How to Make Your Energy Drink Stand Out

The global energy drinks market is expected to be valued at $108+ billion by 2031 — that’s over 8% growth from the current value. As a consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector, this is one to watch for sure

Thinking of launching an energy drink of your own? There are many different energy drink brands on the market, making it an extremely difficult area to penetrate. In an oversaturated space, it’s important for any brand to consider sustainability, brand image, and flavor. 

Keep reading to learn more about energy drinks in the CPG industry and how you can make your brand stand out. 

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Current competitive landscape: an overview

The energy drink market is known for new flavors and innovative products. Sales are booming and, as we outlined above, are expected to grow and grow.

And yet here’s the first challenge, or opportunity, for a new brand entering the space. Energy drinks have reputation for being full of sugar and caffeine — and that won’t appeal to everyone. No wonder, then, that some new energy drink brands are focusing on natural ingredients and low sugar content. 

Customers want a mental and physical boost and companies are finding ways to do this while also meeting other requirements. Certain demographics want plant-based or all-natural ingredients, lower amounts of sugar and caffeine, and fun flavors. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people have been conscious of what they put in their bodies. This is true for energy drinks, too. The demand for better-for-you energy drinks continues to rise as more people focus on health and wellness.

What factors impact success in the energy drinks market in 2022? 

There are many factors that impact how successful a brand is in the energy drink industry. A few top contenders include: 

Premium products 

Luxury can be a major pull for some shoppers who are willing to pay more for a premium experience. Creating a higher quality energy drink that also offers indulgence could be a lucrative option. This could mean using specific, but more expensive ingredients, or splurging for more expensive packaging. 

Health and nutrition 

One way brands are driving sales is by offering health-conscious options. The need for more health products is increasing due to consumer demands. For energy drinks, this means using more natural ingredients, low caffeine, and less or no sugar. 


Brands that have strong, consistent messaging and memorable logos make a lasting impact. But there are a few other ways brand can stand out: 

  • Know your audience
  • Create a positive perception/reputation
  • Stay consistent
  • Deliver on brand promises
  • Creative promotions and materials 
  • Connect on social media 

A male shopper reaches for an energy drink in cluttered fridge in a grocery store aisle

Innovative flavors 

Innovative flavors are one way to pique a shopper’s interest. A fun, new flavor paired with a fun, new name? Well, that can certainly get attention. 

Sustainable and ethical operations 

Sustainability is on the rise and more consumers than ever are searching for brands with ethical practices. Even within the energy drink sector, sustainability can come in several forms, including: 

  • Clean ingredients
  • “Free from” labels
  • Natural ingredients
  • Recycled packaging
  • Smaller portion sizes 
  • Smaller packs 

Reducing food waste is at the forefront of many consumers’ minds, so having a brand that promotes how it eliminates waste is a game-changer. 

3 innovative energy drink brands on the rise 

The energy drink market is booming and new brands are emerging every single day (or so it seems). But it’s all to play for. Some of the sector’s biggest names have been around for a long time while others are brand new.


You might be familiar with the NERD name, as this brand has been in operation for quite some time. Purchased in 2020, however, the brand received a new push in terms of marketing and comms. 

Today, NERD is an emerging brand in the nootropics market and promotes the drink as a “think drink.” Nootropics are natural ingredients that improve cognitive function, energy, and memory. 

NERD uses vitamins and plant-based ingredients to increase energy for consumers. It offers an original and no-calorie formula and is now distributed across 800 stores in the US!

Zoa Energy 

Zoa Energy was launched in 2021 and has a group of diverse founders: entrepreneurs, investors, fitness industry veterans, and even Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock”). This drink has entered the market as a “healthy energy drink” and is targeting health and fitness lovers, as well as those looking to live more healthily. 

How can the product back that positioning up, then? Well, for one, the caffeine in Zoa Energy is derived from green tea and it only uses clean ingredients. Other ingredients include L-Citruline, fruit extracts, electrolytes, and sodium. This brand obviously has some media attention due to its founders, but it seems to be living up to its promises considering its rapid growth since its launch.  


CELSIUS generated $177 million in sales during 2021. The pandemic led to massive growth for the brand, as another fitness-oriented proposition focusing on natural energy sources. 

The drink’s claim to be “energy-boosting and calorie-burning,” is no doubt appealing to many consumers — it’s not often you come across a drink that’ll help you lose weight. 

CELSIUS is free of artificial flavors or ingredients, has a low sodium count, and doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. It vows to speed up metabolism when you combine drinking it with regular exercise. 

Let’s give your healthy energy drink a boost!

Are you working on developing a disruptive energy drink, or just brewing up an idea right now? 

No matter what your current company status is, it’s important to find partners who understand your ideas, ethos, and objectives. Buffalo Market is a leading distributor of mission-driven foods and beverage products — and we make it our mission to grow indie CPGs like yours. 

We work hard to get plant-friendly products in front of larger audiences. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your brand grow. 

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