How concerned are consumers of energy drinks about the health effects? What brands do they prefer and where do they drink the products? 

These were all questions posed in an annual survey of 500 US men, aged 18-40, carried out by analysts at CLSA. Surprisingly, echoing results from earlier this month, concerns about the side effects of energy drinks appear to be diminishing - despite widespread negative media coverage.  

The proportion of energy drink consumers that are worried about potential health effects fell from 65% in January last year to 47% this year. “While headline risk remains, we believe the PR headwinds have lessened over the past year,” CLSA said. 

In terms of brands, Monster appears to be stealing a march over its rival Red Bull in the US. Of the 500 asked by CLSA, 30% said Monster was their favourite brand compared to 28% who said Red Bull was their energy hit of choice.

This time last year Red Bull was most popular among 34%, while Monster only registered number one among 26%. CLSA also pointed to IRI data that shows Monster is now outselling Red Bull in a number of retail sales channels. “We believe Monster’s new product launches and increased international presence will continue to improve its overall growth, both at home and abroad,” CLSA said. 

And there appears to be a slight shift in where energy drinks are being consumed. More people are drinking the products at work - up from 66% in 2013 to 78% this year. Meanwhile, the percentage drinking at school and college fell from 34% to 27%. However, CLSA admitted this just reflects the “slightly older” sample of respondents this year, or  “it was more acceptableto drink energy drinks at work”. 

Either way, despite the negative media, the figures reflect that the US energy drinks category has some distance left to run.