Snaxshot #22: New Energy Source 🛸

spark up your life

A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.

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🔮 Peek into the future:

  • What constitutes afternoon folk?

  • Snaxshot of market + legacy brands

  • New energy sources

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The Truth Is Out There 👽

Each year around the world, many are victims of “energy crashes” a phenomenon that can only be remedied via indulgence in energy drinks, that mitigate the sudden slump. As someone who grew indoctrinated to the idea that the “2PM feeling” was one to avoid at all costs, preferably by ingesting energy shots that left one’s heart beating outside their chest, I always wondered, if there are morning people and late-night owls, has there ever existed the concept of afternoon people? Have there ever been people who function and operate perfectly during the afternoon, without necessitating a sort of resurrection in the form of energetic beverages? The concept of them is so elusive, they might as well be extraterrestrial, personally, I want to believe.

This thought became deeply embedded in me, what if, the reason we don’t know afternoon people, is because the energy drink industry has made us dependent, unbeknownst to us, that we may just well be productive without them after all?

Consumed with the idea that there is a whole conspiracy against giving afternoon people the visibility they deserve, so much attention and praise are given to early birds, seen as the apex in the productive hierarchy, as if getting worms at any point of the day, early or not, is something to admire. Then there’s the cool factor around late-night owls, a hipness associated with being able to function only when the sun comes down as if lack of sleep should somehow be glorified. To keep my investigation clear, I decided to focus only on the concept of energy drinks, excluding caffeinated tea, yerba mate, and coffee —for every mystery, there is someone, somewhere, who knows the truth, perhaps, it’s you.

Our Energetic Past ⚡

There are studies that attribute the “2PM feeling” to our circadian rhythm, things we have eaten (say you have a carb-loaded lunch), and even how much sleep we get. According to Lona Sandon, RD, MEd, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center on WebMD:

“There seems to be a natural rhythm or set clock in our bodies, so many people tend to feel a little sleepy around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. There seems to be something natural about this lull.”

In some European countries, there exists the concept of “siesta” take Spain for example, however after looking further into it, it seems that siesta culture originated from taking breaks during the hottest days of the year by people who worked in farming, the word itself derives from Latin’s sexta, which means sixth hour, so counting from dawn, would be around midday. Siesta culture stems from warm temperatures and heavy intake of food at the midday meal, which was done to mitigate arduous labor, combined, these two factors contributed to the 2PM feeling.

Then take Japan for example, where the concept of energy drink as we know it, originates from. In the postwar period, amphetamines were popular, however, use was curbed during the 50s when laws began to prohibit use. Seeing a need for speed, a decade later, a company called Taisho, introduced Lipovitan D a legal, energizing tonic that sold in minibar-size bottles. By the 1980s, these vitamin-infused, extra-caffeinated beverages were regularly consumed by Japanese who were looking to work more hours seeking to get ahead at their companies.

In the US, Coca-Cola was first launched in 1886 and it contained cocaine, just that, this did not last long. They came back to the energy concept, 100 years later, by introducing Coca-Cola Jolt in 1985. However, the closest to modern-day energy drink in the US was born in 1949, via a Chicago businessman, William Mark Swartz, and his Dr. Enuf, which contained B vitamins, caffeine, and cane sugar. In Europe, the concept of energy drinks permeated from Asia, while on a trip to Bangkok, Dietrich Mateschitz, discovered the energy tonics that were widely available in the region, and saw the opportunity, by 1984 he quit his job to partner up with Thai manufacturer Krating Daeng, three years later he debuted a carbonated version of the same in his home country of Austria, the company? Red Bull.

The concept of energy drinks led to the creation of energy shots by 2000s, as historically these beverages were known to contain amounts of sugar, so the shots became an opportunity to sell the energy properties, without the additional fuss, the most notorious one being 5HR energy created by Manoj Bhargava, this concept that in a decade led him to become a billionaire. One thing was certain, whether or not the 2PM feeling was an actual global phenomenon, there was a lot of money to be made from the concept of it.

What Powers The Spark 💥

—By 2017, energy drink market had exceeded $21 billion in total annual sales by 2020, global sales had almost tripled to $57 billion

—This market is s expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.20% and expected to reach $86.01 billion by 2026

—Average energy drink contains around the same amount of caffeine as four servings of coffee, or 320 mg

—Energy drinks became popular in the US until 1997 with the launch of Red Bull in the country (10 years after it was founded in Austria)

—By 2017, energy drinks made up 30% of the sales in dollars of packaged drinks for sale at convenience stored in the US

—As of 2021, European adults consume an average of 2 liters of energy drinks per month. Similarly, adolescents consume 2.1 liters a month

—In the UK the biggest market for energy drinks is boys aged 16-24, with 63% indulging (as opposed to 58% of girls), according to Mintel

—By 2016, UK supermarkets banned sales of energy drinks to under 16 years of age

—US Millennials (particularly elder Millennials) are target market for energy drinks, with 61% of this generation consuming them

—Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar are top in the game, Rockstar was bought by PepsiCo in 2014

—5HR energy shot remains the reigning brand worldwide

—PepsiCo unveiled RISE (Mountain Dew energy drink) this March alongside Lebron James

—Molson Coors partnered with The Rock to launch ZOA energy drink

—Coca Cola announced it was pulling the plug on Coca Cola Energy

—This year Perrier launched sparkling, caffeinated water

— As of May 2021, the beverage industry is currently experiencing a significant caffeine shortage

Of Monsters and Men 👾

The Monster energy drink was introduced in 2002 by Hansen Natural Corporation (now Monster Beverages) and two decades later, it has captured 1/3 of the energy drink market (35%) —this question posed before, what is behind the successful cult of Monster? From what I have been able to gather, the genius of Monster has been not to rely on regular advertising but instead attach its image to other cult-like followings via sponsorships, for example, high-adrenaline sportscar racing, professional video-game players, etc, which has paid off BIG TIME!

—Monster Beverage has seen a revenue growth by a minimum of 9% every single year since 2001

—It all came full circle when Coca-Cola acquired about 17% of Monster's company shares

—Around the world, sales of Monster energy drink increased 9.5% to $4.60 billion, from $4.20 billion in the comparable period last year

—In the US, Monster energy drinks made $1.1 billion worth of sales in 2019 and by 2020 Q4 net sales increased 17.6% to $1.20 billion

—Monster energy drink has record sales in Q1 2021 and is actually expressing concerns over a can shortage

—They’ve announced Post Malone as their latest global ambassador

It Gave Us Wings, Does It Still Fly? 💸

Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz introduced Red Bull in 1987, the drink was introduced in US a decade later, at the same time the “Red Bull gives you wings” campaigned was created. Inspired by Thailand’s Krating Daeng, originally catered to blue-collar, Mateschitz wanted to give Red Bull a more upscale feel, and re-positioned the concept of a drink as a trendy, and first introducing it at Austrian ski resorts. Two decades later, Red Bull had turned Mateschitz into a billionaire, as reported by Forbes in 2008.

Similar to Monster, Red Bull advertises to extreme sports, racing, and owns a plethora of different sports and racing teams around the world, sponsors a myriad of entertainment, sports, and competition events as well as has actual locations that involve stadiums, motorsport circuits, etc.

—Red Bull has the highest market share of any energy drink in the world, with 7.5 billion cans sold in 2019, think of this, as the world population was 7.7 billion meaning it sold 1 can per person worldwide

—Red Bull is the leading energy drink brand in the United States based on generated sales of about $2.89 billion

—Red Bull has sold a cumulative 75 billion cans since Red Bull was introduced in 1987

—Red Bull launched a new line of organic sodas in 2018 with three of the four new beverages containing no caffeine

—Red Bull sales are surging in emerging markets — India (up 37%), Brazil (up 30%), and Africa (up 25%)

Uncovering New Energy Sources 📁

The increase in demand for cleaner, more natural caffeine is evident as Millennials have become the leading consumer demographic which is leading energy drink makers to focus on producing less sugary and more functional SKUs. Ironically it even seems energy drinks are looking to add functionalities that involve relaxation, which leaves one to believe that maybe our generation is looking to free itself from the 2PM feeling indoctrination, (see functional unwinding).

In fact, this demand for cleaner, and more functional energy drinks is what is fueling demand and presenting an opportunity in this sector. It’s one of the reasons, a different kind of energy shot and Yerba Mate renaissance made it into Snaxshot 2021 predictions. Alas, it seems that less than being able to solve this mystery, I’ve uncovered yet another paradox, nevertheless, will share some unusual findings below.

Seltz: Coming out this summer, born in Yale, an energy drink seltzer.

Füd: Based in UK, combines natural caffeine, B-vitamins + electrolytes with real fruit juices to deliver a completely natural energy boost.

Phoric: Based in New Zealand, is a natural energy drink.

The Organic Energy Project: Based in Copenhagen, a clean, natural energy drink.

Juni: Functional energy water with botanics.

Up To Good: Upcycled, sparkling energy made with cascara fruit.

Monfefo: Featured before in January, but reminding you wheatgrass shots crawled so ginger/turmeric shots could run as the new 5HR energy.

PRIME TIME: ENERGY LAGER?! Why. Launches this summer.

Spoonful of News 🥄

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