The price of energy drinks has plummeted in the past 12 months as more and more cheap products have flooded the market.

The average volume price for an energy drink in the mults fell by 16%, from £3.62 to £3.03 per litre, in the year to 22 August []. This trend is largely down to two factors - the development of cheap own-label alternatives from supermarkets and wholesalers, and branded products slashing their prices in reaction.

With the energy drinks market having grown exponentially in recent years, it’s getting rather crowded, with 155 new listings across the big five in the last year, far outweighing the 70 delistings over the same period. Some 323 listings also remained over the period, meaning there are now 478 energy drinks listings in total.

GSK’s Lucozade picked up the most new listings, accounting for 40 of the 155 new listings over the year, bringing its total to 166. This growth appears to have come at a price, though, with the average price of Lucozade dropping by 14.6%, from £2.40 to £2.05 per litre, over the past 12 months.

wholesale prices 23 August 2012: fruit & veg
There’s only one topic in fruit and veg the moment - the weather. Nine of the 10 crops in our tracker are more expensive than they were this time last year, led by carrots which - at £475/t - are now 43.9% up year-on-year, although prices have eased over the past month as new season supply from the UK has started to come through.

Onions have taken a battering, with prices up 27% month-on-month and 27% year-on-year. Bad weather in the UK and the Netherlands is reported to have lowered yields, led to quality problems and delayed the new season.

The weather also continues to cast a cloud over potatoes, with prices rising 5.9% to £187.6/t over the past month - 36.2% higher than last year.

There is some minor relief from beetroot for now - prices have held largely steady year-on-year, although a 21.8% rise over the past month, to £427.9/t, suggests the year-on-year trend may correct upwards soon.

Lucozade is not alone in bringing down prices. At £4.43 per litre, Red Bull is now 11% cheaper than it was a year ago, while Pussy dropped by 9.5% from £5.36 to £4.85 per litre.

Even brands that increased their price - such as Gatorade, Bio Synergy and Nutrament - still remained cheaper than the category average of £3.03 per litre, suggesting those keen to raise prices are careful not to price themselves out of this increasingly cheap market.

After Lucozade, own label was the fastest growing segment by listings, with 12 new lines going into Sainsbury’s, 10 into Asda and three into Morrisons. At £1.36 per litre, these own-label energy drinks cost less than half the category average.

The category has also become much more reliant on promotions. The major multiples ran 174 deals in the 12 months to August 2012 - a 185% increase on the 61 deals they ran in the year to August 2011.

The introduction of cheaper own-label lines will be of concern to premium brand owners. Kantar Worldpanel research found 86% of shoppers who buy budget drinks never trade up, and a Mintel survey showed 16-24 year-olds who buy energy drinks were the least likely consumer group to favour branded varieties.