Touted as the new gold mine for beverage manufacturers, the energy drink business is just well paying, what with the popularity the “new age” Drink products has gained in the recent past.
The sophistication of the modern society, free access to information and increased stress levels among college students, middle level employees have fueled the demand for Energy Drinks. These factors have in turn boosted the energy drink business with giant beverage companies catching on the multi billion dollar industry. This is evident in few energy drink brands being sold along busy streets in major towns. On average, a street hawker along Mombasa highway sells 100 bottles of a popular energy drink from Tanzania. Brands such as Boost, Azam Energade, Rush, XL, Red Bull, etc are few examples of popular brands liked by people who work on busy schedules. A Tanzanian brand Azam Energy Drink is arguably the newest most popular brand with long distance drivers and travellers.
Building An Energy Drink Business Empire
Firstly, the secret to start off a successful Energy Drink business is acquiring solid industrial skills in formulating a product that delivers. Knowledge of the beverage processes, various ingredients and additives etc are key to designer product formulation. Fortunately, all major ingredients found in many energy drink brands in Africa are locally available from food companies, pharmaceutical raw material companies and chemical shops. Utalii College, Technical University of Kenyan food science department, University of Nairobi and many private colleges that offer culinary courses source teaching materials locally.
Secondly, breaking from the traditional recipes of caffeinated energy drinks (that are contraindicated in Pregnancy, Young age, hypertensive individuals) and creating a recipe that is focused on, eg boosting mental alertness, boosting Male performance, lactating mothers, etc can create a huge demand among college students, pregnant women and the wealthy people who suffer from high blood pressure. So far, none of such recipe exists, but I can tell you that local beverage companies that long ignored it will start making it after reading this article!
Thirdly, create a brand that focuses on your target of “long ignored” consumer group. Sadly, most popular energy drinks are designed to be taken by heavy binge drinkers in night clubs. Others like “Azam”target long distance drivers. But surprisingly, students, pregnant women, who actually constitute the biggest group of spenders have been denied this precious commodity.
Replacing the often damaging chemical additives such as Caffeine, Tourine and Niacin with more natural ingredients permits your brand to be well tolerated in all age groups and the convalescents and people with stress (as stress buster).
Dr J. K Mwongo, a director of a local research firm on natural chemotherapeutics talks about the little known ginseng: “Ginseng is used to improve thinking, concentration, memory and physical endurance. It’s also used to help with depression, anxiety and as a chronic fatigue natural cure. It’s known to boost the immune system, fight infections and help men with erectile dysfunction… “. Ginseng is hawked at the Globe Cinema fly over and abundantly displayed in Ngara market.
If processed through standard pharmaceutical procedures, it can be incorporated into your all-natural energy drink.
Cost of Production
Given that 86% of Energy drink is water, the cost of producing a 500ml is less than Ksh 20. Stabilizers, flavors, food color, glucose and special additives that constitute the remaining 14% cost less than Ksh 4. The packaging costs about Ksh 8. All these added together make the cost of production for a 500ml to be Ksh 15. On average, a 500ml energy drink retails at Ksh 50/.
Upon drinking, an Energy Drink must truly provide an energy burst and the dynamics of standard formulation should apply. Use of stabilizers, permitted food colors, flavorants etc must be incorporated in their standard ratios that conform with the Kenya Bureau of standards. Packaging and labeling constitute secondary features that are no longer very important to the consumer as depicted well in Azam brand that is currently popular in rural town streets and highways. The metal cans have been replaced effectively with plastic bottles.
Join our daily classes in making Standard energy drink and join Coca-Cola industry, the little known Bakhresa Group (makers of Azam Energy drink), and Kenya Breweries (makers of Malta).