Energy Drink Fans Drive C‑Store Sales

Earlier this year, Mintel reported that U.S. consumers continue to reach for energy drinks. The market, comprised of both drinks and shots, is worth over $12 billion annually.  C‑stores continue to hold onto a significant share of the retail sales (50%) in this category as they target the core audiences for these beverages.

Unit sales of energy drinks are up 9.2% in c‑stores over the past year according to a new report in the Petroleum Marketers Association of America Journal. Industry experts note that retailers are crowding their shelves with energy drinks instead of diet sodas because of higher profit margins. The traditional energy drink appeals to the ‘working population’ which is often younger and male.  But, c‑store operators report that the energy shot drinks appeal to older consumers. These products are typically impulse purchases. When individual containers are placed near the checkout, operators can count on increased sales.

On average, the consumer groups who drink more of these beverages include:

  • Men ages 18–34
  • Hispanics
  • Pacific region residents

In 2014, some c‑store operators have noticed a slowing of the shot category and are trying to boost revenue with 60-​day special promotions.

As the category matures, retailers are relying on processors to roll out new packaging and flavors to extend the product line. They also notice that the processors’ strong connections to entertainers, specifically athletes and musicians, in terms of sponsorship, helps maintain visibility and boost sales.

AudienceSCAN research confirms that this audience is comprised of more men (66.3%) than women (33.7%).  These consumers are more likely than average to engage in martial arts, snowboarding and skateboarding.  They're also big fans of fantasy sports and video games.  While these consumers certainly over-​index when it comes to taking action as a result of digital ads, they are 57% more likely than average to have taken action after seeing an out-​of-​home or billboard ad in the past 30 days.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.