Red Bull limited edition

Sales of sports and energy drinks could grow by more than £600m over the next three to five years, Red Bull has claimed.

Launching its ‘vision’ for the future of the category today [21 May], the brand said trends including growth in the number of 25 to 34-year-olds, and the move towards convenience and online shopping would benefit a sector that has grown 1.5% in the past year to £1.25bn [IRI 52 w/e 26 April 2015].

While sports drinks would continue to decline, claimed Red Bull, energy drinks – especially functional ones – would grow.

But Red Bull acknowledged the category would also be impacted by health and wellness trends - especially sugar – and that education would be required on the benefits of energy to overcome health concerns relating to energy products.

Promoting the idea of ‘positive energy’ – linking energy drinks to studying, working and driving – would be a key growth driver, as would generating excitement through events such as its own Global Air Race Championships, which Red Bull said increased pre-store awareness.

‘There’s no denying the growth opportunity that lies ahead in the sport and energy sector,” said Rich Fisher, category development manager – off trade. “By listening to the needs of our consumers we have identified three key barriers to purchase, including health, flavour and price but also the key areas we need to work on as a category to deliver this anticipated expansion.”

‘‘Key sales drivers for retailers include increased availability at point of need, as well as maximising visibility throughout stores.’’

Red Bull is launching a limited-edition can for the Air Race championships, which take place at Ascot Racecourse in August. From this month it is rolling out 14.2 million cans featuring artwork promoting the series in singles, PMPs and four and six-packs.

‘‘The release of this special edition can offers consumers across the UK the opportunity to share in the excitement of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race World Championship,” said Gavin Lissimore, head of category marketing.

”2014 Air Race messaging reached over 66% of 18-34 year olds in the UK, and helped drive the sales of our 355ml, therefore stocking this very special can on the UK’s number 1 energy SKU provides outlets with an incredible opportunity to drive sales and increase profits this summer.’’