Supercharge sales by £100m with a new approach to energy drinks

Energy drinks are a powerhouse of growth in convenience retail. Sales spiked by 14.7%, putting an extra £96.4m through retailers’ tills, last year. That makes energy drinks the hottest sector in soft drinks, which delivered the greatest growth of any food or drink category in 2022.

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Strange but true, energy drinks have been the greatest soft drinks gain for c-stores despite just 8% of shoppers buying them, as revealed in our 2023 Britvic Soft Drinks Review[1]. By thinking differently about energy drinks, retailers can widen their appeal and supercharge sales.

However with only 8% of shoppers buying energy drinks from convenience stores, retailers can widen the appeal by thinking differently about the energy drinks category to meet a broader range of customer needs. These needs include growing demand for everything from exciting new flavours and concepts that are aligned with more than motor racing and adrenaline sports, to functional health properties and natural credentials.

We calculate that by doing this the UK’s convenience retailers will be able to unlock a huge £100m in growth by the end of 2025. That equates to an extra £2,089 per store a year. So how can this be done?

Recruiting the next generation

Generation Z – that’s anyone born between 1997 and 2010 – spends more time online than any other age group, and 97% of Gen-Zers own a smartphone, so to tap into this age group, you need to be savvy. Rockstar have teamed up with gaming franchises such as Halo and Fallout to do just this.

New flavour variants keep energy drinks vibrant

Energy drinks are an impulse-led category, with half of shoppers deciding what they’re going to buy at the fixture. It’s also worth noting that spotting a new flavour in-store is the top motivator of purchase for generation Z. That’s why, Rockstar Energy is livening things up with exciting new flavours – such as Rockstar Refresh Strawberry & Lime and Watermelon & Kiwi – that stand out on shelf with eye-catching POS material to drive impulse sales.

Energise shoppers to energise your sales

Marketing is important, but what’s in the can is also crucial. All Rockstar Energy lines are low in sugar or contain none at all, meaning they’re not subject to HFSS regulations. They’re packed with energizing ingredients such as B Vitamins, taurine and ginseng to give drinkers a boost when they need it most.

This is key, because most people who buy energy drinks do so because they want a hit of energy. Small wonder, when you consider that one in eight UK adults say they feel tired all the time. That number rises to more than one in four (22%) for parents. Ensuring energy drinks are chilled and easy to find will therefore pay off.

Energy drinks are going natural

Still, not everyone wants to consume caffeine for their pick-me-up. For some (often older, more affluent shoppers) its use can be frowned upon. They want ingredients with more natural, wellness, associations. Brands such as Purdey’s Natural Energy, which give a natural boost without the comedown that some high-caffeine drinks are associated with, is the ideal drink for tapping into this trend.

The Purdey’s Natural Energy trio is fortified with ingredients such as guarana, ginseng and essential minerals from plant-sources to give consumers a gentle boost when they need it most. The brand is helping to widen the appeal of energising soft drinks and drive growth for retailers.

Pair with food to power sales

Retailers should think carefully about how, where and when they promote energy drinks to make the most of the opportunity. Shoppers are more motivated by health considerations earlier in the day, for example, so why not cross promote Purdey’s with fresh fruit or granola pots to cater for the morning crowd?

That’s not all. Pairing natural energy drinks with food at different times of the day can help retailers make the most of the opportunity. For example, our Work Out Ready concept pairs Purdey’s Natural Energy with products such as Kind Protein Bars and Quaker Oat-So-Simple Pouches to help retailers attract customers on their way to and from the gym.

For more guidance on how to maximise your soft drinks sales, read the 2023 Britvic Soft Drinks Review here.

[1] All figures cited in this article are from the 2023 Britvic Soft Drinks Review, unless otherwise stated.

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