Energy Drinks: An Assessment of Their Market Size, Consumer Demographics, Ingredient Profile, Functionality, and Regulations in the United States



ABSTRACT:  The consumption of energy drinks is rapidly increasing, as demonstrated by their large market growth. The targeted demographic group is teenagers, young adults, 18 to 34 y old; although expansion into nontraditional markets is also occurring. It is claimed that energy drinks can offer an increased energy boost related to their ingredient profile of caffeine, taurine, herbal extracts, and vitamins. Research suggests that energy drink formulations, in addition to increasing energy utilization, may also improve mood, enhance physical endurance, reduce mental fatigue, and increase reaction time. However, in most cases, the corresponding mechanisms of action are not clear. In addition, concerns have been raised over their safety and with a currently weak regulatory environment, efforts need to be made to ensure consumer safety. The objective of this article is to review the current U.S. energy drink market with emphasis on its market size, target demographic, active ingredients, potential benefits, safety, and regulations.