The INR500 crore (US$1bn) Indian energy and sports drink market could double within two years, industry officials believe.

Until recently, India's energy/sports drinks market was dominated by a handful of brands, like Red Bull, Rhino's Bullet and Cloud 9.

But, Pepsico's AMP and Amway's XL have been launched in the last 18 months, while United Spirits has said it plans to launch an energy drink named Romanov Red.

"The Indian market will double within the next two years," said Amway India CEO William Pinckney.

Most brands are targeting young people, who are in-tune with global drinks trends. "We offer sampling sessions at colleges and we are shortly coming up with a major campaign," said Rajesh Singh, marketing head for Cloud 9, made by Goldwin Healthcare Pvt. The brand has signed up 22-year-old Indian cricketer Rudra Pratap Singh.

Compared to the INR6,000 crore (US$12bn) carbonated drinks market, the energy drinks sector remains small.
 
But, "in a country where everyone grows up drinking tea that's high in caffeine, taking to energy drinks is an easy and exciting transition," said Mumbai-based fitness consultant Ritesh Sharma.