Nutrition Business Journal

$560 Million Energy Shot Market Pumps Up Flattening Energy Drink Sales


The brand names—Full Throttle, Monster Hitman and Rockstar—conjure images of rocket engines, athletic prowess and super heroes, and they offer the promise of energy and power for all of those tired and ordinary human beings who want to do more, work longer or simply party all night. These products are all energy shots, and they are the hottest thing in the energy beverage sector since, well, energy drinks. With growth statistics in the triple digits and market sales of approximately $560 million in 2008, according to Nutrition Business Journal estimates, the future looks bright for these little chasers, which have captured the attention of energy seekers in retail channels ranging from drug stores to truck stops.

The emergence of the shot market was so fast that the products seemingly came out of nowhere, at a time when the typically strong energy drink market began showing signs of maturation and softening sales due to the slowing economy. The growth of shots is all the more remarkable because these 2- to 3-ounce beverages also sport a premium price tag, costing up to $3.00 a bottle. As The New York Times noted in its July 2009 story about the soaring popularity of energy shots, at this price “a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola would sell for $30.”

The concept has become so successful that there are currently more than 70 brands on the market—including sales leaders 5-Hour Energy and 6-Hour Power, as well as newer entries from beverage industry heavyweights Hansen, PepsiCo and TheCoca-Cola Co. Most recently, the powerhouse of the energy drink sector, Red Bull, introduced its own shot product in April 2009. But as competition heats up, some brands are beginning to falter, and the metrics for success may shift from marketing power to company credibility and proof of efficacy.

NBJ’s Sports Nutrition & Weight Loss issue, which publishes this month, includes an in-depth look at the energy shot market that features interviews with 5-Hour Energy, 6-Hour Power, Red Bull and other brands operating in the category. To order the issue, subscribe to NBJ or download a free 32-page sample issue, go to go to NBJ’s subscriber page.

Related NBJ links:
Healthy Energy Rounds First; Natural Sports Drinks Up To Bat
Energy Drinks Take a Hit in the Press
NBJ’s Sports Nutrition & Weight-Loss Report 2009

Related Natural Foods Merchandiser links:
Be a Sport: A Primer on Energy Shot Products

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