Energy drinks are a big and growing business in the US. In fact, drink sales went up from $11 billion in 2017 to $14 billion in 2021, which is already a big leap. However, the industry is expected to reach $225 billion within just the next four years.
The two most popular energy drinks are still Red Bull and Monster with about equal shares in the market. In 2021, Red Bull accounted for 25% of the energy drink market with 3.26 billion dollars in sales, and two other Red Bull brand drinks were also in the top five for sales in the same year.
While energy drinks are surging in popularity, energy shots are waning, with Five Hour Energy holding onto 88% of the energy shot market.
As with virtually everything else, the COVID pandemic even affected the energy drink market as these sales rely so heavily on convenience store impulse buying. Sales tapered off during the height of quarantines when many stores had to shut down and people were staying in their homes. Nevertheless, the drop in sales was a small blip in the industry story, and in 2021, energy drinks are more popular than ever.
Since the pandemic, energy drinks and pre workout drinks have gained popularity, perhaps particularly as Americans have become more health conscious. Energy drinks are seen as a healthy alternative to sodas and other sugary beverages. Although less than half of Americans regularly purchase energy drinks, with most of them being in the “under 40” age range, these statistics are likely to change in the coming years.
Both energy drinks and pre-workout drinks offer energy boosts and many are very similar in their ingredients, but energy drink companies are working to expand their consumer base by offering a wider variety of options. The energy drink market is now beginning to see more drinks that offer more natural ingredients, organic ingredients, less sugar, and a much wider variety of interesting flavors.
All of this, coupled with the health conscious culture and the health benefits of energy drinks and pre-workout drinks are sure to convert different kinds of consumers to the market and to continue the surge of the industry.