Covering the bases for better times

Energy Drinks performed well, for suppliers and retailers, through tough economic times and Ed Whitehead, strategy and planning manager at Red Bull UK reckons they’ll do well in a recovery, if handled properly.

“Consumer confidence has increased the purchase of ‘treat’ products and trust in brands is growing. This purchase behaviour has led to the importance of the branded product, with brands versus own label seeing growth of 6.7%,” Whitehead said.

“Within the last three years sports and energy has delivered over 40% of category expansion … with an ever-increasing population, it is expected to rise by a further 24% over the next four years.”Red B


Red Bull has grown ahead of the market and it is confident of continued growth but the firm says  it still sees three key purchase barriers for consumers considering energy drinks – health, flavour and price – and to overcome the obstacles it aims to position its products for the right occasions.

“Red Bull has three of the top 10 branded SKUs within Diet Energy. Red Bull Sugar Free Original 250ml is number one, with Red Bull Zero at number three,” said Whitehead.

In 2015 Red Bull is increasing its range of flavours with the launch of the Red Bull Tropical Edition, available in 250ml, 250ml PMP (£1.19) and four-can multipack variants, in a distinctive yellow can and backed by a major marketing campaign, he added.

“PMPs are vital for retailers to drive sales, providing customer confidence in brands and helping to increase basket spend, with 44% of shoppers more likely to buy a product if PMP is visible. Red Bull offers PMP and non-PMP formats across its range, delivering the choice to retailers.

Among the brand team’s tips on merchandising are:

  Retailers should stock the most efficient range for their chillers to drive the greatest value. Energy drinks hold 26% of the total soft drinks market in convenience, so they should range accordingly.

Retailers should stock a full range to provide the consumer with a choice.


• Convenience retailers should include:  Red Bull Energy 250ml; Red Bull Energy 473ml; Red Bull Energy 355ml; Red Bull Sugar Free 250ml; Red Bull Energy four-pack; Red Bull Tropical Edition 250ml; Red Bull Sugar Free four-pack; Red Bull Blue Edition 250ml; Red Bull Zero Calories 250ml; Red Bull Red Edition 250ml.

Operators should stock all variants in the chiller.

Spend for functional lead products averages £4.06 a year, compared to refreshment at £0.53.  Red Bull is the number one functional energy drink, so it should be used to sign post the category.

Operators should block brands vertically within a product category and double-face best sellers, maximising stand out of the brand.