Despite economy, energy sector still energized

Despite economy, energy sector still energized

But despite concerns about health effects on underage consumers and the dark economic clouds, the energy-products sector churns on, especially on the ingredients side.

The energy-products market has burned bright in the last few years and fire won't go out anytime soon.

The big shots in the energy market are those little ones you see advertised every day. Innova Market Insights tracked 83 energy shot products in 2009 as opposed to 23 the previous year, with a notable new entrant being Red Bull with a shot-sized version of its popular energy drink.

There has been some push back. Concerns have been raised over Red Bull's aggressive marketing to underage consumers and the perhaps troubling use of the company's full-size drink as a peppy foundation for cocktails among the young drinker set. And in February German health authorities recommended banning energy shots because of the risk of overindulgence by underage consumers.

But despite these concerns and the dark economic clouds, the sector churns on, especially on the ingredients side.

"I believe consumers are forced to work harder and longer in these difficult times. Stress adds to more sleepless nights, so the one product consumers look to in these times is a natural energy booster," said Larry Kolb, president of TSI Health Sciences, which manufactures the energy ingredient PEAK ATP via a fermentation process. "If you look back to good times and bad, the energy products have always performed well. I don't see this slacking off anytime soon."

A new entrant in the energy field is National Enzyme Company, which in June launched its Zip EX2 ingredient that combines B vitamins, herbs and a digestive enzyme. The ingredient has performed well, sales-wise, according to marketing director Demetrius Bledsoe.

"People are still working hard, no matter what the economy is going through. There is still a desire no matter what to outlast the day," he said. "With Zip, you get the stimulant-free energy boost that also supports the immune system.

Chart: Energy product launches

Launches with energy/alertness claims

Chart: Top ingredients in the energy market

Top ingredients in the energy market

Chart: New delivery for energy

New delivery for energy

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