CHICAGO — Energy drinks continue to be a force to be reckoned with inside the convenience store, with five energy drinks landing among IRI's 2016 New Product Pacesetters: Top 10 Convenience Store Brands.
According to the research firm, new energy launches provide an array of flavor experiences, but there are several new options for those seeking healthier alternatives, such as Monster Energy Ultra Black. AMP Energy Zero also boasts no calories.
"A 360-degree approach to health and wellness is yet again expanding the competitive set for food and beverage and non-food consumer packaged goods," said Susan Viamari, vice president of Thought Leadership for IRI. "Marketers must adopt a solution-oriented mindset and keep in mind that the consumer is in charge.
"The key is to educate and draw interest in a product with a powerful and personal marketing story, rather than just throwing a product out there and expecting the shopper to come," she said.
Taking spots on the list are Red Bull The Summer Edition at No. 2 with $385.9 million in total year-one dollar sales in the convenience channel. Following behind Red Bull are Rockstar BOOM! (No. 6; $53.3 million), Rockstar Freeze (No. 7; $51.7 million), Monster Energy Ultra Black (No. 9; $39.5 million), and AMP Energy Zero (No. 10; $25 million).
According to IRI, thousands of new brands hit retail shelves during 2016, with 80 percent of the top-ranking brands coming from small and midsized manufacturers and accounting for 64 percent of Pacesetter dollars.
Overall, the top-selling 200 new brands captured cumulative year-one sales of more than $5.8 billion across IRI's multi-outlet geography.
"The top product launches of 2016 highlight the three P's of successful innovation — prevention, personalization and pizzazz," Viamari explained. "Each plays an essential role in driving awareness and engagement in today's marketplace. Personalization is perhaps the most talked about, and desired, phenomenon in marketing today.
She added that the sheer volume of information in front of consumers makes keying in on consumer preferences critical.
"Products that are delivering small and powerfully targeted solutions that grab consumers' attention and make them feel and look great are resonating and are making a huge impact," Viamari said.
The IRI 2016 New Product Pacesetters report findings were compiled based on insights from IRI's New Product Innovation Practice's suite of analytical and decision-making tools as well as the 2017 IRI New Product Survey.