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Manufacture your own Energy Drink or Shot - Make Your Own
Designing and producing your own energy drink or energy shot to market on your own is much easier than you think. Many canned and bottled beverage contract manufacturers are equipped nowadays to produce and package a drink for you, and many can help with both formulation and labeling, too.
If you've been in a convenience store lately, you've probably noticed a proliferation of energy drinks. Red Bull was the pioneer (founded by a couple of Austrians who drank the original, uncarbonated version, called Krating Daeng, in Thailand), but nowadays, Rockstar, BooKoo, and dozens of others crowd the shelves and refrigerators of your 7-Eleven and gas station mini-mart. What they all seem to have in common is:
- sugar (although some diet ones have sucralose instead)
- caffeine, and lots of it
- some herbs that are supposed to give you energy, like ginseng
- vitamins, supposedly to help give you energy, as well
- taurine, an amino acid; I think it was supposed to conjure an image of a bull (taurus)
- a pretty consistent, bubble gum-like flavor
Energy shots, like 5-Hour Energy, focus on smaller form factors, like small 2 oz bottles, and instead deliver the caffeine payload in a non-carbonated, more intensely-flavored beverage. Shots are not necessarily drunk refrigerated, either. (They've often sold at convenience store counters, near the point of sale, instead of in the refrigerated section, since they're not designed to quench thirst.)
A Bay Area energy drink
Why did Red Bull outsell Krating Daeng?
Krating Daeng came first, then Red Bull. Why is Red Bull a recognized name among twenty-something partiers, and Krating Daeng only known in Thailand? MARKETING. Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz used to work in marketing for Procter & Gamble, one of the world's marketing giants.
Mateschitz gave Red Bull:
- a name and a brand
- a catchy tagline ("it gives you wings")
- a fetching design, based on the original logo
- carbonation; Krating Daeng is not carbonated, and thus tastes a little like medicine (the clunky brown bottle doesn't help, either). Ironically, energy shots are surging in popularity nowadays, despite their more medicinal flavor.
- distribution in the US and Europe, far bigger markets than Thailand
- advertising and promotion
How can I make one?
Two words: contract manufacturing. There are hundreds of companies that will make what you tell them to make. They'll produce and bottle it for you, and sometimes even help you formulate it. Many have standard energy drink formulas, that you can alter the flavor, color or ingredient profile of to make your product unique.
Here are a few companies that can do this:
Typical ingredient and flavor/color profile for an energy drink
- high fructose corn syrup
- crystalline fructose
- sucralose (Splenda)
Acidulants (makes it sour):
- citric acid
- phosphoric acid
- malic acid
- Vitamins B6, B12, C, E, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamine and Pantothenic Acid
- Taurine (an amino acid)
- Bee Pollen
- Herbal extracts, such as ginseng, guarana, milk thistle, ginkgo biloba, damiana, horny goat weed, yerba mate and rosemary
- sodium benzoate
- potassium sorbate
- no preservatives (pasteurization)
Colors: Range from colorless to dark brown (using caramel color) to bright red, yellow and orange.
Flavors (natural and artificial):