A small category within overall soft drinks in Lithuania, energy drinks continued to record impressive growth rates through off-trade in 2020 due to rising interest in alternative refreshing soft drinks to carbonates with an energy positioning, while on-trade sales understandably suffered during the initial lockdown due to the closure of major channels such as bars where these drinks tend to be consumed. However, leading brand Red Bull reported an upturn in demand through on-trade in the latter part of May and into June as restrictions were further relaxed.
While there was some reduced off-trade demand in the initial period of lockdown, the home seclusion trend, including some remote working, is likely to have supported demand, with many energy drinks now positioned as functional, and therefore, some consumers are likely to have reached for a refreshing and energy-boosting drink to support their focus. However, with restrictions continuing to relax heading into the summer months, demand increased, with the consumption of energy drinks normally strongest during this season in Lithuania.
The competitive landscape of energy drinks is becoming increasingly consolidated amongst the leading players Red Bull GmbH, and Coca-Cola HBC Lietuva UAB with both gaining value share from smaller players under “others” in 2020; Red Bull retained its position as the leading brand of energy drinks due to its higher pricing, while Monster Energy from Coca-Cola remained its leading position in off-trade volume terms. Remaining a high-profile brand that benefits from its long-standing position in the country, Red Bull indicated that despite falling sales in March and April during the lockdown, heading into the summer months from late May, it experienced greater demand as restrictions were relaxed and consumers were able to leave their homes.
The forecast period offers further strong potential for energy drinks with the category set to record further double-digit off-trade volume and value growth (at constant 2020 prices). In line with health and wellness trends, players are likely to continue to address concerns over sugar content, whilst increasing the functionality of their products with additional vitamins or health-beneficial elements.
The reduction or removal of sugar within energy drinks is likely to be at the forefront of energy drinks development with Coca-Cola’s newer brand Energy being launched in both sugar and non-sugar variants, while its most popular brand Monster Energy also mainly invests in sugar free, with approximately 50% of its range offering this type. Red Bull has also noted that due to rising health trends in the country, its sugar-free variant is gaining greater attention.
Chained retailers increasingly understand the strong potential offered by energy drinks, where traditionally they were pessimistic about offering these products on their shelves. Nevertheless, with strengthening demand, many of the major retailers are increasing the visibility of energy drinks on their shelves in order to help drive impulse purchases in addition to expanding their ranges with both their own private label lines and more lucrative global brands with higher mark-ups.
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This report originates from Passport, our Energy Drinks research and analysis database.
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