Keurig Dr Pepper partners to deliver an Adrenaline Shoc to the energy drink category


Dive Brief:

  • Keurig Dr Pepper has teamed up with serial beverage entrepreneur Lance Collins for another project: an energy drink called Adrenaline Shoc, according to a press release.
  • Targeted at the after-workout crowd, this beverage features better-for-you energy boosters like green coffee beans, yerba mate, coffee fruit extract and guarana, in addition to nine essential amino acids, electrolytes and minerals from the ocean. There are also no sugar, carbs, calories and chemical preservatives in the recipe, according to the release.
  • With each 16-ounce can containing 300 mg of caffeine, the brand will come in eight flavors — Original, Aç​ai Berry, Cotton Candy, Frozen Ice, Fruit Punch, Peach Mango, Sour Candy and Watermelon. Adrenaline Shoc will roll out into stores this June and has a suggested retail price of $2.79 per unit.

Dive Insight:

Despite the fragmentation of the energy drink space, brands are still looking to earn a piece of the category’s market share. According to Market Research Hub, U.S. sales of energy drinks could add up to about $16.9 billion by 2022. Total sales were worth close to $11 billion in 2018.

Although there is still growth and the category is indisputably lucrative, the annual growth rate has slowed to 1.5%, according to Euromonitor International. That is a stark contrast to the 60% growth rate between 2008 and 2012, Fortune reported, and that drop can be attributed to the increase in competition. 

Nevertheless, brands are increasingly looking to wiggle into the space. Besides Adrenaline Shoc, Amazon has launched private-label energy drinks under its Solimo brand to compete with Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster Energy. Coca-Cola also is introducing its first branded energy drink this month in Spain and Hungary. Coke owns 16.7% of Monster and has been in arbitration with the company about whether the competitive situation violates an agreement the two made in 2015. There is also Bang Energy, which has been rising to prominence with performance beverages. It has captured 9% of the overall energy drink market, according to the Wall Street Journal.

So while the space is becoming undeniably crowded, Adrenaline Shoc is trying to differentiate itself by positioning the brand as an after-workout pick-me-up. Its competition is stiff, including Bang as well as Monster’s new Reign line, which also offers pre- or post- workout performance drinks.

Coming up against the number one energy drink purveyor may seem like a mighty challenge, but now might actually be good timing for companies like Keurig Dr Pepper to get some skin in the game. Analysts like Bonnie Herzog at Wells Fargo told BevNet Monster’s push into the performance energy segment could be “too little, too late” to become a leader in the category. Similarly, Monster’s overall growth has been slowing down as consumers look for more natural sources of caffeine — on which Adrenaline Shoc is attempting to capitalize.

However, the brand’s use of more natural caffeine sources to increase cachet with customers has also served to ratchet up the price. At almost twice the cost of Monster’s Reign and Amazon’s Solimo, this new drink is targeting a crowd willing to pay premium prices. Still, Collins — who masterminded Fuze tea, BodyArmor sports drinks and Core bottled water — seems to know how to position beverages in the premium category and grow them.

While the search for energy through beverages is not likely to slow down, it is on its way toward fragmentation. Coffee used to be the public’s source of go-go juice, but now there are energy drinks, functional waters, guayusa drinks and teas all competing for market share. It might take a lot of work for Keurig Dr Pepper and Collins to convince consumers that Adrenaline Shoc stands out from the crowd.

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