According to a study conducted by Packaged Facts (2/4/13), energy drinks may make up a small portion of the non-alcoholic beverage market, but the highly caffeinated drinks themselves have had a dramatic increase in sales. The study, “Energy Drinks and Shots: U.S. Market Trends” found that from 2008 to 2012, the energy drinks and shots industry grew by 60 percent, with more than $12.5 billion in sales in 2012.
The report further found that five percent of adults consume energy drinks between five and seven times per month, with approximately two percent drinking them 10 times or more. The most commonly used energy drink brands were Red Bull, Monster Energy, 5-Hour Energy and Rockstar Energy.
Given the dramatic growth of the industry, the report suggests that sales of energy drinks could top $21 billion a year by 2017.
The dramatic growth is a worry to people who have concerns that the energy drinks could be dangerous. Back in 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was investigating five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack in people who drank energy drinks. Lawsuits have also been filed against energy drink companies, alleging the drinks are excessively dangerous.
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Energy drinks are considered supplements, not food, so they are not subject to the same regulations as food, allowing them to contain higher levels of caffeine.
One lawsuit alleging a 14-year-old died after consuming two energy drinks in 24 hours is set to go to court in April 2015.