Bowl over with fruit energy drinks

Barr aims to bring new shoppers to the category

Pack shots of Rubicon Raw energy drinks range.
AG Barr reckons its fruit flavoured range of energy drinks helps to introduce shoppers to the soft drinks category through its Rubicon Raw and PWR BRU brands.

THE energy market has been dominating soft drinks here in Scotland for some time now, making it a subcategory that retailers need to get right in stores nowadays.

According to Circana market data, the energy market is currently worth £300million more than what is was just three years ago, showing how demand for the channel has grown rapidly during a short period of time.

Further to this, Circana also noted that fruit-flavoured drinks have helped to add to this massive growth, contributing £25million to the category in the last year alone.

Bearing this in mind, AG Barr has touted its wide range of flavoured energy drinks, from the exotic fruity tastes offered by Rubicon Raw, to the power-on-shelves brand PWR-BRU from the Irn-Bru family of soft drinks.

Jonathan Kemp, commercial director at AG Barr, said: “Fruit flavours are growing twice as fast as non-fruit flavours and summer is a key period for the category, as we see 60% of energy switches come from fruit juices throughout the summer months.”

As such, Barr reckons Rubicon Raw will be a key product in encouraging consumers to make that swap during the summer months.

Offering a range of drinks in exotic fruit flavours, Rubicon Raw comes in Orange & Mango, Raspberry & Blueberry, Pineapple & Passionfruit and Apple & Guava.

And it’s the latter of this selection that has proven a popular addition to the Rubicon Raw line-up, helping drive up unexpected sales for the brand.

Kemp said: “Since launching in May last year, Apple & Guava has exceeded all sales expectations, selling over 3.5million cans since launch and quickly establishing itself as the number one apple flavoured energy drink in the market.”

And this year Barr is set to capture even more sales with the brand, with a focus on the sugar-free demand from shoppers.

Launched in March, Rubicon Raw added a new Peach & Berry Zero Added Sugar variant to its range, offering a fruity flavoured energy drink that contains fewer than 31 calories per can.

And this new variant should appeal to the more health-conscious energy drinkers out there, according to Kemp, with the Rubicon Raw range already touting a strong premise with its natural ingredients reputation.

Kemp said: “Rubicon Raw is perceived as the most different energy brand in a big can and 50% of shoppers perceive it as being a natural energy drink, thanks to the natural caffeine and fruit juice content.

“That’s higher than any of its big can energy competitors, by some margin!”

Pack shots of PWR BRU energy drinks range.
PWR BRU launched in 2023, bringing in some fresh innovation to the energy sector from the house of Irn-Bru.

And it’s clear that AG Barr has taken note of this fruity demand in energy when it came to the launch of its PWR-BRU brand, with three out of the four flavours boasting a fruit-filled punch of energy.

Not only this, but the range also has the noticeable strength of the Irn-Bru brand, which certainly doesn’t need explaining as to why this is such a strong benefit to have here in Scotland.

Coming in Origin Original, Diablo Cherry, Dropkick Tropical and Maverick Berry flavours, the range offers energy drink consumers something different in the segment but still retains that quintessential Irn-Bru essence across its range.

Kemp said: “In Scotland, PWR-BRU has been driving sales in the energy drinks fixture since launching last summer, with 60% of sales incremental to the total category and 77% of consumers stating repeat purchase intention.

“From the house of Irn-Bru, the number one Scottish grocery brand, PWR-BRU quickly grew to become the biggest ever energy launch in Scotland, delivering more than one million units.

“The brand is proven to be bringing carbonates shoppers into the energy category.”

And helping to drive up the brand for 2024, Kemp has also noted a massive marketing investment into the brand to encourage even more consumers to switch over.

He said: “PWR-BRU is backed by a £3million investment this year, including high-impact outdoor advertising across Scotland, huge social media and influencer campaigns and mass sampling to drive trial and awareness with Scottish soft drink shoppers.”