Menus Subscribe Search

Follow us


energy-drinks

The Most XTREME Energy-Drink Drinkers Are Young Moms

• September 13, 2013 • 8:00 AM

(PHOTO: SIMON LE NIPPON/FLICKR)

You wouldn’t know it from the advertising, but young mothers are among the biggest consumers of carbonated pick-me-ups.

Sure, balancing diapers while also balancing a finance portfolio is pretty extreme, in and of itself. But we all know the true measure of XTREME: daily energy-drink consumption. And, well, moms just might be the most XTREME of all.

According to a recent Nielsen report, young busy moms are now competing against teenage males as the largest consumers of energy drinks. Their purchasing index is greater than “young transitionals” and “independent singles,” and their habit, the report says, is to slurp one down as a “quick afternoon ‘pick-me-up’ before the kids come home from school.” And who can blame them? Four in 10 working mothers with children under the age of 18 report that they always feel rushed, while 86 percent of mothers surveyed say that they experience daily stress. If energy drinks market themselves as the solution to a haggard day, why not go for it? Or at least, go for it in secret: The majority of mothers surveyed drink their energy drinks on the sly, “concealed in the pantry.”

Energy drinks are trying to tap into that million-dollar mom market, but they just haven’t been able to without relying on stereotypical advertising and the color pink.

While most energy drinks come with a hyper-masculine image, a few companies are adapting for their growing audience. 5-hour ENERGY, for example, has promoted a pink-lemonade flavor with sales that go toward the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade. Amp advertises itself as the boost you need for “your kid’s after-school recital.” Nielsen credits Monster Energy’s Zero Ultra as advertising to women through “feminine design elements,” which, I guess, is referring to the fact the can is white instead of black? So you know, very womanly.

Still, no energy drinks, as the report notes, have been created that moms will drink proudly in the open. A quick Google search of “women, energy drinks” shows it’s not for a lack of trying. There’s Go Girl, Pink, Damzl Fuel, and Her. There’s COUGAR, which besides being “great for hair, skin, and nails” promises to maintain hormone levels and increase “her natural libido.” And if COUGAR is not for you, but you still want to burn 100 calories by “just sitting pretty,” you can always gulp down a Perfectly Petite.

So it appears that energy drinks are trying to tap into that million-dollar mom market, but they just haven’t been able to without relying on stereotypical advertising and the color pink. Which is not surprising, as stereotypes and energy drinks are no stranger to each other.

Feeding into gender stereotypes is already the marketing strategy of most energy drinks (scratch that—most products), so it’s unsurprising that these are sold to women as elixirs of beauty. But wouldn’t a universally appealing neutral design be the best economic solution to tapping in to both male and female markets? Red Bull appears to be the only brand remotely going for this approach, and it’s currently number one in sales. There did appear to be some hope for demographic awareness when Coca-Cola announced its new energy drink called “Mother,” but no. Mother is not for mothers; it’s, as the name clearly suggests, designed for young men “with attitude.”

Sarah Sloat
Sarah Sloat is an editorial fellow with Pacific Standard. She was previously selected as an intern for the Sara Miller McCune Endowed Internship and Public Service Program and has studied abroad in both Argentina and the U.K. Sarah has recently graduated from the University of California-Santa Barbara with a degree in Global and International Studies. Follow her on Twitter @sarahshmee.

More From Sarah Sloat

Tags: , , , , , , ,

If you would like to comment on this post, or anything else on Pacific Standard, visit our Facebook or Google+ page, or send us a message on Twitter. You can also follow our regular updates and other stories on both LinkedIn and Tumblr.

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and PSmag.com, delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow us


Subscribe Now

Quick Studies

Speed-Reading Apps Will Not Revolutionize Anything, Except Your Understanding

The one-word-at-a-time presentation eliminates the eye movements that help you comprehend what you're reading.

To Make Friends, Autistic Kids Need Advice—and Space

Kids with autism need help when it comes to making friends—but they also need their independence.

Gaming the Wedding Gift Registry System

Registering for your wedding? Keep your must-have items away from the average price of your registry—they’re unlikely to be purchased.

Smokey Can’t Save Us: Wildfires Are Out of Control

New research shows how rapidly fire dangers are rising in the American West. The results could help governments plan ahead for the flames.

Banning Chocolate Milk Was a Bad Choice

The costs of banning America's favorite kids drink from schools may outweigh the benefits, a new study suggests.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014