V Energy drink puts a hit of guarana into iced coffee brand extension

V Energy drink has extended its brand into iced coffee, Australia’s fastest growing impulse channel beverage category. V Double Espresso contains a hit of guarana, bringing a unique point of difference to pre-packaged iced coffee.

 

Frucor’s V Energy marketing manager Craig Harkness said the brand extension was responding to “phenomenal” growth in the iced coffee category in recent years.

“V has a history and reputation of delivering a massive energy hit, so it makes sense to expand into an adjacent, growing category of soft drinks.”

V Double Espresso will compete with recently popularised products including the heavily-promoted Dare iced coffee and Coca-Cola Amatil’s new offering, Barista Bros.

Harkness said the new V drink would appeal to two sets of customers:

  • Energy drink consumers seeking a non-carbonated energy hit in the morning, and
  • iced coffee consumers seeking more of a pick-me-up.

“It is too early to determine cannibalisation on energy drink sales, however pre-launch we calculated a very minimal impact on energy drinks,” he said.

V Double Espresso would set itself apart from the competition by containing guarana, the caffeine-rich substance in carbonated energy drinks including V and Red Bull.

The brand launched an iced coffee product “a couple of years ago” with a different formulation, but withdrew it from shelves due to an inconsistent supply. V Double Espresso was a new formulation with new packaging that “really gives you an energy hit like a can of V does,” Harkness said.

“V Energy’s USP is it’s guarana energy delivery. Consumers expect that of us so we invested a significant level of effort in developing a formulation that people will love.

“V is synonymous with energy, and has an opportunity to expand into other energy-based ready-to-drink beverages, such as iced coffee. When consumers think V Double Espresso, they will think iced coffee with a great energy hit.”

Harkness hinted at further product developments from the company but declined to give details:

“We’ve got plenty of new products in development but need to keep them under wraps for now.”

 

Michelle Herbison
BY Michelle Herbison ON 7 August 2014
Assistant editor, Marketing Magazine.