Energy is still racing ahead

Putting weight behind sugar free

Red Bull said energy drink shoppers are increasingly seeking out sugar free cans

AUSTRIAN energy drink giant Red Bull knows a thing or two about racing ahead.

The brand has provided support for Scottish BMX sensation Danny MacAskill, funded skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s breathtaking free-fall from the edge of space, and continues to field two teams in the world’s most expensive travelling circus – Formula 1.

How can an energy drink brand afford to back so many headline grabbing endeavours? It might have something to do with selling in excess of six billion cans worldwide last year, an increase of 7.7% on 2017.

Mark Bell, strategy and planning manager at Red Bull UK, certainly has an optimistic view of the brand’s potential for growth – even as a market leader.

“With Red Bull now available in 171 countries, over 75 billion cans have been consumed since the product’s inception. Red Bull continues to target expansion in the core markets of Western Europe,” he said.

A significant focus of that expansion is the rollout of Red Bull Organics, which launched last year.

With the heightened importance placed on the health agenda over the past year, consumers are swaying more towards sugar free options

Described by Red Bull as a “clear differentiation” from its existing energy portfolio, the Organics by Red Bull range is made using all natural ingredients and is certified organic.

Organics isn’t the only area where Red Bull is tapping into the demand from health focused consumers, as Bell also highlighted the strides the brand has made with its sugar free portfolio.

“With the heightened importance placed on the health agenda over the past year and the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in place, consumers are swaying more towards sugar free options.

“Therefore it is imperative that retailers offer a low kcal alternative – meaning that a higher proportion of space is being dedicated to low kcal products.

“Diet is worth £143 million, which equates to 10.7% of the sports and energy category, increasing by 18.2% from 2017. Growing at 16.5% to £41.9m, Red Bull Sugarfree 250ml is the number one low kcal sports and energy drink,” he said.

“The extension of the Red Bull Sugarfree range is designed to drive value within the soft drinks category, with the range removing the current taste and health barriers to trial.

“With over half of shoppers walking away from a purchase if there is no low kcal offering, the range of Sugarfree can size choice will encourage more 18-34 year olds, who want to cut down on sugar without giving up on pick me ups, to drink Red Bull Sugarfree.