Doe Energy Drinks Cost A Fortune? (Best Alternatives)

Have you walked past the section of the cans of Red Bull, Rockstar, and Monster asked yourself why are energy drinks so expensive?

Energy drinks are a popular must-have for late night study sessions or a midday pick-me-up.

They are sold at every grocery store, gas station, and convenience market. Energy drinks are so popular that they even have their own section with multiple well known brands.

I remember many years ago when there were only a few options when buying an energy drink, and there were very limited flavors.

But today, we can choose from a plethora of brands and multiple delicious flavors.

Energy drinks are a quick way to supply your body with a high dose of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that helps increase brain activity, allowing you to stay awake and alert.

This effect comes in handy when you are stretched too thin and have not had an adequate amount of sleep.

Energy drinks are expensive because they are a premium product with many high priced ingredients. Energy drinks are sold at a high price point because there is a high demand for them due to their popularity and expert marketing campaigns.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the world of energy drinks and why they are sold at a premium price point.

In the article, we will clarify the specifics of why energy drinks are so expensive.

Why Energy Drinks Are Expensive

As it was stated above, energy drinks have multiple reasons why they can be considered a premium product, hence why you pay more per fluid ounce than the standard non-alcoholic beverage.

The cost of creating a product is more than meets the eye.

There are costs that you don’t see, and with the rate of inflation, many prices have gone up a great deal.

To thoroughly understand why energy drinks are expensive, you must break down how much they cost to make, the price for each shipment, marketing costs, and distribution.

Once you are able to see how much money actually goes into the product, you can have a better idea of why the price is high.

Cost To Make And Sell Energy Drinks

The cost to make energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar is roughly between 10 and 20 cents.

We will use Red Bull as an example to break down the price even further.

Red Bull contains 26 grams of sugar per 8.4 ounce can. 26 grams of sugar costs about 1 cent.

Add in the cost of the caffeine, taurine, carbonated water, and aluminum can the prices rise to about 5 cents. But, this is simply the cost of the ingredients and container.

You must also factor in the cost of production, labor, and shipping of the product.

Those costs add roughly another 20%, making the landed cost to make one 8.4 ounce can of red bull about 6 cents.

Then, to market the Red Bull with sponsorships, commercials, and advertisements, you must add an additional 50% premium to the product.

The final cost of the product is about 10 cents to make. And they sell an 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull for roughly $2.

Monster energy drinks on the other hand come in larger cans, a standard can of Monster is 16 ounce, nearly double the size of a can of Red Bull.

The larger can size equals more cost for ingredients, packaging, and shipping.

The average cost to make one can of Monster Energy is 25 cents.

Energy Drinks

By following the same formula as above, you must factor in the cost of ingredients, packaging materials, shipping, and marketing.

If one 16 ounce can of Monster contains 55 grams of sugar, the sugar alone costs .02, add in the cost of taurine, ginseng, carbonated water and a 16 ounce aluminum can, your base cost is roughly 12 to 15 cents.

Add your 20% cost for production and shipping, bringing your new cost to 12 cents. Top it off with your cost for their very extensive marketing, and you have a landed price of roughly 20 to 30 cents per can.

When you compare the landed price of Red Bull to Monster, Monster may look as if it cost a lot more to make, but you have to remember that Monster energy drinks come in larger cans that are double the size of a can of Red Bull.

6 Reasons Why Energy Drinks Are Expensive

These are the top reasons why the price of an energy drink is typically double or triple the price of a regular carbonated or non-carbonated beverage.

Demand

We are constantly on the go in our modern world, everyone has multiple things that they must accomplish on any given day.

With all of the meetings, deadlines, practices, and chores that we must tend to each day, sometimes we are too worn out to finish.

Because of our busy lifestyles, we often must rely on some type of exterior stimulation to help us get by.

That is where energy drinks come into play. Energy drinks contain caffeine, which helps increase how productive we are.

The demand is so high for energy drinks, that companies can sell them for top dollar because they know that people will spend the extra money.

People are willing to pay extra for convenience. Energy drinks are a convenient way to help you meet all of your daily goals and needs.

Ingredients

Energy drinks are made with a multitude of ingredients. Most people consume energy drinks for their caffeine, but energy drinks contain many other ingredients.

Many energy drinks contain taurine, ginseng, guarana, Ginkgo Biloba, and carnitine. Each of these ingredients is formulated into energy drinks for enhancement.

The goal is to make them stand out from the basic drinks, like water, tea, and soda.

With the addition of these extra ingredients, comes a higher cost to make. This higher cost is passed on to the customer with the price paid for each can.

Marketing And Advertising

How often do you see commercials for Red Bull on TV? And don’t forget the ads that pop up on your favorite streaming service.

Energy drink companies spend a lot of money on marketing and advertisements.

The money that is spent on their commercials, billboards, and streaming service advertisements is wrapped into the cost of their product.

Sponsorship

Have you noticed that many BMX riders have the Monster logo on their helmets.

Or maybe you saw that your favorite NASCAR driver has an Adrenaline Shoc logo on their car. These athletes are sponsored by energy drink companies.

The energy drink companies pay athletes and public figures to wear or use their logos as a way to advertise to the viewers of their sport.

Sponsorships are very common in the world of professional sports and even concerts.

Many of these athletes who are sponsored by these companies do not consume the products!

The sponsorship is a payment for them, it’s like a job, simply a way to earn more money.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can be like your favorite athlete by consuming the energy drinks that sponsor them!

Reputation

Many of the top brands of energy drinks have been around for a while now. Their popularity has grown over the years and they have been given a gold star reputation.

Many young consumers who are mesmerized by the public figures who represent them, become addicted to these drinks.

By the time this audience outgrows their love for energy drinks, a new generation has already been targeted to take their place.

Energy drink companies market toward a young and impressionable audience who will encourage their peers to join in.

Shipping

Did you know that many of the energy drinks you consume were made overseas?

More often than not, the cans of energy drinks we formulated, packaged, and then shipped to your local store.

Shipping from overseas is quite costly. These shipping costs are also wrapped up in the price you pay for your energy drink.

How to Save Money On Energy Drinks

Are you a regular consumer of energy drinks?

If you are, it may be a wiser choice to skip the daily trip to your local corner store or gas station and find a cheaper way to purchase your energy drinks.

Buy In Bulk

When you buy items in bulk, they are often cheaper than buying each item individually.

Shop at stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club to purchase your energy drinks. They offer multipacks of your favorite caffeinated beverages at lower prices.

Use Coupons

If you can, use coupons to purchase your energy drinks. Sometimes you can save up to $1 or more off of each can.

And always read the fine print, some coupons allow you to use one coupon on multiple items!

Buy Them On Sale

If you shop wisely you can time when your favorite energy drink goes on sale. Every week grocery stores run sales on their items, they often have the same sales every 6 weeks.

Are Energy Drinks Worth the Cost?

If you genuinely feel that energy drinks are something that you must consume for added energy, they may be worth the cost.

But, you may be surprise to find out that energy drinks are not all that “energizing” after all!

While energy drinks will give you a short burst of energy, it is not long lasting!

Pouring energy drink

Not only will the limited bout of energy be short lived, it can also lead you down the road to becoming addicted to caffeine.

You may be paying a premium cost for a quick spurt of energy that you could have gotten from a quick nap!

Energy drinks can also cause you to fall into debt, so it may be time to find a cheaper alternative.

Think about the weekly cost of 3 energy drinks per day! If you pay $3 per can, that is $63 per week!

Not only is going into debt a negative effect of energy drinks, but they also cause major health issues as well.

This study explains how energy drinks can cause high blood pressure and fatal heart problems. No drink is worth sacrificing your health!

Cheaper Energy Drink Alternatives

Caffeine can be consumed in more ways than just a can of your favorite energy drink.

If you still want the daily caffeine without the daily cost of an energy drink, there are alternative ways to achieve the daily boost naturally.

Espresso

Espresso can be brewed at home for a fraction of the cost of an energy drink. You can drink it plain or with sugar, cream, or a dash of cinnamon.

Espresso contains 250 milligrams of caffeine per half cup.

This amount of caffeine is equivalent to the amount of caffeine found in one can of Red Bull, but without all the additives, preservatives, and sugar!

Coffee

If you want something less bold, coffee is another great alternative. Coffee contains 96 milligrams of caffeine per each 8 ounce serving.

A few cups throughout the day will be equal to that giant can of monster that you chug on your lunch break!

Tea

There are many varieties of pre-made and brew yourself teas on the market. Green tea, earl gray tea, and black tea all contain caffeine.

Soda

Sodas such as Mountain Dew, Coca Cola, and Pepsi all contain caffeine. These drinks are the little brothers to energy drinks.

They each contain at least 22 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounce serving, which may be less than an energy drink, but it was a lot more cost-effective.

Chocolate

Maybe you are tired of drinking so many different things and want to try a snack with caffeine instead!

Dark chocolate is a great source of caffeine. One ounce of dark chocolate contains 12 milligrams of caffeine!

Here is a table to compare cheaper energy drink alternatives.

Alternative OptionServing SizeCaffeine Amount
Espresso1 ounce64 Mg
Coffee8 ounces96 Mg
Tea8 ouncesUp to 40 Mg
Soda8 ouncesUp to 22 Mg
Chocolate1 ounce12 Mg

Are Energy Drinks A Waste Of Money?

If you take everything about energy drinks into consideration, such as the price and possible health effects, you may ask yourself if they are a waste of money!

While the short answer is strictly my opinion, and my opinion is an absolute, yes! Let’s review why energy drinks are a waste of money.

Energy drinks cost more and more over time, because more often than not they lead to a caffeine addiction.

This caffeine addiction can spiral into other addictions for people who have past addiction problems. Addictions not only hurt you, but they hurt those around you.

Energy drinks can also lead to serious health problems ranging from cardiovascular problems, neurological disorders, dental erosion, and fatty liver.

None of these health issues are worth the limited energy burst that you get from an over priced energy drink!

Final Considerations

Energy drinks are a quick way to supply your body with a rush of caffeine, but the cost of each can quickly add up over a few weeks.

Consuming energy drinks is better done in moderation rather than daily.

If you are on a budget and really need the extra daily boost, try other alternatives such as freshly brewed coffee, tea, or espresso.

Or, if you must consume energy drinks, look into buying them in bulk or while they are on sale to help save you money.

Remember, excessive caffeine intake can be unhealthy. It is ok to take a break from overachieving and get some much-needed rest instead of forcing yourself into a caffeine addiction.

If you think you have an addiction to caffeine or energy drinks, talk with your doctor about a treatment plan.

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