More Than Half of U.S. Energy Drink Users Concerned with Safety

danger_sign1While the jolt from energy drinks is an alluring pull for consumers, a new report from Mintel has found many Americans are concerned about safety.

Nearly six in 10 Americans (59%) who are current energy drink or shot users said they worry about the safety of these beverages, according to the research. Despite allegations of health hazards and government scrutiny, users haven’t been scared off yet. The market has seen a consistent annual growth from 2008 to 2013, with 17% increases in 2012 and 2013. Mintel predicted a continued 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 Jennifer 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.”

More than half of Mintel respondents (56%) who use energy drinks and/or shots claimed to do so because they are more effective for energy and alertness than other beverages. Just more than one-third (35%) said they are convenient and 31% like the taste.

When it comes to cutting down on energy drinks, health and cost were cited as the leading reason. Indeed, 39% of Americans said these prodcuts are not good for their health and 35% said they have heard negative information about their health effects. In addition, 35% said they are just too expensive.

“Manufacturers must address these health issues in order to retain current users, while concerns about price should be addressed by promotions and limited-time discounts,” added Ms. Zegler.

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