Play Beverages Holdings, Ltd. has recently launched Playboy Energy Drink in the UK.

The product has an invigorating formula with a premium positioning and was first launched in the United States in 2007 and is currently available in over 20 countries worldwide, including South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and across Europe.The Energy category has shown remarkable resilience in tough economic times. Growth has certainly slowed and several major brands have seen decline in total volumes. However the emergence of new, exciting and recognisable energy drinks such as Playboy Energy has helped to ensure the overall category has continued to forge ahead against the odds.

“This product provides consumers with a taste of the exhilaration that has long been associated with the Playboy lifestyle”, said Sarah Haney, senior vice president, global licensing, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. “We’re pleased that Playboy Energy Drink will now be available in the United Kingdom and are confident that it will enjoy the same success with consumers, retailers and the beverage distribution community that it has seen in markets around the world.”

Playboy Energy Drink’s official UK VIP launch event took place at London’s Funky Buddha nightclub in November last year, with newly appointed Playboy Energy Drink UK Ambassador Kelly Brook. The popular model and actress hosted proceedings along with Hope Dworaczyk, Playboy’s 2010 Playmate of the Year. Located in London’s swanky Mayfair district, Funky Buddha has achieved considerable acclaim as one of the city’s premiere celebrity/VIP nightlife destinations for the past nine years. Funky Buddha also bears the distinction of being the first nightclub in London to carry and sell Playboy Energy Drink, and the famous nightclub is under exclusive contract. Other high profile London clubs have also listed the new energy drink including Gilgamesh, Maddox, Alto Club, No.5 Cavendish Square, Kosmopol, Aquum, the Sky Bar and the Polo Bar.

Simon Lewis, Brand Spokesman added, “Playboy Energy Drink is a new premium offering for an ever expanding category. The iconic brand identity is extremely strong and instantly recognisable. All our feedback tells us that we have a great tasting product that is ‘Energy and More.”

Playboy Energy Drink has also recently agreed a national listing with Makro. The listing has been achieved in conjunction with EWP Trading who are working closely with the Playboy Energy team. David Griffin, MD of the company said “We have been really impressed with Playboy Energy. Makro were a natural fit for launching the brand as they follow a strategy of leading and being first to market.”

 

ENERGY DRINK TRENDS

Product size, flavour extensions and new formats have all been seen in the off trade. Only now are these influences beginning to creep in the pub sector. The format for energy drinks has remained fairly rigidly in 250ml cans and recent attempts to break this mould have been generally unsuccessful. Flavour extensions have been seen and expect to see more development in this area. Energy shooters so far have been limited in their on trade development but again hold a variety of possibilities. The potential is in convincing the retailer that variety is what the consumer requires. If you view any bar fridge or back bar display you will certainly find choice in beer, wine, soft drinks generally and flavour varieties in smaller sub categories e.g. J2O. However there is still a mental block in relation to energy drinks. The vast majority of retailers will only stock one 250ml energy drink can. At a time when the overall category is still in growth (when so many traditional on trade categories are not) it seems a missed opportunity. Variety is good and in such a high value category as Energy it would be commercially sensible for the on trade to welcome some category innovation and take a leaf out of the off trade book.

Energy drinks have already begun to move out of the vodka mixer heartland that was so crucial in building up the category in the last 15 years. Other spirit brands have begun to view the energy drink category as a new opportunity and it is expected that this trend will continue. Playboy Energy Drink is actively encouraging retailers to mix the brand with a wide variety of spirits, where personal preference is the key for engaging more consumers to experiment.

 

BRAND RECOGNITION

Playboy Energy has one of the most iconic brand images in the world and one that has a particular resonance with a mature age bracket. Stylish branding and a softer image may also entice the female drinker more into the category.

Simon added, “Energy is still the fastest-growing sector within total soft drinks in the on trade and licensees should ensure they tap into that opportunity by stocking the recognisable brands and ensuring they are visible to their consumers.”

Playboy Energy Drink boasts subtle notes of fruit and vanilla, and contains Ginseng root, Guarana extract and Damiana leaf, ingredients that are believed to stimulate energy levels.

Playboy Energy Drink is available in two varieties, regular and sugar free, and each comes packaged in an 250ml. black cans, made distinctive by the famous Playboy Rabbit Head Design and colours denoting regular (glowing orange) or sugar-free (glowing blue).

 

EWP trading ltd are acting as sales agents for Playboy Energy Drink. Contacts at the company are david.griffin@ewptrading.co.uk or paul.marrington@ewptrading.co.uk OR CALL 01283 527970