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UAE consumes 12m litres of energy drinks every year

Coca-Cola launches Burn in a king size package of 500ml can

  • The age group which is Arab and 19 to 29 years old accounts for 70 per cent of that energy drink consumptionImage Credit: Supplied
  • A monster truck crushes 61,106 cans out of the 82,800 cans stacked to create aGuinness World Record at the lImage Credit: Samia Badih/Gulf News
Gulf News

Dubai: The market for energy drinks in the UAE is around 12 million litres a year, according to Coca-Cola's research data.

The company recently introduced Burn, its energy drink, in the UAE market in a kingsize package. Burn was originally introduced in the UAE in May 2007 in a 250ml can that is going to be replaced by a can double the size.

"We decided to upsize based on consumer demands," Antoine Tayyar, Public Affairs and Communications Director for Coca-Cola Middle East said during the launch of the new upsized drink in Dubai recently.

"According to our research in the UAE and the GCC [region], our core target, being males between 19 and 29, wanted something that would really answer their thirst."

Tayyar explained that in a country like the UAE where there's a lot of heat, it's important for people to hydrate, and so upsizing to a 500ml can seemed the reasonable strategic move for the company.

"When we looked at our research, we found that around 15 per cent of the population that consumes energy drinks in the UAE drinks more than one serving a day," said Khaled Al Sharbani, Marketing Manager of Still Beverages for Coca-Cola Middl East.

"We felt that there was a need in the marketplace for a combination of a daytime energy drink as well as a larger size to target that consumer consumption occasion."

The age group which is Arab and 19 to 29 years old accounts for 70 per cent of that energy drink consumption, Al Sharbani said.

The UAE is among 20 countries in which the kingsize cans have been introduced, starting with Russia in 2007.

The energy drink however is available in more than 80 countries.

When asked whether they expect the kingsize introduction to boost sales, Tayyar said he is sure it would.

"This is what we're hoping, but obviously we didn't do it out of nothing," he said.

"We did our homework. We looked at what the consumer demand is and the trend is more to 500 and we're trying to provide them with this."

Steady growth

The energy drinks market in the UAE has witnessed steady growth over the past few years even though 2009 was affected by the economic downturn, according to Alberto Chahoud, Red Bull's Communications Manager for the Middle East and Africa.

"While Red Bull is popular across the Middle East, the UAE registers the highest per capita consumption," he told Gulf News.

Red Bull, an energy drink from Austria, was launched in the UAE in 1998.

Today it is available in 160 countries and targets a similar consumer base of young adults from 15 to 19 years old, Chahoud said.

"We are intensifying our efforts for 2010 in order to resume our growth path," he added.

A new Guinness record

However, Coca-Cola's launch of the king size can came with a record-breaking event in Dubai which the beverage company had organised with Guinness World Records.

The record broken was for the most cans smashed by a monster truck in three minutes.

Out of the 82,800 cans stacked for the monster truck driver to crush, 61,106 cans made the count.

"This is a brand new record," said Jason Curran, the Guinness World Record adjudicator, who was present at the launch event to make the final count of the smashed cans.

This isn't the first time the beverage manufacturer has broken a Guinness world record. Last year Coca-Cola broke the record for the highest number of people simultaneously opening a Coke bottle in Dubai.

While Guinness doesn't accept new categories quite often, Curran said this was one that they couldn't pass up because the record proposed to be broken was high.

"If the number was under 1,000 we wouldn't have accepted it, but 61,106, that's pretty impressive," he said.

It's uncertain how long the record can stand the length of time, but it is currently the first to enter the Guinness World Records 2011 edition so far. The thousands of crushed cans were transported to the Emirates Environmental Group to be recycled.