at speeds near 1,110 km/h (If you haven’t seen the footage, it’s available on YouTube.) Red Bull financed the project and its logo was plainly visible for all to see on uniforms and the space capsule itself.

What a marketing coup for Red Bull! The company always has made this type of breathtaking, daredevil marketing a central part of its brand identity and that has been part of its genius—and its success. And now, thanks to Baumgartner’s jump, it is part of history as well.

Yes, even Coke and Pepsi can probably learn a thing or two about marketing from some of the energy drink companies. It’s one beverage category that continues to push new boundaries in CPG marketing.