US: Red Bull to launch Total Zero in April

Red Bull is set to launch Red Bull Total Zero in April, the company’s first line extension since the debut of its (now discontinued) energy shot in 2009. Aiming to tap into the growing market of calorie-averse consumers, the new product boasts a zero calorie/carb/sugar formulation and a “new twist” on the classic Red Bull flavour, says the company.

Though the company has long carried a sugar-free variety, Red Bull’s decision to launch a zero-calorie formulation mirrors a similar strategy to that of a number of beverage companies including Coca-Cola, with Coke Zero, and, more recently, energy drink rival Monster, which has found early success with Monster Absolutely Zero.

Red Bull’s naming of the product also reflects a growing trend in beverage companies’ use of “zero” designations, ie Coca-Cola with Coke Zero, and Monster, with Monster Absolutely Zero, the recent debut of Honest Tea’s Honest Zero, SoBe’s LifeWater’s Zero Calorie line, and Steaz Zero Calorie Iced Teaz.

The packaging of the new drink features silver and grey colours with a yellow band across the top.

BevNET reports that Red Bull has stated that it expects Total Zero to “further drive incremental sales for the brand and further invigorate the energy drink category with a premium new offering.”

The company also cited new research that shows continued growth for reduced carbohydrate/calorie energy drinks, which now account for 31 percent of the category.

With Monster and Rockstar continuing to gain market share through new product introductions and increased marketing spend, industry observers will be watching Total Zero closely, particularly after the company dropped its two most recent line extensions, Red Bull Cola and Red Bull Energy Shot, last year.

Despite Red Bull’s robust brand name, as well as its vast financial and marketing resources, the products failed to resonate with mainstream consumers and were largely considered to be a bust for the company, notes BevNet.

Red Bull Total Zero will be distributed nationally, and packaged in the brand’s iconic 8.4 oz. can. The product will also come in 12 and 16 oz. sizes and also sold in an 8.4 oz. 4-pack. Total Zero will be line priced with Red Bull’s flagship and sugar-free varieties as an 8.4 oz. can will have a suggested retail price of $2.19, and the 12 and 16 oz. cans will be priced at $2.99 and $3.79 respectively.

Related reading:

Taking on Red Bull and becoming a billion dollar brand