Last month, market research firm Nielsen outlined its new platform of 12 criteria for new product success during an “Innovation Revelation” webinar. In addition to outlining the dozen steps, Vicki Gardner, senior vice president of product innovation North America for the New York-based company, noted that traditionally successful product launches often offer benefits previously unavailable in the marketplace.
Centered on an otherwise empty wall in the lobby of the Farmington Hills, Mich., headquarters of Living Essentials LLC is a homemade wooden plaque for “2010 Runner-Up Worst Ad in America.” The plaque commemorates the company’s award from The Consumerist website for 5-Hour Energy’s “2:30 Feeling” TV ad. At the bottom, the plaque concedes, “We couldn’t even win this one.”
Pure Growth Partners, a New York City-based company that conceives and markets consumer brands, announced the launch of Street King, an energy shot made in collaboration with rapper, actor and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
It’s one of the largest independent bottlers in California, but Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc., Sacramento, Calif., is more than just a contract packager. In addition to its successful co-packing business, which operates production facilities in Sacramento and Anaheim, Nor-Cal also is an Anheuser-Busch distributor in Northern California and markets its own Go Girl line of energy drinks. The family-owned company was started by Roy G. Deary in 1937 as a franchise of Hires Bottling Co., explains Deary’s granddaughter and current president and chief executive officer of Nor-Cal Beverage, Shannon Deary-Bell. The franchise bottled and distributed Canada Dry, Dr Pepper and RC Cola brands in the Sacramento area.
Sales of energy drinks have taken on the energy of its products compared to a year ago. The energy drinks category increased 15.7 percent for $6.9 billion in sales, according to SymphonyIRI Group, Chicago, for the 52 weeks ending May 15 in U.S. supermarkets, drug stores, gas and convenience stores and mass merchandise outlets, excluding Wal-Mart.
Slowing growth and lower price points have emerged in an energy drinks category once defined by a meteoric rise and premium pricing, but industry analysts and beverage manufacturers say it is unclear whether the recession or category maturation are to blame.