Energy drinks are motoring but sports drinks are in reverse. Why the gulf in performance… and what can be done to rev up sales?

Sports and energy drinks have been the engine of growth in soft drinks for several years. But there are signs the sector is starting to stall. Value sales growth of 3% over the past year [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 14 April 2013] may be stronger than total soft drinks’ 2.1%, but volumes have dipped 0.5% compared with 0.2% growth in soft drinks.

Look beneath the bonnet and the problem appears to be the poor performance of sports drinks, sales of which have slumped 10.4% on volumes down 12.2%. Energy drink sales, on the other hand, have risen 7.7% in value and 4.9% in volume, although not all the brands are firing on all cylinders – Red Bull has experienced a dip in value and Relentless has slumped sharply in both value and volume [IRI 52 w/e 30 March].

In this special report we explore why there’s been such a gulf between the performances of sports and energy drinks and what the brands stuck in reverse can do to return to growth. We canvass the opinions of senior management at both brands and retailers; use exclusive research from market research agencies; and investigate how factors such as price, promotions, marketing, merchandising and advertising have impacted the market in the past year - and will continue to evolve over the coming 12 months.

Also inside our special feature:

Energy drink choice


Cheaper fuel

Which brands are dominating the promotional landscape and has there been a shift in tactics? Read more


Sports drink

A boost on a budget

What impact have budget energy brands in PMPs been having on their big-hitting brand rivals? Read more


Nurishment Active

A culture of going to extremes

From Vimto going extreme to Relentless breaking into Lemon Tea, check out the latest NPD. Read more


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