Over the past year, the market for energy drinks suddenly boomed, especially with the powerful advertising and promotional campaigns for Red Bull and then by Speed and Shark. Interestingly, Red Bull, the world leading energy drink was originally launched in Lebanon in 1999 but the product failed due to poor marketing. In 2002, the product was launched again and due to its success, other energy drink brands soon followed to take advantage of the sudden creation of the new market upsurge. Despite the debates over the side effects of such energy drinks, the market has grown at skyrocketing levels.
The objective of our research is to determine consumer awareness and perception of energy drinks, especially among the students of the Lebanese American University.
Our research question is: How do LAU students perceive energy drinks and to what extent are they aware of them.
Our sample constituted 100 questionnaires distributed on LAU campus. We also selected LAU as our target research population because LAU students tend to represent the target market of energy drinks as they are characterized as the affluent, young, and highly educated members of the Lebanese society.
Our questionnaire constituted of nine questions. The first question of the questionnaire aimed at determining the times and occasions on which customers consumed energy drink. We identified four major possible occasions namely playing sports, clubbing, studying for exam or when thirsty.
The second question aimed at determining the type of energy drink that the respondents consumed, and we gave them four major brand names namely Red Bull, Gatorade, Speed and Shark.
The third question aimed at determining the frequency of consumption, and we gave the respondents three potential answers, namely once to twice a week, three to five times a week, or once a month.
The fourth question aimed at determining the mode of advertising or communication through which the respondents became aware of energy drinks and the five possible options that they were given were: Bill boards, TV, magazines, radio, and pubs and restaurants.
The fifth question aimed at determining the type of criteria the respondents used to purchase the product and the four options they were given were price, effectiveness, brand name and taste.
The sixth question aimed at determining the kind of feeling that consumers had after consuming the product with the four possible answers being energetic, clear mind, having wings, or feeling nothing.
The seventh question aimed at determining whether respondents had heard of anyone collapsing after consuming an energy drink to find out whether respondents had concerns about the health risks of the drink. Respondents were requested to respond with either a yes or a no.
The eighth question aimed at determining whether the respondents believed that energy drinks had side effects or not and three options were available, namely a yes, a no, or simply a not sure answer.
Finally, the last question aimed at determining the side effects of energy drinks that respondents heard about and this remained an open-ended question so that respondents would state their own answers.
After distributing our questionnaires, we received the entire 100 copies and the results are presented in the following tabular form:
63 = 63% 37 = 37%
Q1-When do you drink energy drinks?
While playing sports 56%
While clubbing 30%
While studying for an exam 21%
When thirsty 11%
Q2-What kind of energy drink do you consume?
Red Bull 64%
Q3-how often do you consume energy drink?
1-2 times a week 32%
3-5 times a week 26%
Once a month 44%
Q4-Which medium of advertising made you aware of energy drinks?
Pubs and Restaurants 29%...