At a time when the future of the energy and stimulant drinks sector in some countries is in doubt after recent health scares, a new report claims that sales in the energy and stimulant drinks sector have risen a phenomenal 366% since 1996.

In a report by beverage research company Mintel International, Simon Howitt, consumer goods consultant said: "The market has been driven by people working longer hours, driving longer distances and enjoying increasingly energetic social lives.

"Consumers are using the functional aspects of energy and stimulant drinks to replace either what the body requires after strenuous activity, or sustain it to continue performing at a higher level than would otherwise be the case."

Between 1996 and 2000 the stimulation sector has shown a massive 5,588% rise in sales growth, yet it has not been at the expense of the refreshment energy sector according to Mintel.

"This growth is even more remarkable considering that around three fifths of all retail outlets did not stock the product in 2000," Howitt commented.

Commenting on the future of the energy and stimulants sector, Mintel predicts that it is set to continue to show growth, albeit at a slower rate than has been seen between 1996 and 2000.

"It is difficult to see what impact, if any, that the Swedish scare may have on the UK market. Assuming there are no other scares associated with this market, Mintel forecasts healthy year-on-year growth over the next five years, with growth driven by the stimulation sector," said Howitt.

Sarah Diston