Sports and energy is the fastest growing sub-category in the soft drinks sector. But there is still more you can do to keep sales rising. So how can retailers take advantage of the fastest-growing sector in their drinks chillers..?

Sports and energy drink sales rose by 9.8 per cent in the year to January 23 – a huge figure when compared with the fact that the take-home soft drinks market only grew by two per cent in total in 2009. But much like Coca-Cola’s plans to hugely increase the total size of the category, the industry leading brands still believe that there is room for improvement.

To that end, Red Bull have announced the results of their own research that looks at the energy category and emerging trends within it. The main finding of the research was that there are three main consumption peaks for energy drinks.

Early morning – to ensure that you’re on the ball when arriving at work; mid-afternoon – to make sure you have the energy to put in a good workout after work; and early evenings – when preparing for a night out.

Red Bull is investing a lot of money in a campaign to support this information and take advantage of the research and that will be around and about on billboards near you shortly.

It might seem obvious, if you sit down and think about it, that these are the key times to sell energy drinks, but the fact that a big company has done the research to prove it means a lot. They will work hard to get this message out there to remind consumers to buy at these times, which means that retailers need to be on the ball to support this.

Of course, being fully-stocked up at all times is vital. But if you let your stock run down at any of these three key periods in particular, you’re missing out hugely on an important piece of the soft drink pie.