The energy drinks market is still thriving despite safety concerns

The energy drinks market is still thriving despite safety concerns

US energy drink consumers are remaining loyal to the category, despite health concerns, as they see the products as more effective than other beverages in helping them stay alert, according to new research.

A Mintel study, published late last week, found that nearly six in 10 (59%) of energy drink or shot users questioned were concerned about the safety of the products. However, 56% of the 2,000 US adults surveyed said they used drinks and shots because they regard them as better for an energy boost than other beverages. Around a third (35%) said the products are convenient, while 31% said they liked the taste.

The energy drinks category has come under severe scrutiny in the US, with a number of lawsuits and investigations contributing to negative headlines last year. Producers, particuarly Monster Beverage Corp, have vigorously defended their products, maintaing they are safe. 

However, 39% of people responding to the Mintel poll said they thought energy drinks were not good for their health, while 35% said they had heard “negative information” about their health effects. Around a third (35%) said they were too expensive.

"Manufacturers must address these health issues in order to retain current users, while concerns about price should be addressed by promotions and limited-time discounts," said Jenny Zegler, a global food and drink analyst at Mintel.

Men and women should also be viewed differently when it comes to marketing energy drinks, Mintel argued. Around six out of ten (62%) of women aged 35 and above said they worried about energy drinks' safety, while only half (51%) of men do, the study found.