V ENERGY DRINK: HISTORY, HYPE, AND FACTS THAT’LL MAKE YOU FIZZ

Words by Sahar Adatia

 

WHEN WE THINK OF V ENERGY DRINK, CHANCES ARE WE’RE ALL VISUALISING THE SAME THING – THAT ICONIC, SLIMLINE CAN RADIATING IN A BLAZING SHADE OF BRIGHT GREEN. AND THAT’S ABOUT IT. EVER WONDERED WHAT THE REST OF V ENERGY DRINK’S STORY IS ALL ABOUT THOUGH? THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE BRAND, ITS LAUNCH DATE, THE VAST FLAVOUR VARIETIES? REIZE DID A BIT OF RESEARCH AND BRINGS YOU THE SCOOP ON THE BEVERAGE HAILED AS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND’S MOST POPULAR ENERGY DRINK.

V Energy Drink: Current brand platform, introduced as 'The Massive Hit That Will Improve You a Bit'.

V Energy Drink's current brand platform, introduced as 'The Massive Hit That Will Improve You a Bit'.

It’s ‘The Massive Hit that Improves You a Bit’, and with its persevering reputation of delivering colossal energy with a delicious taste, it’s no wonder that V Energy Drink has won the taste buds of energy drink consumers worldwide. 

We have to admit, here at REIZE, we’ve always enjoyed cracking open those lime green V cans. For one, its distinctive, smooth and sweet-but-not-fruity flavour is rather fantastic. Even better, unlike many other energy drinks, V's don’t surprise you with that awful, bitter aftertaste. (Well, not in our opinion anyway.) Worthy of extra brownie points: The brand is quirky, uplifting, and originates from our fellow homies in New Zealand. We’re all for supporting local brands.

Truth be told, we actually found ourselves a little inspired by V Energy Drink, its story, and success. So much so, that we felt compelled to create our very own beverage that was equally (if not more!) flavoursome, revitalising and unconventional. The V drink Australia could call its own. How could we possibly take satisfying thirst to the next level? Simple. By crafting a revolutionary energy drink powder that you can mix any way you like. And making it the cheapest on the market. But we’ll get to that later.

For now, V Energy Drink has become a brand we’ve grown to admire. So, naturally, we thought you too may like to know more about the story behind the green goodness. Consider it a riveting history lesson, an untypically interesting business presentation, preparation for your next energy drink trivia – whatever. But we assure you it’s worth the read.

HISTORY 1001: THE STORY OF AN ENERGY DRINK – INSPIRATION FROM THE AMAZON (AND BERRIES THAT LOOK LIKE EYEBALLS)

 
V Energy Drink: Map of South America showing Amazon region
So much green: That's a lot of rainforest, South America!

The story of V Energy Drink takes us back centuries ago and situates us in the Amazon – the world’s largest tropical rainforest covering some 40 percent of the South American continent. Famed for its vast biodiversity, the Amazon is home to nearly 2,500 species of trees and 60,000 plant varieties. And yet, it was in the midst of this abundant greenery that the discovery of one small but potent berry would soon breathe life into a revitalising potion – the key to V Energy Drink’s concoction. Enter: Guarana. A small, tropical plant featuring distinct red berries that are sweet, juicy, and suspiciously look like eyeballs.

 
V Energy Drink: Image showing guarana plant with distinct red seeds that look like eyeballs.

Stop staring: Guarana is a type of creeper featuring distinct red seeds that look like eyeballs. They are harvested to make a nutritious powder that is commonly found in energy drinks such as V Energy Drink.

Although creepy in appearance, guarana berries are recognised for their high concentrations of caffeine. In fact, while their seeds are approximately the same size as coffee beans, they contain more than twice the amount of caffeine. As you may then expect, guarana is valued for its powerful benefits as a natural supplement and its energising effects.

Over time, the native Indians dwelling in the Amazon discovered that by sucking on the berries of the guarana plant, they were injected with instant energy. This energy produced a similar effect on the body as caffeine. It derived from a stimulant found in the plant called guaranine.

The vigour the Amazonians obtained from eating and brewing drinks from the guarana berries left them with considerable strength to carry out their day-to-day activities. From chasing animals to building towns, the locals long took advantage of its stimulating properties. In fact, it is thought that in a single generation, they went from hunting with spears to constructing a sophisticated civilisation. This newfound energy encouraged all kinds of inventiveness and forced them to innovatively rethink every aspect of life.

And so unearthed an inspiration. A natural product of the earth, fused with the fervent Amazonian spirit. It would spur an uplifting vivacity to create the extraordinary.

HISTORY 1002: FAST FORWARD TO 1997 - V ENERGY DRINK IS BORN

 

Now let’s skip to 1997. Boy bands ruled the charts, scientists cloned Dolly the sheep, and Titanic opened, becoming the biggest Box-Office Film in history.

In the midst of these events, a bunch of lads in New Zealand one day stumbled across guarana berries. Forming a nutritious powder from them, they decided to brew an uplifting concoction. The result? A unique guarana potion enhanced with caffeine, B vitamins, minerals, taurine, sugar and carbonated water. The flavour was fresh and the buzz was invigorating.

And just like that, V Energy Drink was born.

FRUCOR: THE COMPANY BEHIND THE DRINK

 

V Energy Drink is produced by Frucor, a beverage company based in New Zealand. Frucor manufactures, markets and distributes a range of fruit juices, fruit drinks, energy drinks, waters and soft drinks. Some that you may be familiar with include Rockstar energy drink, and Maximus and Mizone sports drinks. In the juice category, the delicious childhood favourite, Ribena, is sure to ring a bell.

Frucor saw its beginnings in the early 1960s. It operated as a small juice business in New Zealand, where its corporate headquarters are still based. Since then, it has evolved to a leading Australasian beverages company. Frucor is the market leader in energy drinks in Australia and New Zealand.

 

Nifty: V Energy Drink fridge filled with Frucor-produced beverages and conveniently placed in reception area at Frucor Headquarters in New Zealand. We see what you did there.

V Energy Drink launched into the New Zealand market in 1997, and Australia in 1999. Delivering the pick-me-up qualities of caffeine and guarana in its trademark slim green can, it wasn’t long before it turned the entire industry on its head. Global prevalence soon gained momentum.

The outcome of this ubiquitous popularity saw the drink soon made available in several locations around the world. Leading the international venture, V was introduced in South Africa as early as 2001. Following this, in 2004, it also became distributed throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. By 2008, V Energy Drink had found yet another home in the Maldives.

MASSIVE RANGE: V ENERGY DRINK VARIETIES

 
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Overwhelming: Just some of the V Energy Drink flavour varieties. Too many to count!

Since launching in 1997, Frucor has steadily unveiled a copious assortment of new flavours and variations of V Energy Drink. Each variety is hailed as delicious, different and distinctive, and designed to reflect the cheeky, idiosyncratic and full-of-life attitude upheld by the V Energy Drink brand. The underlying mission is simple: Satisfy thirst in a way that connects with consumers' diverse lifestyles.

Indeed, whether it’s a pick-me-up, a morning kick-start or a drink on the go, it seems the vast V Energy Drink range certainly has something refreshing for everyone. In our opinion, there are actually too many to count! Given we’ve lost track, we thought we’d delve into five of our favourites…

 

V GREEN

 

V Green is acclaimed as the O.G. energy flavour, the granddaddy of the V Energy Drink family. And, since hitting the shelves back in 1997, it remains the people’s No.1 choice for a massive energy hit.

 

With its hints of citrus, we have to admit, we’re big fans of V Green too. (The only downside is the sugar crash.) Kudos for nailing it first go, Frucor!

 

V ZERO

 

For the health-conscious energy drink consumer: V Zero contains 0 per cent sugar. Put simply, V Zeros gives you the same hit of energy, with the same original V Green taste. But without the sugar.

 
 
 
 
 
 

V BLUE

 

Frucor advises us to set our taste buds to ‘mysterious’ for this blue V energy drink. In fact, so top-secret was research for V Blue that it never actually revealed a description of the flavour. Instead, back in 2012, V Energy Drink ran a competition via Facebook to see who could guess the flavour or come up with the most creative depiction of the taste. The prize was a whopping $10,000. Damn! So, unfortunately, we don’t have an exact description of this one for you. But, on our account, it’s some sort of grape, passionfruit or nectarine flavour.

 

MR BOOTLEG’S SOUR TONIC (LIMITED EDITION)

 

Mr Bootleg’s Sour Tonic delivers a new and unusual taste sensation. It creation addresses consumers’ changing palates, which is a direct result from increased travel and being exposed to more taste sensations. We haven’t tried this one yet. But, the taste is described as accessible and appeals to a mass market. We’ll take the word on it!

 

 

V DOUBLE ESPRESSO

 

 

Like your caffeine cold? V Double Espresso team sup the smooth flavour of coffee with a caffeine zip, served chilled. It is basically a blend of milk, coffee powder, guarana, sugar and B vitamins. The hit of guarana in this iced coffee concoction is particularly massive. It is designed to have as much caffeine as a double espresso coffee beverage. So, a few sips will likely blast you into action!

 

 

QUIRKY CAMPAIGNS AND ADVERTISING

 
V Energy Drink Viking Campaign

Other energy drink brands throw guys out of planes; V Energy Drink turns to Vikings.

When it comes to conveying the bold, comical and upbeat stance that symbolises V Energy Drink, it’s not merely its unusual flavour varieties doing the work. Advertising for the iconic brand has been bracingly far from regular too.

Indeed, as V Energy Drink has sought increased brand awareness over the years, some rather creative campaigns have rolled out. Of particular intrigue is the beverage’s current ongoing brand platform, introduced by the tagline ‘The Massive Hit That Improves You a Bit’. With some memorable television advertising, it takes the unique status of V Energy Drink to a whole new level.

The campaign, created by Clemenger BBDO Sydney, essentially works to acknowledge that energy drinks can’t simply turn you into an overnight success. However, they can provide you the energy to make you a bit better at doing the things you already do. Compared to the usual stunt-driven energy drink marketing, it’s a refreshing, relatable and unashamedly honest approach.

While the campaign initially launched in 2013, since then, two installments have been particularly memorable for us at REIZE.

VIKINGS 

The commercial is set aboard a Viking ship and features a group of Vikings mutiny against their leader in favour of his, slightly-improved Doppelganger. Yes, you guessed it – the replica is drinking a can of V Energy Drink! And the message behind it? Drinking V Energy Drink will make you slightly better at pillaging and setting things on fire – if of course, you’re a Viking. If you require a refresher back to 2014, you can see it for yourself:

 

 

LIL PUP IN “THE RAPPER”

 

So much swag: Rapper Lil Pup stars in V Energy Drink’s new music video.

More recently, V Energy Drink launched the fourth episode of its ‘The Massive Hit That Improves You a Bit’ positioning. The latest campaign features a full-length hip-hop video clip, starring emerging rapper Lil Pup

Set against the backdrop of a $15 million mansion in Miami (and oh so much swag), Lil Pup goes head-to-head with a better version of himself. Indeed, a battle unfolds with his "V Energy Drink double”, dubbed Lil “Big” Pup. Ultimately, the campaign continues to develop the idea that drinking V Energy Drink will make you marginally better than yourself.

 

 

Undoubtedly, in an age where energy drink brands are busy hurling people out of planes and launching off buildings amid a surge of excitement-filled chaos, ‘The Massive Hit That Improves You a Bit’ positioning is a markedly distinctive approach. And, admittedly, the shift away from the sensational claims synonymous with most energy drink marketing is pretty refreshing. REIZE appreciates the honest and humorous approach, and it’s certainly our favourite V Energy Drink campaign to date!

TRIVIA TIME! USELESS FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

...And now some facts about energy drinks in preparation for your next round of energy drink trivia! Because who doesn’t like useless information?! 

Suspicious (but glorious): This could be where some of the stolen V Energy Drink ended up. What a blessed Christmas this person had.

*DID YOU KNOW?* On Monday 15th December 2014, approximately $15,000 worth of V Energy Drink was stolen in a burglary in South Auckland. (Yes, that’s a hell of a lot of V!) The thieves made off with eight pallets of the energy drink from a commercial property in Manukau, late in the night. Following an unsuccessful hunt, police concluded that the offenders were perhaps looking to sell the cans cheaply. Or possibly gift a loved one with a pallet of V for Christmas. Let’s be real – who wouldn’t want a stash of energy drinks as a Christmas present, right?

Next: Great news! V Energy Drink is a proud supporter of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. To convey this, Frucor created a limited edition V Rainbow flavour, which celebrates all the vibrant colours of love. Even more exciting, to get everyone energised for the most fabulous party of the year, it tweaked its campaign tagline to, “The Fabulous Hit That Improves you a Bit”.

Fabulous all round and we love it!

Extremely useless fact: Back in 2008, Melbourne sported some pretty funky trams advertising V Energy Drink. Totes cool (and totes bright).

 

Wonder if they serve V on board: Tram advertising V Energy Drink on route 75 on Flinders Street, Melbourne.

Finally: This dog named Charlie seems to like V Energy Drink a lot. The perfect pup treat perhaps? (But only in small, dog-appropriate doses.)

 

 

NO.1 PLAYER: V ENERGY DRINK AUSTRALIAN MARKET SHARE

 

And if that V-Energy-Drinking dog alone wasn’t impressive enough…

In Australia’s $1.2 billion energy drinks market, V Energy Drink still remains at the top of the leader board. It is the No.1 player in the market. Specifically, in an account released by The Financial Review in late 2016, V Energy Drink revealed a holding of 32.9 per cent market share. This is well ahead of second-placed Red Bull with 29.1 per cent.

Solid game, V Energy Drink. Solid game.

TAKING THIRST SATISFACTION TO THE NEXT LEVEL: IS IT POSSIBLE?

 
Image of REIZE Energy Drink mixed with water.

REIZE Energy Drink: It’s most flavoursome. Seriously.

So, it’s probably unsurprising to now see why, here at REIZE, we were a little inspired by V Energy Drink, its story and success. The V Energy Drink empire is effervescent to say the least. It brims with all kind of vibrant developments and sparkles in solid market share. That said, we felt compelled to craft our very own energy drink and take satisfying thirst to the next level. We wanted a drink that was more flavoursome, revitalising and unconventional. 

How would we step things up a notch? It’s pretty straightforward.

At REIZE, we believe that energy drinks are ready for a revolution. The customer base is maturing, and now it is time for the industry to follow suit. Below are five distinct ways that capture REIZE’s revolutionary power in the energy drink industry.

5 WAYS REIZE IS REVOLUTIONISING THE ENERGY DRINK MARKET

 

1. REIZE IS VERSATILE

A mug of brewed REIZE served hot.
Better than coffee: REIZE can be brewed as a hot drink to kick-start your day.

As Australia and New Zealand’s first powdered energy drink, REIZE gives you the opportunity to drink it your way. It is the most versatile option than any other energy drink on the market.

Not only do you have the control to choose the strength of your REIZE, you can mix it just the way you like it. Cold and smooth, cold and fizzy, brewed hot, blended with juice, stirred into alcohol for a flavoursome nightcap – the possibilities are endless!

2.REIZE IS GREAT VALUE
Let’s face it – energy drinks don’t come cheap these days. And here at REIZE, we certainly believe that energy drinks should not be so expensive. For this reason, it was crucial that we delivered an energy drink remarkably lower in price than all competitors on the market. We wanted it to be more affordable for everyone.

The outcome: REIZE is dirt cheap. We’re talking from less than $1 per drink, delivered straight to your door. No other energy drink anywhere comes even close to offering this kind of bang for your buck. For verification of how much you could be potentially saving on your energy drinks, look no further than this price comparison REIZE recently conducted. It is remarkable to see just how low-cost REIZE really is.

Still not convinced? Take the REIZE Challenge for yourself to see how much you could be putting back in your pocket per year. And think of what you could do with all that cash!

 

Oh, the possibilities! So many fun things to be spending on instead. Why waste money on those overpriced energy drinks?

3. REIZE IS SUGAR-FREE

There are very few people who would willingly tuck into a bowl filled with 21 teaspoons of sugar when they desire a boost of energy. And yet, so many people who happily throw back a standard 500mL energy drink are essentially doing just that. We all know it: Sugar is certainly the enemy. Nevertheless, many of the leading energy drink brands still cram excessive amounts of sugar into their beverages. And many of us are risking our health by drinking them.

REIZE offers a health-conscious solution. It is an energy drink that is sugar-free and thus meets the growing demands of consumers for healthier ingredients. Rest assured, it certainly doesn’t compromise on delicious taste.

Added bonus: With no sugar, that means no sugar crash. So no feeling tired and lethargic afterwards. Happy (and energetic) days!

4. REIZE IS LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE

REIZE couldn’t be more convenient: It comes in a well-designed 4g sachet that easily rips open with one quick tear. I.e. Chuck a sachet in your pocket and you can take it anywhere you want to go!

 

 

5. REIZE TURNS TRADITIONAL ENERGY DRINK MARKETING ON ITS HEAD

REIZE recognises that the energy drink market has matured. And with people of all ages and backgrounds enjoying energy drinks, there’s no point alienating them with marketing that only appeals to a specific group of people.

Enter: Deadpan Guy. He’s the energy drink company’s ambassador who never cracks a smile. (Unless of course he’s guzzling down a REIZE, mixed his way, of course.) When he’s not sky diving, he’s roller skating with his gorilla friend, or getting his hand stuck in a mouse trap. The viral Deadpan Guy ad campaign refreshingly shifts away from the sensational marketing synonymous with most energy drink brands. And its ability to connect with consumers certainly shows given the hundreds of thousands of views racked up on the company’s Facebook page.

Some think of Deadpan Guy as a cult leader, others consider him a visionary. Either way, he’s pretty damn awesome.

Here, have a formal introduction:

 

 

Ultimately, there’s no denying the intrigue and influence of V Energy Drink on energy drink consumers. And yet, we stand confident (in our humble opinion) that REIZE palpably delivers a product that is revolutionary and unconventional. This, we believe, is where the energy drink market is heading, particularly as its customer base matures. Nonetheless, we remain big fans of V Energy Drink and will continue to be inspired by its evolution and success.