5:57 am August 30, 2010, by Henry Unger
It’s what every business wants to do — grow beyond a niche market.
Well, it seems that energy drinks are doing just that, according to AJC staffer Jeremiah McWilliams.
In the past, caffeine-laced energy drinks were easy to stereotype as beverages for young punks, McWilliams writes. Some of the biggest brands, such as Monster, revel in the macho imagery of extreme sports and are clearly marketed to young guys.
Energy drinks also have been used as vodka mixers in bars and clubs, and as part of the college survival kit, McWilliams writes. Their heavy doses of sugar and caffeine helped students stay up, party and study.
“Today, it’s a lot bigger than that,” John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, told McWilliams. “It’s office workers and truck drivers. Now, there are people using them in lieu of an afternoon cup of coffee. It’s moved into a broader consumer base.”
With their expanded reach into the blue-collar and white-collar corners of American society, energy drinks have become one of the most profitable segments of the U.S. beverage industry, McWilliams reports.
The industry’s main challenge now? Convincing a larger swatch of American consumers who turn up their noses at energy drinks to give them a try, McWilliams writes.
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