Shark launches vodka-based energy drink

Energy drinks company Shark AG is to launch a vodka-based energy drink called Shark Up at the end of this month.

The drink, which combines the company’s Shark Stimulation drink with vodka, will be test-marketed in Cambridge before a planned national roll-out. It is believed to be the first time an established energy drink brand has launched an alcohol product.

Shark Up will be available initially in 250ml cans. If it is successful, larger bottles are planned. Marketing support is being developed by start-up advertising agency Vinnie. Regional advertising for Shark Up is planned, including listings magazines and outdoor.

The company has recently launched a still version of its energy drink, in 150ml cans.

The UK energy drinks market is worth an estimated &£393m, with a quarter of the value coming from retail sales. Shark’s competitors include market-leader Red Bull and products such as Frucor’s V and Britvic Soft Drinks’ Red Devil. GlaxoSmithKline recently axed its energy drink, Solstis, and is believed to be gearing up for the launch of a new product (MW June 3).

The Shark Stimulation drink was launched in the UK in March 2002 and ran into trouble later in the year when its outdoor advertising was criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for showing bruised and scratched bodies of men and women with the strapline: “Bring out the beast” (MW July 4, 2002). That campaign was created by Tequila.

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