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It's energy, and you need it. But do you need it in an 8 oz. can? The answer is yes, if consumers swilling Red Bull-type energy drinks by the gallon are any indication. Typically filled with natural additives like ginseng and taurine, plus a healthy sprinkling of caffeine, these drinks are aimed at the groovy young crowd-who might use them to wake up for an all-night study session or to kick-start a night on the town. The latest craze is to mix the concoctions with vodka for an added wallop. According to the Beverage Marketing Corp., the energy drink market is expected to exceed $150 million in 2001.
Wanting a piece of that pie is J. Darius Bikoff, founder and president of Energy Brands Inc., who launched his Go-Go line of energy drinks in 1996. Being one of the first American companies to get into the game, Bikoff, 39, focused on building an image and identity for Go-Go and differentiating Go-Go from the other energy drinks on the shelves. The market is so hot, even the big boys want to play-Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola entered the market with 180 and KMX.
For Bikoff, 2001 brought a revamp to Energy Brands' packaging and message-including the super-hip animated Go-Go girl, complete with go-go boots, a hot red dress and lots of attitude. "She's got a tremendous amount of self-confidence and character-and great things to say," says Bikoff. With revenues increasing 300 percent annually over the past three years, who wouldn't?