On October 10th, Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc, the maker of Bang energy drinks, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, signaling trouble for the once extremely popular beverage maker … and perhaps indicating a larger trend with consumers and energy drinks.
Are the days of energy drinks numbered? Or, is Bang just an example of a company that fell victim to legal damages and failed deals?
According to court papers filed, Vital Pharmaceuticals owes over $500 million to Monster Beverage Co. and an additional $115 million to PepsiCo Inc, its previous distributor, according to a story published in the Regina Leader Post. However, Jack Owoc, CEO and founder of the energy drink, remains optimistic, stating that lenders have put up $100 million and that the company has a new distribution network that will take over from PepsiCo.
“We are excited about our future, and particularly the new distribution system that we have spent the better part of this year assembling,” Owoc, CEO of VPX, said in a press release. “Utilizing our new state-of-the-art decentralized direct store distribution (DSD) will allow Bang Energy to get back to our pre-Pepsi, meteoric annual success of several hundred percent year over year growth. We are coming like a freight train and cannot be stopped.”
“More than 20 years ago, we disrupted the beverage industry with brilliant, great tasting, better-for-you, highly effective innovations,” Owoc continued. “We also invented the performance energy category with social media supporters who grew along with our brand. Our inspired and positive contributions have been met with numerous lawsuits from Monster Energy and also Pepsi, basically Big Beverage.
“We will continue to fight these monster corporations. ….”
Despite Bang’s current troubles, for the most part it doesn’t seem like the U.S. is finished with energy drinks. According to a Research and Markets report from 2020, the energy drink market was valued at $14.3 billion and projected to reach $21.01 billion by 2026.
According to that report, a number of factors will increase the demand, including the rapidly growing younger population of the U.S. One way that the market has changed is the desire for drinks that provide energy, but aren’t just loaded with sugar.
Are you interested in trying plant-based seafood?
— The Food Institute (@FoodInstitute) October 18, 2022
Today’s consumer is more health conscious, so any beverage company that wants to remain successful will need to take note and adapt, perhaps pivoting more toward energy drinks with functional claims.
Will Bang be able to pull itself out of its hole? Only time will tell. When it comes to the popularity of energy drinks, however, that seems solidified for the foreseeable future.