Energy drink sales fizzing across Western Europe, says new report

Sales of energy drinks in Western Europe rose 11% to 487 million litres and a retail value of ?3.8 billion [$4.8 billion] in 2007, according to a new report from drinks consultancy Zenith International.

The three largest Western European markets for energy drinks in 2007 were the UK, Germany and Spain, which together accounted for 56% of volume.

France was the fastest growing market, albeit from a very low base, up 22% on 2006, followed by Ireland, Denmark and Spain.

Energy drinks have progressively come under greater influence from larger industry players, says the report, with Red Bull commanding around 60% of overall 2007 volume.

The Coca-Cola-owned Burn and Relentless were the second and fifth biggest selling brands, with Shark and Effect placed third and fourth.

"Intensifying competition, effective marketing support and increased consumer acceptance, as well as loyalty, have been key contributors to current growth," said Gary Roethenbaugh, market intelligence director at UK-based Zenith Market. "Manufacturers have been extending distribution and developing more mainstream appeal, targeting a wider range of consumer groups. This has resulted in a shift of emphasis towards the retail channel."

Further findings in Zenith's 2008 West Europe Energy Drinks report include:

  • The top 10 brands were responsible for 75% of total volume in 2007.
  • Taurine and caffeine based products took a 74% share.
  • 25cl cans remain the preferred packaging choice.
  • Ireland had the highest rate of consumption per person at 7.7 litres, followed by Austria and Switzerland on 5.4 litres and 2.4 litres respectively.

Zenith said it believed annual growth rates would average at around 8% over the next five years, taking West European energy drinks consumption levels close to 700 million litres in 2012.

It's not just in Europe where sales of energy drinks are fizzing. In September, Mintel said US sales of such products rose 400% since 2003 to a value of $4.8 billion.

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