A few years ago, it was the rockstar energy drinks.
Now, it’s the new energy drinks, and they’re all aimed at people who are in their 20s or 30s.
And the trend is not a one-off.
Last month, The New York Times reported that Coca-Cola, the largest soda company in the world, had spent $1.5 billion on the marketing and promotion of the “Energy Drink,” an energy drink marketed by Rockstar Energy drinks.
The energy drink, which costs $6 for a 12-ounce bottle, has become a go-to choice among the young.
“It’s the perfect way to get in shape,” says Matt DeMoro, the founder of Rockstar, which sells the Energy Drink in its popular flavors like Mountain Dew and Pepsi Max.
“We’re seeing this across the board,” DeMoros says.
“Young kids are consuming a lot of energy drinks.”
The new energy drink craze started when Rockstar decided to put the word “energy” in every bottle of its energy drink.
Now it’s also on tap at every other beverage company, including Diet Coke and Pepsi.
“Rockstar is the biggest star in the universe,” says Ben Kuchera, the marketing director for the National Beverage Association.
“Everyone knows about them.”
Rockstar’s move to sell a single product is a smart move for the company, because it’s been trying to attract more younger consumers.
In fact, Kuchersa says, Rockstar has done an even better job of reaching out to kids with its “energy drinks.”
“Rockstar’s energy drink was the first energy drink we ever sold,” he says.
Rockstar is hoping to be a major player in the new generation of energy drink brands, like Coke and Diet Coke.
“When you combine Rockstar and other companies, you get brands like Coke, Pepsi, and even Coca-cola, which is a new category,” Kucientsa says.
And because Rockstar doesn’t own a trademark for its name, it doesn’t have to make a deal with any of the companies to sell its energy drinks to the public.
“So we’re doing everything we can to be an example,” Kuchersa says of RockStar’s strategy.
But Rockstar also has been trying a different approach.
Kuchesa says the company has taken a different tack.
“If we’re not trying to be the rock star, we’re just trying to make sure we’re in the right place at the right time,” he explains.
That means reaching out more to consumers who might not have the same energy drink taste as their parents or grandparents.
“The thing is, we’ve seen this in the past with energy drinks,” says Kuchemas.
“They’re very popular with younger people and then they become more expensive and more expensive again, until they just get out of the way.”
In a study released last month by the Marketing Research Institute, RockStar said that it was paying $1,700 to a third party to market its Energy Drink.
That’s $1 million more than the average price of a regular energy drink and $1 per bottle, compared to the average of $2.50 for a regular bottle of energy, according to the institute.
So, for example, a 12 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew costs $1 in the U.S. today.
But in 2020, a 24-ounce Energy Drink could sell for as much as $1 billion.
“I think that the average consumer is going to have to pay more than $1 a bottle for a year of energy,” says Jason A. Cramer, a professor of marketing at the University of Michigan.
He says that Rockstar needs to do more to reach out to the young and create a culture of respect.
“But Rockstar will still have a pretty good shot at the top,” he adds.
RockStar says it’s looking at a variety of marketing options.
“This is the future of energy beverage consumption,” says Cramer.
Rocker says it will make a decision in the coming weeks about whether to sell another product.
It also plans to launch its own line of energy-friendly energy drinks in the future.
Citing a “large-scale shift in consumer tastes and preferences,” the company is considering new energy-saving technologies like carbonated beverages and energy-neutral packaging.
“At the end of the day, the energy drink industry is going forward,” says RockStar spokesman Chris Grier.
“And it will continue to evolve.
Rock Star is proud to be part of the evolution of the energy beverage.”