The rise of energy drinks
More and more consumers are demanding fizzy drinks with a caffeine boost, resulting in sales increasing by 60% between 2007 and 2012. The industry has capitalised on this expanding market by producing a wider range of energy drinks, that are primarily targeted at males and under 35s, and more specifically, exam-stressed teenagers and working professionals.
The UK energy market is dominated by the GlaxoSmithKline brand Lucozade, followed closely by Red Bull. Other key competitors include Relentless and Monster Energy.
We did not rank sports drink brands within this report as they are generally caffeine free and very specific in their function. Sports drinks are often bought by health conscious consumers as opposed to individuals needing an energy boost. However, the distinction between the two is becoming increasingly blurred.
Red Bull GmbH owns the well known Red Bull brand – the second most popular sports/energy brand after Lucozade. The company promotes itself by sponsoring extreme sports in addition to using them within adverts.
The company has received criticisms that a number of deaths have occurred as a consequence of Red Bull using extreme sports video clips. ‘In 2009, three died while carrying out stunts for Red Bull: skier Shane McConkey, parachuter Eli Thompson and base jumper Ueli Gegenschat – who was even filmed during the action that killed him’.
Despite rumours to the contrary, Red Bull is suitable for vegetarians and received a positive product sustainability mark for marketing it as such.
See detailed company information, ethical ratings and issues for all companies mentioned in this guide, by clicking on a brand name in the Score table.
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This product guide is part of a Special Report on Soft Drinks. See what's in the rest of the report.