If consumers aren't bouncing off the walls, its not for lack of trying by the energy-drinks industry. A Mintel report issued at the end of last month says the retail value of the category has risen to $4.8 billion, up some 400 percent since 2003.
In that year, 9 percent of adult respondents to a Mintel survey said they consumed these products. This year, 15 percent said they do. Thirty-five percent of teens in the new survey said they regularly consume energy drinks, vs. 19 percent in 2003.
With energy drinks having joined energy bars as a fixture of the modern diet, Mintel expects other "energy" foods to catch on as well. The research firm notes that ingredients associated with energy, such as ginseng and guarana, now turn up in some snack foods. "Caffeine is also emerging in foods from energy bars to cereals, such as Morning Spark's caffeine-fortified instant oatmeal," says the research firm.