When Ramesh Chauhan, chairman of Bisleri International, pulled the plug on his three-year-old energy drink Urzza last October, he cited Red Bull as one of the main reasons. “One of the main reasons (for the failure) was that we were trying too hard to copy Red Bull, the market leader in energy drinks. This did not bode well for the product,” he had reportedly said at the time.
Chauhan is not the only one who was unsuccessful in taking the [Red] Bull by its horns. Others, too, have failed miserably. Hector Beverages—the maker of Paperboat—stopped producing Tzinga and Kamasutra also exited the segment.
Interestingly, around the time of Urzaa’s exit, PepsiCo made a second attempt at cracking the energy drink market by rolling out Sting last year. In 2008, the cola giant had launched energy brand SoBe, which was later pulled out of the market.
Over the last one year, 13 brands have run out of steam and have exited the segment, one of the top officials of an energy drink brand said, citing Nielsen data. The mortality rate over the last three years has been higher: 35 brands. “This (Red) Bull can’t be tamed or copied or bullied,” the official added, requesting anonymity, as the data can’t be shared publicly.
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