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Energy Buzz The energy drink trend gives you entrepreneurial wings-that's no Red Bull.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

NEXT UP:Boba-licious
Starbucks is over. OK, maybe not over-but in for some seriouscompetition from the new drink on the block, boba milk tea. A yummyconcoction that can be frothy and frosty or clear, the drinkisn't complete without gummy tapioca "pearls" at thebottom of the glass. About the size of small marbles, they'resucked through the extra-wide straws for a groovy drinking/chewinghybrid that's becoming all the rage in tea bars and collegetowns nationwide.

Sound weird? Even I was skeptical aboutdrinking and chewing my beverage at the same time-but I wasimmediately hooked. So if your business always has to be on top ofthe latest trends, this may be your cup o' tea.

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 energydrinks by the gallon are any indication. Typically filled withnatural additives like ginseng and taurine, plus a healthysprinkling of caffeine, these drinks are aimed at the groovy youngcrowd-who might use them to wake up for an all-night study sessionor to kick-start a night on the town. The latest craze is to mixthe concoctions with vodka for an added wallop. According to theBeverage Marketing Corp., the energy drink market is expected toexceed $150 million in 2001.

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