South Korea is turning away from energy drinks

South Korea is turning away from energy drinks

Energy drinks in South Korea have suffered a sharp slowdown in store sales because of health concerns, according to a local report.

7-Eleven reported a 1.1% sales rise in May compared to last year, while Ministop saw sales drop by 2% in the first half of the year, Yonhap news agency reported today (18 June). In January, 7-Eleven energy drinks sales surged by 123% over a year prior, the report said. 

Meanwhile, discount retailer E-Mart Co said that, over the past five weeks, energy drinks sales increased by 7.5% compared to a 97.5% rise for the first four months of the year.

"The energy drinks market is losing steam,” a 7-Eleven official was quoted as saying. “There is a growing awareness that drinking the high caffeine beverage carries health risks, which has put a damper on its sales.”

The slump comes despite Red Bull slashing prices in the country by about 35% over the past year.

The CEO of Monster Beverage Corp said this month that he would not get pulled into a price war with Red Bull in South Korea and warned that the price cuts are unsustainable.