CHICAGO -- Nearly six in 10 Americans (59%) who are energy drink or energy shot users say they worry about the safety of those products. In a study by Mintel, respondents (56%) who drink energy drinks and/or shots do so because they find them more effective for alertness than other beverages. Just more than one-third (35%) say they are convenient and almost the same number like the taste.
When it comes to cutting down on energy drinks, health and cost are the leading reasons cited by those surveyed. Some 39% of Americans say the highly caffeinated beverages are not good for their health, and 35% say they have heard negative information about their health effects. In addition, 35% say they are just too expensive, according to Mintel.
More than three-quarters of women aged 18-34 (79%) who drink energy beverages agree that companies should include recommended daily consumption limits on the packaging of their energy drinks, compared with 71% of men. In addition, 62% of women 35 and up say they worry about the safety of energy drinks and shots, compared with only 51% of men.
Despite fears over safety, the energy drink and shot category has shown consistent annual growth from 2008 to 2013, according to Mintel. The market registered two years of 17% increases in 2012 and 2013, and it is expected to continue a steady upward trajectory to 2018.
Energy drinks and shots faced significant scrutiny following lawsuits and proposed legislation that began in 2012. "The media attention publicly challenged the safety and health effects of this pick-me-up category," said Jenny Zegler, global food and drink analyst for Mintel Food & Drink. "However, loyal users continue to drink the products because they are viewed as more effective than other beverages. This continued level of activity in the face of adversity has helped the category's rise to continue."