Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Energy Drinks market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The energy drink market thrived in 2020 despite the drop in c-store traffic, as consumers relied on energy drinks to help them overcome challenges brought on by the pandemic. Consumers’ energy needs will remain elevated even as the pandemic fades, as many consumers continue to face increased workloads, more consumers return to the workforce and as the reopening of the country brings back the need for energy during travel and social occasions. New energizing beverages threaten the market’s growth, but energy drinks can remain competitive by prioritizing flavor innovation and creating new products that address the functional needs of core category consumers.

Total energy drink sales increased 9.2% in 2020, up 37.4% from 2015, making energy drinks one of the strongest performing and consistent categories in the wider non-alcoholic beverage industry. Energy drinks aim to deliver on a unique promise that resonates with consumers now more than ever: a great tasting, convenient and quick source of energy. Consumers’ need for energy only increased during the pandemic, prompting many consumers to alter once-established purchase behaviors from impulsive (c-stores) to purposeful, bulk buys from conventional grocers. Mintel projects energy drink sales will reach nearly $20 billion by 2025. A period of economic expansion would greatly benefit the energy drink market as workers’ energy needs increase and as more consumers travel and socialize, opening the market up for more social/ leisure energy occasions.

In contrast, the energy shot segment was hard hit by a decline in c-store traffic; energy drink shot sales decreased 5.1% in 2020. Energy shots were a declining category prior to the pandemic and the segment is projected to fall even further given the slow recovery of c-store traffic and increased competition from other energizing beverages. Though energy shots are a declining category, the shot format lives on with the growth of juice shots and nootropic beverage shots.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our US Drinks market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the energy drink market.
  • New energy drink opportunities created by the pandemic.
  • How energy drinks can best compete with other energy-providing beverages.
  • The emerging threat of gaming performance energy drinks.
  • Energy drink market share.
  • Target market of energy drinks.

Covered in this report

Brands: BODYARMOR, Perrier, Soylent, Death Wish Coffee, Monster (Monster Energy, Reign, NOS, Monster Juice), Red Bull (Red Bull Sugar Free, Red Bull The Summer Edition, Red Bull The Yellow Edition, Red Bull The Peach Edition), Celsius, Kill Cliff, C4, Quake, Hi Ball, Runa, Zevia, Alani Nu, Band, Nova, Gorilla, Bioplus, Bolt24, Nuun Hydration.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Caleb Bryant, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The energy drink market thrived in 2020 despite the drop in c-store traffic, as consumers relied on energy drinks to help them overcome challenges brought on by the pandemic. Consumers’ energy needs will remain elevated even as the pandemic fades, as many consumers continue to face increased workloads, more consumers return to the workforce and as the reopening of the country brings back the need for energy during travel and social occasions. New energizing beverages threaten the market’s growth, but energy drinks can remain competitive by prioritizing flavor innovation and creating new products that address the functional needs of core category consumers.

Caleb Bryant - Associate Director of Food and Drink ReportsCaleb Bryant
Associate Director of Food and Drink Reports

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of energy drinks and shots, by segment, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on energy drinks
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on energy drinks, May 2021
    • Challenges
    • Energy drinks face increased competition from other beverage categories
      • Figure 3: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Energy providing drink occasions, February 2021
    • Natural energy drinks continue to struggle
    • Brand switching is common, keep consumers engaged by offering variety
      • Figure 4: Reasons for purchasing multiple energy drink brands, by gender and age, February 2021
    • Opportunities
    • Energy drinks helped America power through the pandemic
      • Figure 5: Change in energy drink consumption, February 2021
      • Figure 6: Reasons for drinking energy drinks more often, February 2021
    • Emulate the trends within the emerging gaming performance drink segment
    • Eyes and ethics are two clear whitespace opportunities
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Pandemic exhaustion fuels energy needs
    • Energy drinks may thrive in a post-pandemic America
    • Opportunities for pack-size promotions
    • Eyes and ethics are whitespace claims
    • A name change can propel natural energy drinks
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Consumers’ need for energy pushes the market to new highs
      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of energy drinks and energy shots, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of energy drinks and shots, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on energy drinks
  5. Segment Performance

    • Pandemic increases demand for energy drinks…
      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of energy drinks and shots, by segment, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of energy drinks and shots, by segment, at current prices, 2015-25
    • …but energy shots languish
    • Channel shift requires strategy change
      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of energy drinks and shots, by channel, at current prices, 2015-20
  6. Market Factors

    • Consumers worked overtime throughout the pandemic
    • Economic expansion would result in a bullish energy drink market
      • Figure 12: US unemployment rate, January 2019-March 2021
    • Gen Z enters the workforce
      • Figure 13: US population, by generation, 2016-26
    • America emerges from the pandemic with pent-up demands for experiences
      • Figure 14: Most anticipated future activities, April/May 2020 vs March/April 2021
    • Change in shopping habits creates opportunities for multi-pack promotions
      • Figure 15: In-store and online grocery shopping behaviors before and during pandemic, January 2021
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Largest brands thrived during the pandemic
    • Consumers face a litany of energy-providing beverages
    • Harness the success of gaming performance drinks
  8. Market Share

    • Energy drink market leaders enjoy strong growth
      • Figure 16: Multi-outlet sales of energy drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Growing energy drinks and why
    • Flat/declining energy drink and why
    • Energy drink brands to watch
  9. Competitive Strategies

    • Flavor innovation goes tropical, treat forward
    • Striking back at adjacent energy sources
    • Beat RTD coffee by providing consumers more
    • It’s tea time
    • CSDs are a distant competitor but follow CSD BFY trends
    • Tracking energizing sports drink trends
    • Caffeinated water is a growing threat, but consumers’ interest in hydration offers opportunities
  10. Competitive Strategies – A Focus on Gaming Performance Drinks

    • Gaming performance drink definition
    • Gaming performance drinks directly target core energy drink consumers
    • The secret to success: value, variety, health and most of all, community
    • Takeaways for energy drink brands
    • Gaming performance drinks – Social media analysis
    • Popularity of G Fuel among young consumers is a worrying sign for energy drink brands
      • Figure 17: Social media followers and average engagement per post, Red Bull, Monster and G Fuel, April 2020-March 2021
      • Figure 18: Total US social media mentions,* Red Bull, Monster and G Fuel, April 2020-March 2021
      • Figure 19: US social media mentions,* age distribution of users who mention brand, Red Bull, Monster and G Fuel, April 2020-March 2021
  11. Market Opportunities

    • Natural energy drinks need to be functional beverages that happen to provide energy
    • Nootropic beverages are energy drinks in disguise and compete in the key afternoon energy occasion
    • Energy drinks can promote eye health
    • Ethical claims are a whitespace marketing opportunity
      • Figure 20: Percentage of non-alcoholic beverage product launches with select ethical claims launched between 2017 and 2020
    • Energy drink brands can support communities
    • Keep middle-aged men engaged in the market
      • Figure 21: Health priorities – Higher priorities, by gender and age, November 2020
  12. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Energy drinks stand up against other energizing beverages
    • Demands of the pandemic result in increased energy drink consumption
    • Energy drink consumers enjoy variety
    • BFY innovations can keep consumers engaged in the market longer
  13. Beverage Consumption

    • Energy drinks have room to grow but face a ceiling
      • Figure 22: Beverage consumption, February 2021
    • Energy drink consumer demographics
      • Figure 23: Energy drink consumer demographics, index against all consumers, February 2021
    • Energy drink consumers are also coffee consumers
      • Figure 24: Beverage consumption among energy drink consumers, February 2021
  14. Energy Drink Purchase Location

    • Promote multi-packs to spur consumption frequency
      • Figure 25: Energy drink purchase location, February 2021
    • C-stores can remain competitive by offering variety
      • Figure 26: Energy drink purchase location, by energy drink brand loyalty, February 2021
  15. Beverage Consumption Occasions

    • Double down on key energy occasions
      • Figure 27: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Energy providing drink occasions, February 2021
  16. Primary Energy-providing Drinks

    • Coffee is a close competitor
      • Figure 28: Primary energy-providing beverage, among all consumers, February 2021
      • Figure 29: Primary energy-providing beverage, rebased among consumers of each drink, February 2021
    • BFY energy drinks can keep men engaged in the market longer
      • Figure 30: Primary energy-providing beverage, among all consumers, by gender and age, February 2021
  17. Reasons Why Energy Drinks Are Primary Energy-providing Beverage

    • Energy drinks have a clear value proposition
      • Figure 31: Reasons why energy drinks are primary energy-providing beverage, February 2021
  18. Changes in Energy Drink Consumption and Why

    • Pandemic left consumers needing an energy boost
      • Figure 32: Change in energy drink consumption, February 2021
      • Figure 33: Change in energy drink consumption, by select demographics, February 2021
    • Workin’ 9 to 5 (and beyond) during the pandemic
      • Figure 34: Reasons for drinking energy drinks more often, February 2021
    • Women are feeling the brunt of pandemic stress
      • Figure 35: Reasons for drinking energy drinks more often, by gender, February 2021
    • Middle-aged consumers are switching to BFY energy drinks
      • Figure 36: Reasons for drinking energy drinks more often, by age, February 2021
    • Health concerns are a market threat
      • Figure 37: Reasons for drinking energy drinks less often, February 2021
  19. Energy Drink Brand Loyalty and Reasons for Switching Brands

    • Most consumers enjoy multiple energy drink brands
      • Figure 38: Energy drink brand loyalty, February 2021
      • Figure 39: Energy drink brand loyalty, by select demographics, February 2021
    • Variety appeals to energy drink consumers
      • Figure 40: Reasons for purchasing multiple energy drink brands, by gender and age, February 2021
  20. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Infegy methodology
    • Rival IQ methodology
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  21. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 41: Total US retail sales and forecast of energy drinks and shots, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 42: Total US retail sales and forecast of energy drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 43: Total US retail sales and forecast of energy shots, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 44: Total US retail sales of energy drinks and shots, by segment, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
      • Figure 45: Total US retail sales of energy drinks and shots, by channel, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
  22. Appendix – Market Share

      • Figure 46: Multi-outlet sales of energy shots, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
  23. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 47: Beverage cross utilization, February 2021

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

Click to show report

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Bell Logo - Mintel client
Boots Logo - Mintel Client
Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
Samsung Logo - Mintel client
Nike Logo - Mintel client
Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

Contact Us