QSRs Want Their Share of the Energy Drink Market

Surging energy drink sales in c-stores are encouraging QSRs to introduce their own energy drinks.

May 10, 2024

Energy beverages are surging. Despite Panera’s recent decision to stop serving Charged Lemonade drinks, restaurants and c-stores are seeing rapid sales growth for this category.

Energy drinks are a top seller at c-stores, and according to NACS State of the Industry data, account for an average of $10,500 in sales per store, per month.

Tony Guilfoyle, executive vice president, sales, North America, at Celsius Holdings, reported that dollar sales of energy drinks surged 15% in c-stores last year. According to Guilfoyle, sales of the brand skyrocketed 173%.

At TXB stores in Texas, “energy drinks by far were one of the biggest trends as new brands grew dramatically,” Ben Hoffmeyer, vice president, marketing and merchandising, said.

Energy drinks help boost sales during afternoon dayparts as consumers buy them throughout the day.

Dutch Bros announced its summer drink lineup last week, bringing back its seasonal Mangonada Rebel energy drink.

Dunkin’ launched its own energy beverage in February, Sparkd’ Energy—a sparkling fruit drink infused with caffeine. “With the introduction of SPARKD’ Energy by Dunkin’, we set out to create a deliciously unique option for our guests. It’s not just another energy drink; it’s a totally new way to run on Dunkin’, incorporating the flavors that we know our fans enjoy,” said Beth Turenne, Dunkin’s Vice President of Category Management, in a press release.

Starbucks sells a packaged energy drink called BAYA Energy at its stores—the first energy drink for the coffee chain—which it launched in 2022. The company said the “ready-to-drink beverage is crafted from caffeine naturally found in coffee fruit as well as antioxidant vitamin C for immune support.”

For more information on packaged beverage trends and the growth of energy drinks in convenience, check out Thirst Quenchers in the May issue of NACS Magazine.