IRVING, Texas — The battle to lead the new age of energy drinks heated up this month with 7-Eleven Inc.'s launch of a proprietary drink that contains electrolytes, creatine, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
The new Quake energy drinks "combine the best of energy, sports and performance drinks into one," 7-Eleven said as it launched the drink June 19.
That positioning echoes the marketing for two other brands that have shaken up the market recently and led to multiple lawsuits over the claims made by those companies.
Bang Energy, a decade-old drink line from VPX Sports, Weston, Fla., markets itself as "the world's healthiest energy drink" and a "potent brain and body-rocking fuel" that also contains creatine, caffeine and BCAAs. It's also the fastest-growing energy drink in convenience stores today. In 2018, Bang unit sales grew more than 400% in c-stores, according to IRI data.
That challenge to Monster Energy's market share was enough for Monster parent Monster Beverages, Corona, Calif., to file a lawsuit against Bang, challenging VPX’s nutrition claims.
At the same time, Monster developed its own BCAA brand, Reign, sparking a countersuit from VPX, claiming Reign is a knockoff of its product in ingredients and packaging. Reign Total Body Fuel rolled out in April as a pre- or post-workout drink.
It is a "better-for-you fitness beverage designed for active lifestyles," the company said. It features 300 milligrams of caffeine, as well as CoQ10, amino acids, electrolytes and vitamins B3, B6 and B12.
7-Eleven's Tim Cogil, senior director of private brands, says the company's launch of Quake is "based on customer feedback and incorporates the highest quality and right mix of ingredients that make it unique in the energy space."
"Understanding the needs of our customer is critical to the success of our private brands program," Cogil said. "Customers were telling us they want an energy drink that provides more benefits than the traditional energy drink brands offer today.
"Our product tested higher than traditional brands in flavor and overall preference," he continued. "Based on those results, we knew we hit the mark with Quake."
The energy drink category continues to grow. It has annual sales of $12 billion, 75% of which is sold in convenience stores, according to IRI. Much of that growth is attributed to the increase in functional or performance energy drinks.
Quake is available in four flavors: Original, Berry Blast, Orange Fusion and Tropical Lemon. Suggested retail price is $2.49, with a limited-time buy one, get one free introductory price.
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses more than 68,000 c-stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America. It is No. 1 in in CSP'sTop 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of retail outlets. The retailer's iconic brands include Slurpee, Big Bite and Big Gulp.