GlaxoSmithKline pledged £13m in support of its Lucozade Alert Plus drink when it launched in September 2009, confident the energy shot category would be worth £114m by 2013. However total UK sales for the category stand at just £4.3m [Nielsen 52w/e 6 August].
GSK revealed that it had recently conducted a review of Lucozade Alert Plus to assess how it should be presented to consumers and evaluate demand.
The company admitted it had considered pulling the line, but insisted that the shot would remain on shelf next year. It declined to divulge what level of marketing support it would get.
A big barrier was its price, conceded GSK. A 60ml bottle of Alert Plus retails at £1.49, while a 500ml bottle of Lucozade Energy costs £1.05. "Consumers are not convinced the price is really worth paying," said sales strategy and marketing director Colin Seymour.
Lucozade is not the only brand to be struggling with its energy shots. Red Bull and Coca-Cola Enterprises both admitted the category had not produced the sales they had anticipated.
Several brands could disappear over the coming year, predicted Doug Bairner, head of category marketing at Red Bull. "One or two brands need to take the category forward there may not be space for five or six," he said. "I would be surprised if all the brands that now exist still do in 12 months."