Natural and innovative energy drink EQ8 is set to gain a larger share of the booming energy drinks market with its launch into selected Sainsbury’s stores nationwide. EQ8 celebrated its arrival in store with a charity-driven event at Sainsbury’s headquarters in Holborn, helping raise funds for Sport Relief.
Highlighting its links to Formula 1™ -EQ8 is part of a diverse and successful group of companies owned by entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, which includes Caterham F1 Team, QPR Football Club, Air Asia, Tune Group and Caterham Cars – the event gave Sainsbury’s Colleagues the chance to step into the Formula 1 arena.
Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King set the lap time to beat in the Formula 1 simulator and it was open to employees to beat the boss. EQ8 also donated signed QPR and Caterham F1 shirts to boost the fund raising appeal. Throughout the day, Sainsbury’s Colleagues and visitors were given the chance to taste the two lightly sparkling natural energy drinks – EQ8 Orange & Passion Fruit and EQ8 Cranberry & Apple.
Already stocked in selected Morrisons and leading independent stores nationwide the listing from Sainsbury’s marks a significant stage of EQ8’s development as it continues to grow the sector and quench the demand for alternative category offerings. With the sports and energy drinks market already worth £1.2bn (2011) and forecast to grow to a staggering £2.3bn by 2016 (Mintel 2011), Sainsbury’s buyer Sarah Hornby commented: “The energy drinks market is buoyant and we are always looking to offer our customers choice. We believe new shoppers will enjoy EQ8’s fruit juice based flavours and natural ingredients.”
Tony Fernandes, who founded EQ8 along with business partner Kamarudin Meranun, couldn’t be happier about the Sainsbury’s listing. “We are absolutely delighted with our move into Sainsbury’s and welcome the opportunity to grow in this expanding and innovative sector. We really feel we are bringing customers a unique product that will give them a refreshing natural energy lift.
“There have been a lot of new product entrants recently, many from the largest players in the soft drinks sector so it’s becoming a really interesting place to be competing in! To succeed you have to offer customers something different and broaden the appeal. With EQ8 made from natural ingredients and containing real fruit juices, not just natural fruit flavours, we believe we have a product that delivers a difference and will widen the consumer profile to include women and the more mature consumers looking for a healthier lifestyle.”
EQ8 is a more virtuous energy drink designed with the modern lifestyle in mind. It is made from natural ingredients, including natural caffeine derived from the green coffee bean. But, the moderate caffeine level means the can does not carry a high caffeine content warning, making the product suitable for a wider range of people. Combined with naturally energising ingredients like ginseng and guarana and sweetened only with fruit juices and fruit extracts, which are lower in GI, EQ8 delivers a natural and sustained energy lift. Importantly, unlike many other products on the market EQ8 does not contain taurine.
EQ8 is supporting the product with an innovative marketing campaign, under the ‘Natural Lift’ identity. Sampling has proved to be an invaluable part of this programme according to marketing director Lindsey De Souza. “Once customers taste the product they’re convinced of its appeal – they love the natural taste that the fruit juices deliver and the lightly sparkling lift. And when we show them that EQ8 Cranberry & Apple contains enough fruit juice to count as one of your five-a-day they are delighted that they can get all the benefits of an energy drink without the guilt and negative connotations.” EQ8 is available in 250ml slim cans and retails at £1.29.
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