The global energy drinks market registered a healthy rise in sales last year, according to recent figures. The 2005 Global Energy Drinks report from specialist drinks consultancy Zenith International, released today (15 December), concludes that sales in 2004 were up by 18% year-on-year to 2.4bn litres.

Growth was driven by new energising concepts, strong marketing and product positioning, and new initiatives in emergent markets, the report noted.

Although Asia Pacific remains the top region, with a 58% share of total volume in 2004, its lead is expected to decline as other areas develop. North America has just overtaken West Europe to hold the next largest share at 15%, with the US expected to become the largest national market by 2009.

"Although energy drinks are a small niche within the broader soft drinks category by volume, their contribution in terms of growth and premium value are far more significant," said Zenith senior market analyst Sophie Carkeek. "Their sustained growth is testament to the segment's staying power. Red Bull is the undisputed global market leader, but a broadening of product types and proliferation of brands means that its share is gradually being eroded."

Zenith added that it expects global energy drinks consumption to reach 4.1bn litres in 2009.