New Energy: the 37 companies creating better-for-you energy drinks

New Energy: the 37 companies creating better-for-you energy drinks

By
Louise Burfitt
September 14, 2021

🥤 What is it?

  • Experiencing the post-afternoon slump? Been there, done that. Straight after lunch, you feel your eyelids start to droop, as your concentration dips along with them. Perhaps your mind turns to energy drinks - would a can of Red Bull wake you up? 
  • It sure could - a potent blend of sugar, caffeine and other additives will soon have your eyes wide-open! But many consumers would rather not rely on traditional energy drinks, given their purported health problems and a slew of negative press in recent years.
  • Step in the healthier energy drink brands who are turning the sector around with their plant-based, natural, organic and/or functional concepts for those who want a pick-me-up - without the pitfalls

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Energy drinks are generally defined as non-alcoholic functional beverages, which invigorate and revitalise, traditionally containing sugar, caffeine, added vitamins, taurine or other substances that have a stimulating effect. 
  • Many drinks are made tastier with the help of additives and flavourings also used in soft drinks.
  • But with more and more consumers interested in healthier alternatives - and more in need of a pick-me-up than ever, thanks to busy lives amid the stress of a global pandemic - newcomers to the category are offering novel concepts to consumers, from vitamin waters to liquid IV sachets to nootropics. 

📈 The figures

  • The global energy drinks market size was worth $53.01 billion in 2018, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% to hit $86.01 billion by 2026.
  • In Europe, value sales are expected to reach €7.5 billion by 2022. 

🤷‍♂️ Why?

  • Healthier energy drinks sales have boomed in recent years, as these once-specialised drinks have gone mainstream. Established soft drinks manufacturers are opening their eyes to the business opportunities in functional energy drinks, and startups in the drinks sector have looked at the sales figures (energy drinks have outperformed soft drinks in sales for the last 5 years) and thought “hey! We can do that!”
  • Historically energy drinks haven’t come with any added health benefits, laden as they usually are with sugar, caffeine and additives. But as consumers demand better-for-them alternatives, energy drink makers have had to play catch up. A 2021 report by Carabao found that ‘health’ is the second biggest driver of purchase in the category. 
  • And with increasingly busy lives, consumers are seeking functionality from their energy drinks, often tailored to particular pastimes or work requirements - whether that’s an energy drink that will help them focus on the job, or rev them up before a run.

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • Caffeine is a traditional ingredient in energy drinks, but with many consumers avoiding caffeine due to unwanted side effects (👋 insomnia), energy drink brands are searching for alternatives. Several brands are using natural forms of caffeine like yerba mate or coffeine, including Swiss brands Biotta and El Tony Mate and US company Clean Cause
  • Many healthier energy drinks brands highlight the advantages of their products compared to conventional offerings - like no ‘crash’, and positive health benefits thanks to low-sugar or no-calorie formulations. Pin Energy Tea, for example, emphasises the ‘no jitters, no crash’ benefit of its product. 
  • Low-sugar energy drinks are also big business. Ugly Drinks in the UK makes sugar-free, zero-calorie beverages while WRAITH Drinks is focusing on no-sugar, reinvigorating drinks for gamers. 
  • Clear functional benefits communicated clearly to customers are also a draw. And these perks vary widely: from Good Idea’s blood-sugar reducing drinks, to One More’s anti-hangover drinks and Heywell’s adaptogenic water.
  • Also in this category? Energy drinks containing nootropics, a class of substances thought to improve cognitive function and positively affect the brain. Brite Drinks and WOW are both operating in this niche in the UK.
  • Boosting beverages with whole food ingredients is also a growing trend, as consumers have grown skeptical of the artificial additives in traditional offerings. Instead of a string of E numbers and manmade flavours and colourants, customers are more likely to respond to ingredients they already know - like coffee, tea, fruit and ginseng. 
  • An EU ban forbidding the sale of energy drinks to children under 16 came into force in 2018 and is inspiring gentler formulations of energy drinks that have a wider appeal. Many of these are based on tea, like Austria’s all i need and Germany’s Uptea

👀 Who? (37 companies in this space)

🏔️ Case study: TENZING Natural Energy

  • Based in London, TENZING Natural Energy was founded in 2015. The startup sells natural energy drinks.
  • Named in honour of the famous Sherpa, the drink is 100% plant-based, with a signature blend of raspberry and yuzu. It’s based on a traditional Nepalese drink brewed by mountain sherpas. 
  • Other flavour ranges include blackberry & acai, and pineapple & passionfruit. 
  • Seven naturally powerful, functional ingredients go into a can - including beet sugar, which replaces conventional sugar, and green coffee, which provides a natural boost.
  • Appealing to socially conscious consumers, the brand donates 5% of its profits to environmental projects, and packs its Rainforest Alliance-certified drinks in recyclable, BPA-free cans.
  • And like its namesake, the company is making history: this year, it became the world’s first soft-drink brand to introduce carbon labels on its products. 
  • This summer, in a hint of its future plans, the brand introduced two energy powder sachets for the sports nutrition market.

🚀 Case study: BioLift

  • BioLift - developed by Israeli company InnoBev - is leaning into the functional energy drink trend with a botanical beverage that syncs with your circadian rhythm to achieve hours of sharper focus and alertness.
  • It’s clinically proven to keep you going two times longer than caffeine alone, improving work productivity and brain function without building tolerance over time, and is designed for the afternoon slump when humans naturally experience a dip in energy.
  • The chronobiological drink arrived on US shelves in 2020 following ten years of intensive R&D. The energy-boosting beverage is already being used by pilots working long shifts.
  • BioLift beverages are made with all-natural ingredients, including elderberry, guarana and ginkgo biloba, and come in three fruity flavours. Each drink contains just 10 mg of caffeine (the average cup of coffee contains 40 mg). 
  • The drink’s natural properties aid the body in reducing fatigue, increasing concentration and enhancing performance. Better yet, users don’t develop a tolerance over time and it has no effect on blood pressure. 

👍 The good

  • Better-for-you energy drinks with health benefits are transforming the image of energy drinks, and negating years of bad press - attracting new types of consumers in the process.
  • Research by Mintel shows the energy drink category is a growing and strong performer within the broader non-alcoholic drinks market, exceeding sales in other areas - good news for existing beverage brands wanting to move into the space, and those just starting out. 
  • And with the growth of healthier energy drinks, consumers can enjoy the benefits of these revitalising sips without the many negatives associated with your average can of Monster - less sugar, less caffeine, less shaking and the so on.

👎 The bad

  • Developing healthier energy drinks is not without challenges - getting something to taste good without sugar or other additives can be tricky. 
  • Brands also need to make sure their beverages deliver on their alleged benefits - uninspiring formulations that don’t act as advertised won’t attract repeat customers.
  • Pinpointing your target demographic can be tricky - traditional energy drink consumers may prefer to stick to what they know, while those who don’t normally drink these types of beverages may be harder to reach. Careful and strategic consumer insights and marketing is key. 

 💡The bottom line

  • As modern lives get busier and busier, especially with the return to some sense of ‘normal’ after an extraordinary 18 months, now’s the time for healthier energy drink brands to grab consumers’ attention. 

How did you like today's Trends?

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🥤 What is it?

  • Experiencing the post-afternoon slump? Been there, done that. Straight after lunch, you feel your eyelids start to droop, as your concentration dips along with them. Perhaps your mind turns to energy drinks - would a can of Red Bull wake you up? 
  • It sure could - a potent blend of sugar, caffeine and other additives will soon have your eyes wide-open! But many consumers would rather not rely on traditional energy drinks, given their purported health problems and a slew of negative press in recent years.
  • Step in the healthier energy drink brands who are turning the sector around with their plant-based, natural, organic and/or functional concepts for those who want a pick-me-up - without the pitfalls

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Energy drinks are generally defined as non-alcoholic functional beverages, which invigorate and revitalise, traditionally containing sugar, caffeine, added vitamins, taurine or other substances that have a stimulating effect. 
  • Many drinks are made tastier with the help of additives and flavourings also used in soft drinks.
  • But with more and more consumers interested in healthier alternatives - and more in need of a pick-me-up than ever, thanks to busy lives amid the stress of a global pandemic - newcomers to the category are offering novel concepts to consumers, from vitamin waters to liquid IV sachets to nootropics. 

📈 The figures

  • The global energy drinks market size was worth $53.01 billion in 2018, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% to hit $86.01 billion by 2026.
  • In Europe, value sales are expected to reach €7.5 billion by 2022. 

🤷‍♂️ Why?

  • Healthier energy drinks sales have boomed in recent years, as these once-specialised drinks have gone mainstream. Established soft drinks manufacturers are opening their eyes to the business opportunities in functional energy drinks, and startups in the drinks sector have looked at the sales figures (energy drinks have outperformed soft drinks in sales for the last 5 years) and thought “hey! We can do that!”
  • Historically energy drinks haven’t come with any added health benefits, laden as they usually are with sugar, caffeine and additives. But as consumers demand better-for-them alternatives, energy drink makers have had to play catch up. A 2021 report by Carabao found that ‘health’ is the second biggest driver of purchase in the category. 
  • And with increasingly busy lives, consumers are seeking functionality from their energy drinks, often tailored to particular pastimes or work requirements - whether that’s an energy drink that will help them focus on the job, or rev them up before a run.

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • Caffeine is a traditional ingredient in energy drinks, but with many consumers avoiding caffeine due to unwanted side effects (👋 insomnia), energy drink brands are searching for alternatives. Several brands are using natural forms of caffeine like yerba mate or coffeine, including Swiss brands Biotta and El Tony Mate and US company Clean Cause
  • Many healthier energy drinks brands highlight the advantages of their products compared to conventional offerings - like no ‘crash’, and positive health benefits thanks to low-sugar or no-calorie formulations. Pin Energy Tea, for example, emphasises the ‘no jitters, no crash’ benefit of its product. 
  • Low-sugar energy drinks are also big business. Ugly Drinks in the UK makes sugar-free, zero-calorie beverages while WRAITH Drinks is focusing on no-sugar, reinvigorating drinks for gamers. 
  • Clear functional benefits communicated clearly to customers are also a draw. And these perks vary widely: from Good Idea’s blood-sugar reducing drinks, to One More’s anti-hangover drinks and Heywell’s adaptogenic water.
  • Also in this category? Energy drinks containing nootropics, a class of substances thought to improve cognitive function and positively affect the brain. Brite Drinks and WOW are both operating in this niche in the UK.
  • Boosting beverages with whole food ingredients is also a growing trend, as consumers have grown skeptical of the artificial additives in traditional offerings. Instead of a string of E numbers and manmade flavours and colourants, customers are more likely to respond to ingredients they already know - like coffee, tea, fruit and ginseng. 
  • An EU ban forbidding the sale of energy drinks to children under 16 came into force in 2018 and is inspiring gentler formulations of energy drinks that have a wider appeal. Many of these are based on tea, like Austria’s all i need and Germany’s Uptea

👀 Who? (37 companies in this space)

🏔️ Case study: TENZING Natural Energy

  • Based in London, TENZING Natural Energy was founded in 2015. The startup sells natural energy drinks.
  • Named in honour of the famous Sherpa, the drink is 100% plant-based, with a signature blend of raspberry and yuzu. It’s based on a traditional Nepalese drink brewed by mountain sherpas. 
  • Other flavour ranges include blackberry & acai, and pineapple & passionfruit. 
  • Seven naturally powerful, functional ingredients go into a can - including beet sugar, which replaces conventional sugar, and green coffee, which provides a natural boost.
  • Appealing to socially conscious consumers, the brand donates 5% of its profits to environmental projects, and packs its Rainforest Alliance-certified drinks in recyclable, BPA-free cans.
  • And like its namesake, the company is making history: this year, it became the world’s first soft-drink brand to introduce carbon labels on its products. 
  • This summer, in a hint of its future plans, the brand introduced two energy powder sachets for the sports nutrition market.

🚀 Case study: BioLift

  • BioLift - developed by Israeli company InnoBev - is leaning into the functional energy drink trend with a botanical beverage that syncs with your circadian rhythm to achieve hours of sharper focus and alertness.
  • It’s clinically proven to keep you going two times longer than caffeine alone, improving work productivity and brain function without building tolerance over time, and is designed for the afternoon slump when humans naturally experience a dip in energy.
  • The chronobiological drink arrived on US shelves in 2020 following ten years of intensive R&D. The energy-boosting beverage is already being used by pilots working long shifts.
  • BioLift beverages are made with all-natural ingredients, including elderberry, guarana and ginkgo biloba, and come in three fruity flavours. Each drink contains just 10 mg of caffeine (the average cup of coffee contains 40 mg). 
  • The drink’s natural properties aid the body in reducing fatigue, increasing concentration and enhancing performance. Better yet, users don’t develop a tolerance over time and it has no effect on blood pressure. 

👍 The good

  • Better-for-you energy drinks with health benefits are transforming the image of energy drinks, and negating years of bad press - attracting new types of consumers in the process.
  • Research by Mintel shows the energy drink category is a growing and strong performer within the broader non-alcoholic drinks market, exceeding sales in other areas - good news for existing beverage brands wanting to move into the space, and those just starting out. 
  • And with the growth of healthier energy drinks, consumers can enjoy the benefits of these revitalising sips without the many negatives associated with your average can of Monster - less sugar, less caffeine, less shaking and the so on.

👎 The bad

  • Developing healthier energy drinks is not without challenges - getting something to taste good without sugar or other additives can be tricky. 
  • Brands also need to make sure their beverages deliver on their alleged benefits - uninspiring formulations that don’t act as advertised won’t attract repeat customers.
  • Pinpointing your target demographic can be tricky - traditional energy drink consumers may prefer to stick to what they know, while those who don’t normally drink these types of beverages may be harder to reach. Careful and strategic consumer insights and marketing is key. 

 💡The bottom line

  • As modern lives get busier and busier, especially with the return to some sense of ‘normal’ after an extraordinary 18 months, now’s the time for healthier energy drink brands to grab consumers’ attention. 

How did you like today's Trends?

Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

🥤 What is it?

  • Experiencing the post-afternoon slump? Been there, done that. Straight after lunch, you feel your eyelids start to droop, as your concentration dips along with them. Perhaps your mind turns to energy drinks - would a can of Red Bull wake you up? 
  • It sure could - a potent blend of sugar, caffeine and other additives will soon have your eyes wide-open! But many consumers would rather not rely on traditional energy drinks, given their purported health problems and a slew of negative press in recent years.
  • Step in the healthier energy drink brands who are turning the sector around with their plant-based, natural, organic and/or functional concepts for those who want a pick-me-up - without the pitfalls

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Energy drinks are generally defined as non-alcoholic functional beverages, which invigorate and revitalise, traditionally containing sugar, caffeine, added vitamins, taurine or other substances that have a stimulating effect. 
  • Many drinks are made tastier with the help of additives and flavourings also used in soft drinks.
  • But with more and more consumers interested in healthier alternatives - and more in need of a pick-me-up than ever, thanks to busy lives amid the stress of a global pandemic - newcomers to the category are offering novel concepts to consumers, from vitamin waters to liquid IV sachets to nootropics. 

📈 The figures

  • The global energy drinks market size was worth $53.01 billion in 2018, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% to hit $86.01 billion by 2026.
  • In Europe, value sales are expected to reach €7.5 billion by 2022. 

🤷‍♂️ Why?

  • Healthier energy drinks sales have boomed in recent years, as these once-specialised drinks have gone mainstream. Established soft drinks manufacturers are opening their eyes to the business opportunities in functional energy drinks, and startups in the drinks sector have looked at the sales figures (energy drinks have outperformed soft drinks in sales for the last 5 years) and thought “hey! We can do that!”
  • Historically energy drinks haven’t come with any added health benefits, laden as they usually are with sugar, caffeine and additives. But as consumers demand better-for-them alternatives, energy drink makers have had to play catch up. A 2021 report by Carabao found that ‘health’ is the second biggest driver of purchase in the category. 
  • And with increasingly busy lives, consumers are seeking functionality from their energy drinks, often tailored to particular pastimes or work requirements - whether that’s an energy drink that will help them focus on the job, or rev them up before a run.

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • Caffeine is a traditional ingredient in energy drinks, but with many consumers avoiding caffeine due to unwanted side effects (👋 insomnia), energy drink brands are searching for alternatives. Several brands are using natural forms of caffeine like yerba mate or coffeine, including Swiss brands Biotta and El Tony Mate and US company Clean Cause
  • Many healthier energy drinks brands highlight the advantages of their products compared to conventional offerings - like no ‘crash’, and positive health benefits thanks to low-sugar or no-calorie formulations. Pin Energy Tea, for example, emphasises the ‘no jitters, no crash’ benefit of its product. 
  • Low-sugar energy drinks are also big business. Ugly Drinks in the UK makes sugar-free, zero-calorie beverages while WRAITH Drinks is focusing on no-sugar, reinvigorating drinks for gamers. 
  • Clear functional benefits communicated clearly to customers are also a draw. And these perks vary widely: from Good Idea’s blood-sugar reducing drinks, to One More’s anti-hangover drinks and Heywell’s adaptogenic water.
  • Also in this category? Energy drinks containing nootropics, a class of substances thought to improve cognitive function and positively affect the brain. Brite Drinks and WOW are both operating in this niche in the UK.
  • Boosting beverages with whole food ingredients is also a growing trend, as consumers have grown skeptical of the artificial additives in traditional offerings. Instead of a string of E numbers and manmade flavours and colourants, customers are more likely to respond to ingredients they already know - like coffee, tea, fruit and ginseng. 
  • An EU ban forbidding the sale of energy drinks to children under 16 came into force in 2018 and is inspiring gentler formulations of energy drinks that have a wider appeal. Many of these are based on tea, like Austria’s all i need and Germany’s Uptea

👀 Who? (37 companies in this space)

🏔️ Case study: TENZING Natural Energy

  • Based in London, TENZING Natural Energy was founded in 2015. The startup sells natural energy drinks.
  • Named in honour of the famous Sherpa, the drink is 100% plant-based, with a signature blend of raspberry and yuzu. It’s based on a traditional Nepalese drink brewed by mountain sherpas. 
  • Other flavour ranges include blackberry & acai, and pineapple & passionfruit. 
  • Seven naturally powerful, functional ingredients go into a can - including beet sugar, which replaces conventional sugar, and green coffee, which provides a natural boost.
  • Appealing to socially conscious consumers, the brand donates 5% of its profits to environmental projects, and packs its Rainforest Alliance-certified drinks in recyclable, BPA-free cans.
  • And like its namesake, the company is making history: this year, it became the world’s first soft-drink brand to introduce carbon labels on its products. 
  • This summer, in a hint of its future plans, the brand introduced two energy powder sachets for the sports nutrition market.

🚀 Case study: BioLift

  • BioLift - developed by Israeli company InnoBev - is leaning into the functional energy drink trend with a botanical beverage that syncs with your circadian rhythm to achieve hours of sharper focus and alertness.
  • It’s clinically proven to keep you going two times longer than caffeine alone, improving work productivity and brain function without building tolerance over time, and is designed for the afternoon slump when humans naturally experience a dip in energy.
  • The chronobiological drink arrived on US shelves in 2020 following ten years of intensive R&D. The energy-boosting beverage is already being used by pilots working long shifts.
  • BioLift beverages are made with all-natural ingredients, including elderberry, guarana and ginkgo biloba, and come in three fruity flavours. Each drink contains just 10 mg of caffeine (the average cup of coffee contains 40 mg). 
  • The drink’s natural properties aid the body in reducing fatigue, increasing concentration and enhancing performance. Better yet, users don’t develop a tolerance over time and it has no effect on blood pressure. 

👍 The good

  • Better-for-you energy drinks with health benefits are transforming the image of energy drinks, and negating years of bad press - attracting new types of consumers in the process.
  • Research by Mintel shows the energy drink category is a growing and strong performer within the broader non-alcoholic drinks market, exceeding sales in other areas - good news for existing beverage brands wanting to move into the space, and those just starting out. 
  • And with the growth of healthier energy drinks, consumers can enjoy the benefits of these revitalising sips without the many negatives associated with your average can of Monster - less sugar, less caffeine, less shaking and the so on.

👎 The bad

  • Developing healthier energy drinks is not without challenges - getting something to taste good without sugar or other additives can be tricky. 
  • Brands also need to make sure their beverages deliver on their alleged benefits - uninspiring formulations that don’t act as advertised won’t attract repeat customers.
  • Pinpointing your target demographic can be tricky - traditional energy drink consumers may prefer to stick to what they know, while those who don’t normally drink these types of beverages may be harder to reach. Careful and strategic consumer insights and marketing is key. 

 💡The bottom line

  • As modern lives get busier and busier, especially with the return to some sense of ‘normal’ after an extraordinary 18 months, now’s the time for healthier energy drink brands to grab consumers’ attention. 

How did you like today's Trends?

Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

🥤 What is it?

  • Experiencing the post-afternoon slump? Been there, done that. Straight after lunch, you feel your eyelids start to droop, as your concentration dips along with them. Perhaps your mind turns to energy drinks - would a can of Red Bull wake you up? 
  • It sure could - a potent blend of sugar, caffeine and other additives will soon have your eyes wide-open! But many consumers would rather not rely on traditional energy drinks, given their purported health problems and a slew of negative press in recent years.
  • Step in the healthier energy drink brands who are turning the sector around with their plant-based, natural, organic and/or functional concepts for those who want a pick-me-up - without the pitfalls

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Energy drinks are generally defined as non-alcoholic functional beverages, which invigorate and revitalise, traditionally containing sugar, caffeine, added vitamins, taurine or other substances that have a stimulating effect. 
  • Many drinks are made tastier with the help of additives and flavourings also used in soft drinks.
  • But with more and more consumers interested in healthier alternatives - and more in need of a pick-me-up than ever, thanks to busy lives amid the stress of a global pandemic - newcomers to the category are offering novel concepts to consumers, from vitamin waters to liquid IV sachets to nootropics. 

📈 The figures

  • The global energy drinks market size was worth $53.01 billion in 2018, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% to hit $86.01 billion by 2026.
  • In Europe, value sales are expected to reach €7.5 billion by 2022. 

🤷‍♂️ Why?

  • Healthier energy drinks sales have boomed in recent years, as these once-specialised drinks have gone mainstream. Established soft drinks manufacturers are opening their eyes to the business opportunities in functional energy drinks, and startups in the drinks sector have looked at the sales figures (energy drinks have outperformed soft drinks in sales for the last 5 years) and thought “hey! We can do that!”
  • Historically energy drinks haven’t come with any added health benefits, laden as they usually are with sugar, caffeine and additives. But as consumers demand better-for-them alternatives, energy drink makers have had to play catch up. A 2021 report by Carabao found that ‘health’ is the second biggest driver of purchase in the category. 
  • And with increasingly busy lives, consumers are seeking functionality from their energy drinks, often tailored to particular pastimes or work requirements - whether that’s an energy drink that will help them focus on the job, or rev them up before a run.

🔍 How is it shaping up?

  • Caffeine is a traditional ingredient in energy drinks, but with many consumers avoiding caffeine due to unwanted side effects (👋 insomnia), energy drink brands are searching for alternatives. Several brands are using natural forms of caffeine like yerba mate or coffeine, including Swiss brands Biotta and El Tony Mate and US company Clean Cause
  • Many healthier energy drinks brands highlight the advantages of their products compared to conventional offerings - like no ‘crash’, and positive health benefits thanks to low-sugar or no-calorie formulations. Pin Energy Tea, for example, emphasises the ‘no jitters, no crash’ benefit of its product. 
  • Low-sugar energy drinks are also big business. Ugly Drinks in the UK makes sugar-free, zero-calorie beverages while WRAITH Drinks is focusing on no-sugar, reinvigorating drinks for gamers. 
  • Clear functional benefits communicated clearly to customers are also a draw. And these perks vary widely: from Good Idea’s blood-sugar reducing drinks, to One More’s anti-hangover drinks and Heywell’s adaptogenic water.
  • Also in this category? Energy drinks containing nootropics, a class of substances thought to improve cognitive function and positively affect the brain. Brite Drinks and WOW are both operating in this niche in the UK.
  • Boosting beverages with whole food ingredients is also a growing trend, as consumers have grown skeptical of the artificial additives in traditional offerings. Instead of a string of E numbers and manmade flavours and colourants, customers are more likely to respond to ingredients they already know - like coffee, tea, fruit and ginseng. 
  • An EU ban forbidding the sale of energy drinks to children under 16 came into force in 2018 and is inspiring gentler formulations of energy drinks that have a wider appeal. Many of these are based on tea, like Austria’s all i need and Germany’s Uptea

👀 Who? (37 companies in this space)

🏔️ Case study: TENZING Natural Energy

  • Based in London, TENZING Natural Energy was founded in 2015. The startup sells natural energy drinks.
  • Named in honour of the famous Sherpa, the drink is 100% plant-based, with a signature blend of raspberry and yuzu. It’s based on a traditional Nepalese drink brewed by mountain sherpas. 
  • Other flavour ranges include blackberry & acai, and pineapple & passionfruit. 
  • Seven naturally powerful, functional ingredients go into a can - including beet sugar, which replaces conventional sugar, and green coffee, which provides a natural boost.
  • Appealing to socially conscious consumers, the brand donates 5% of its profits to environmental projects, and packs its Rainforest Alliance-certified drinks in recyclable, BPA-free cans.
  • And like its namesake, the company is making history: this year, it became the world’s first soft-drink brand to introduce carbon labels on its products. 
  • This summer, in a hint of its future plans, the brand introduced two energy powder sachets for the sports nutrition market.

🚀 Case study: BioLift

  • BioLift - developed by Israeli company InnoBev - is leaning into the functional energy drink trend with a botanical beverage that syncs with your circadian rhythm to achieve hours of sharper focus and alertness.
  • It’s clinically proven to keep you going two times longer than caffeine alone, improving work productivity and brain function without building tolerance over time, and is designed for the afternoon slump when humans naturally experience a dip in energy.
  • The chronobiological drink arrived on US shelves in 2020 following ten years of intensive R&D. The energy-boosting beverage is already being used by pilots working long shifts.
  • BioLift beverages are made with all-natural ingredients, including elderberry, guarana and ginkgo biloba, and come in three fruity flavours. Each drink contains just 10 mg of caffeine (the average cup of coffee contains 40 mg). 
  • The drink’s natural properties aid the body in reducing fatigue, increasing concentration and enhancing performance. Better yet, users don’t develop a tolerance over time and it has no effect on blood pressure. 

👍 The good

  • Better-for-you energy drinks with health benefits are transforming the image of energy drinks, and negating years of bad press - attracting new types of consumers in the process.
  • Research by Mintel shows the energy drink category is a growing and strong performer within the broader non-alcoholic drinks market, exceeding sales in other areas - good news for existing beverage brands wanting to move into the space, and those just starting out. 
  • And with the growth of healthier energy drinks, consumers can enjoy the benefits of these revitalising sips without the many negatives associated with your average can of Monster - less sugar, less caffeine, less shaking and the so on.

👎 The bad

  • Developing healthier energy drinks is not without challenges - getting something to taste good without sugar or other additives can be tricky. 
  • Brands also need to make sure their beverages deliver on their alleged benefits - uninspiring formulations that don’t act as advertised won’t attract repeat customers.
  • Pinpointing your target demographic can be tricky - traditional energy drink consumers may prefer to stick to what they know, while those who don’t normally drink these types of beverages may be harder to reach. Careful and strategic consumer insights and marketing is key. 

 💡The bottom line

  • As modern lives get busier and busier, especially with the return to some sense of ‘normal’ after an extraordinary 18 months, now’s the time for healthier energy drink brands to grab consumers’ attention. 

How did you like today's Trends?

Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

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