NPD (1)

Caffeinated alcohol brands that draw on energy cues are likely to appeal to the predominantly young male consumers that still dominate the soft drinks category.

So it makes sense that other brands are targeting shoppers of both sexes across a broader array of ages, often with a more premium range.

“Monster and Mountain Dew might not speak to a younger generation looking to prioritise mental wellbeing,” argues Chloe Stacey, creative strategist at brand agency Robot Food.

The target demographic is very different for the espresso martini, which “speaks to audiences looking for a premium, elevated experience – indulgence as self-care”.

Espresso martinis are typically made by mixing espresso, coffee liqueur and vodka. In line with a growing focus on RTD cans, many brands have started canning the cocktail.

A recent example comes courtesy of Absolut, which launched its Espresso Martini into Asda in May (rsp: £2.50/200ml). The can mixes Absolut vodka with coffee and vanilla for a “smooth” and “velvety” result, the brand said.

It’ll go up against rivals also offering espresso martinis in cans, including Funkin Nitro, priced at £2.25 for 200ml in Tesco, and Moth (£3.90/125ml).

Other brands are taking aim at convenient formats for drinking at home. In March Fever-Tree launched its first cocktail mixers, including an Espresso Martini line made with Kenyan coffee extracts (rsp: £4.50/500ml).

Competitors include Funkin’s Bartender Edition Salted Caramel Espresso Martini, sold in Sainsbury’s at £9.50 for a 700ml bottle,  and Asda’s Extra Special own-label rival, priced at £8 for 700ml.

Even more premium is Tails Cocktails Espresso Martini, with a 500ml bottle costing £15 in Tesco or Morrisons.

And premixed cans and bottles are not the only products aimed at tapping into enthusiasm for caffeinated cocktails.

Bzzd energy tonic water is largely marketed and used as a mixer in cocktails – though founder Louise Lloyd says some use it as a pre-workout shot.

It’s aimed at a “more sophisticated” audience, as reflected in the events used to promote it, which include the Henley Festival and The Boodles tennis contest. Its clean credentials also provide a “strong point of difference”, Lloyd adds.

Why energy brands are hitting the booze