In 2019, energy drink sales increased by over 10 percent. This trend has continued into 2020, with energy drink companies leading the beverage market. If you’re looking to get in on the action, you have to start with the basics: picking good energy drink flavors.
Having a good, distinctive set of flavors will set you apart from the other energy drink brands. But you have to know what will actually sell. Why are customers going to reach for your drink instead of a Red Bull?
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know when brainstorming energy drink flavors. We’ll tell you how to toe the line between classic and trendy, and even guide you into the world on drink production. Read on to find out!
Finding the Best Energy Drink Flavors
When brainstorming energy drink flavors, you have to decide: do you want to have one great, distinctive flavor? Or do you want to offer a wide array of great options? We’ll examine two popular drink brands to show you an example.
Red Bull is undoubtedly the most successful energy drink company thus far. Red Bull’s distinctive tutti-frutti flavor is sweet without being syrupy, and bright without being sour. They’ve found what works, and stuck with it, while occasionally selling other flavors and special releases.
Monster is an energy drink company that thrives on offering a wide variety of flavors. They produce everything from coffee-flavored drinks to tropical fruity concoctions. Though the lime-green Monster is ubiquitous with the brand, they are better known for their range of flavors.
Neither approach is necessarily better than the other. But keep both in mind as you strategize for your brand. Do you want to bet it all on one great flavor, or give your customers more options?
Popular Flavor Categories
These three broad flavor categories are consistently found in most energy drinks. Lately, customers have been wanting to try new things, and drink the most interesting beverages.
While the specific flavor trends are always changing, they usually fall into three categories: fruit, coffee, and botanicals.
This is by and large the most popular flavor category. Flavors like strawberry, lime, lemonade, and orange are consistent top sellers. Citrus and berry flavors are the most popular fruit flavors, with lemonade following close behind.
There are a few ways you can craft trendy fruit flavors. People go wild for seasonal fruit drinks: watermelon in summer, pomegranate in fall, cranberry in the winter. This also creates an amount of hype for seasonal releases, as they’re limited edition.
Combining fruit flavors together is always popular. Fruit punch and tutti-frutti mixes do well with caffeine and taurine flavors. This way, all the different fruit flavors can complement each other within the drink.
Coffee-flavored energy drinks are a relatively new development. People want the taste of good coffee, but the punch of an energy drink. Using coffee flavors can also make it easier to add more caffeine.
Coffee-flavored energy drinks are comforting and also energizing. Customers can go through their morning routine with a little extra boost of energy.
Mocha, cappuchino, and hazelnut flavored drinks have sold well in recent years. Even Starbucks has started selling canned versions of their coffee. This trend is a great way to make a name for yourself on the market.
Turmeric, green tea, and kombucha flavors have all found their way into energy drinks lately. Some customers are leaning away from super-sweet energy drinks and are looking for something a little more demure.
Green tea and matcha are a great place to start when theorizing flavors. They both pair well with fruit flavors as well, so you can create a distinct flavor mix of your own. Green tea is also naturally caffeinated, so your drink will provide an extra boost.
Other spices and herbs are great additions to energy drinks. Rosemary, mint, and basil can make your drink a little more earthy. Think of the kinds of ingredients that will make you stand out from other drink sellers.
Trend Watch: CBD Energy Drinks
CBD is everywhere. It has many purported benefits, and the market is booming. So, should you create CBD-infused beverages? Or is the trend going to fizzle out soon?
If you can, you should absolutely capitalize on the CBD momentum. It is only becoming more popular, and adding CBD to your drinks makes them a hot commodity. You’ll be able to market better, and people will pay more for your product.
You may wonder if CBD belongs in energy drinks, considering it comes from cannabis. The answer is: absolutely. It won’t put your customers to sleep, and will work in tandem with the caffeine to jump-start their energy.
Creating a high-quality CBD energy drink can set you apart in a competitive market. The sooner you’re ready to infuse some CBD, the better.
Are Some Flavors Too Trendy?
The age-old debate: is there too much pumpkin spice out there? Can some flavors be so trendy that they double back into being not trendy anymore?
Yes, we’re mainly talking about pumpkin spice. But this can apply to any similar, often seasonal, flavor that other brands are trying to cash in on. Hopping blindly on a bandwagon can put a bad taste in your customer’s mouths (pun intended).
When it comes to intensely trendy flavors like pumpkin spice, our advice is to only do it if you can do it really well. If you’re sure that you’ve formulated the perfect pumpkin spice energy drink, go ahead. But only release if you’re sure that you’ve perfected the trend.
You’re Ready to Build a Beverage Empire
Now you know all about the latest energy drink flavors and how to define yourself in a competitive market. You’re ready to start building a brand and disrupting the status quo. All while making a great product!
Once you’re ready to invest in a batch of drinks, contact Drink Labs. We have a team of beverage professionals who will work closely with you to achieve your vision. Give us a call to see the kind of magic we can make together.