With increasing popularity, coupled with a wide variety of products and growing consumer base, the U.S. energy drinks market continues to show its dominance. 

According to data from Chicago-based Circana, the overall energy drinks category saw a sales increase of 12.2%, totaling $19.7 billion in total U.S. multi-outlets with convenience stores for the 52 weeks ending May 21. Meanwhile, unit sales were up 4.5% during that same time period.

Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president and practice leader at Circana, noted in Beverage Industry’s August 2022 issue, that overall, the category should continue to grow in both unit and dollar sales in 2023.

“The growth will be driven primarily by the energy drink mixes and non-aseptic,” Wyatt explained. “Helping fuel the growth will not only be the big brands, but also newer brands offering unique/better offerings. Energy shots should continue to grow online, but growth in-store may continue to face challenges.”

Of its respective segments ― non-aseptic energy drinks, energy shots, energy drink mixes and aseptic energy drinks ― the non-aseptic energy drink segments continue to drive the market.

With sales totaling $18.5 billion, a year-over-year increase of 12.9% for the 52 weeks ending May 21, the majority of the Top 10 individual brands experienced strong growth, Circana data shows. Only a few brands, flat in sales, saw declines.

In its “US Energy Drinks Market Report 2022,” Chicago-based Mintel highlights that the category’s performance is driven by a dedicated base of highly engaged consumers, as 52% of these consumers drink these beverages multiple times a week or more.

Noting that the energy drink market thrived throughout the pandemic, consumers altered their shopping patterns with more purchasing energy drinks in multipacks from traditional retailers, according to Mintel’s report.


Ghost Energy Drinks
Image courtesy of GHOST ENERGY


Caleb Bryant, associate director of food and drink at Mintel and the author of the report stated: “Energy drink sales soared throughout 2020 and 2021, driven by pandemic-related stressors and increased work and home responsibilities. Sales will remain strong as more consumers continue to purchase energy drinks in multipack formats. Brands face an opportunity to celebrate consumers’ return to social activities and increased consumer interest in health and wellness indicates opportunities for [better-for-you] (BFY) energy drinks.”

Circana’s Wyatt explained in Beverage Industry’s August 2022 issue, that the energy drink category will keep moving in a BFY direction.

“The energy drink category growth story has and will continue to move toward becoming energy drinks with healthy features, like zero calorie, added vitamins, lower caffeine content and/or innovative health additives,” Wyatt said. “Today, the most common attributes include no sugar, natural caffeine extract from green tea, vitamins added and creatine added. 

For example, GHOST sports nutrition, Henderson, Nev., with its more recent launch of GHOST ENERGY, in February, released its newest flavor: Cherry Limeade, offering a sweet cherry flavor with a bite of lime. Like the brand’s other energy drink flavors, this new flavor is vegan, gluten free, soy free and sugar free, the company notes.


Top energy drinks non-antiseptic (individual brands)

1 Red Bull $7,344,858,551 8.9 39.51 -1.8
2 Monster $5,523,199,773 11.3 29.71 -0.44
3 Celsius $1,103,198,706 135.9 5.93 3.09
4 Bang $788,516,796 -37.8 4.24 -3.46
5 Rockstar $717,467,140 2.3 3.86 -0.4

Category Total* $18,591,588,276 12.9 100 ---

*Includes brands not listed
Source: Circana, Chicago. Total U.S. supermarkets, drug stores, gas and convenience stores, mass merchandisers, military commissaries, and select club and dollar retail chains for the 52 weeks ending May 21.


As the growing interest in BFY beverages has touched many beverage categories, energy drinks are no different, experts note.

In its 2021 report titled “Energy Drinks in the US Through 2025,” New York-based Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) highlights the proliferation of the low-calorie energy drink market.

“Low-calorie energy drinks have risen from 17.3% of energy drink volume in 2006 to 41.7% in 2020,” the report states. “Low-calorie energy drinks had only come into existence in January 2003 with the launch of Red Bull Sugarfree.”

The report details that diet energy drinks have outperformed full-calorie energy drinks (in terms of volume) for a number of years, and predicts this trend will continue.

“As noted, low-calorie energy drinks outperformed their higher-calorie counterparts in 2020, a trend which should continue in the next five years,” the report states. “Diet energy drinks should increase their share of volume from 41.7% in 2020 to 42.1% in 2025. Their share of wholesale dollars is expected to grow from 39.2% to 40.0% in the identical five-year period.”


Kamaru Usman
Image courtesy of Monster Energy Corp.


With a full launch in the first quarter of 2023, Corona, Calif.-based Monster Energy Corp. announced the launch of Monster Energy Zero Sugar. With the taste of the flagship original Monster Energy Green — but without sugar — the drink is primed with 160 mg of caffeine, and like its predecessor, Monster Energy Zero Sugar helps fight fatigue, and improve mental performance and focus, the company says.

“Consumers have been asking for years when we would release a sugar-free version of the OG Monster. But we didn’t want to do it until we had the formula just right — and we believe we have nailed it,” said Dan McHugh, chief marketing officer at Monster Energy, in a statement, at the time of release. “We are very proud of our existing sugar-free Monster Energy Ultra line, and all of its incredible innovative flavors. But we were long-overdue on a zero-sugar version of our flagship flavor. The time of Monster Energy Zero Sugar is now.”

As reduced calories and zero sugar is not the only BFY trend impacting the energy drink market, in November 2021, Glanbia Nutritionals released its insights titled “Energy Drink Trends: What to Expect in 2022.” In that, it identifies the inclusion of sports nutrition ingredients as a growing trend.

“Sports nutrition is another area of expansion for energy drink brands, as more brands are adding performance and recovery ingredients like protein and amino acids,” it states.


button (16).png