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Energy Drinks Introduction

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Energy Drinks Introduction

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  • September 2013
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Energy drinks refer to beverages that contain, besides calories, caffeine in combination with other presumed energy-enhancing ingredients such as taurine, herbal extracts, and B vitamins. They first appeared in Europe and Asia in the 1960s in response to consumer demand for a dietary supplement that would result in increased energy (Reissig and others 2009). In 1962, a Japanese company, Taisho Pharmaceuticals, launched Lipovitan D, one of the very 1st energy drinks, which is still dominating the Japanese market. Lipovitan D contains B vitamins, taurine, and ginseng, which are all frequent constituents of mainstream energy drinks with the intended purpose of providing the consumer with sustained energy, and to reduce mental and physical fatigue (Taisho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. 2009).

Energy drinks did not make their way into the U.S. market until 1997 when Red Bull was first introduced, which originated and was initially launched 10 y earlier in Austria (Reissig and others 2009). Since the 1960s, the energy drink market has grown into a multibillion-dollar business which has been reported as being the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry since bottled water (Agriculture and AgriFood Canada 2008). Energy drinks have established a viable position in the beverage market as evidenced by their commonplace consumption in the morning, afternoon, and night, not only by the general consumer, but those of age 18 to 34 in particular (Lal 2007).

Athletes initially were the primary consumers of energy drinks. However, as the energy drink market grew and expanded into various niche markets, athletes are no longer the primary target. Today, the majority of energy drinks are targeted at teenagers and young adults 18 to 34 y old due to this generation’s on-the-go lifestyle and receptiveness to advertisements for these types of products (Lal 2007).

While the energy drinks and shots market may be a small component of the non-alcoholic beverage industry, it is...