February 25, 2013 Leave a comment
Has anyone heard of the Canadian energy drink Cheetah Power Surge? This energy drink uses all natural ingredients and no caffeine. It had success getting product availability into grocery & drug stores like No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Sobeys. It also secured a TV spot during CBC Hockey Night in Canada. TV commercials during this time reach penetrate many Canadian households but certainly don’t come cheap. See their TV spot below:
However, on recent trips to the grocery store I noticed that the product was being heavily discounted. Feature pricing have dropped as low as $0.25 a can (tweet and image here), and the discount level indicates that the regular retail was $1.49. With most energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar being at $2.99, this would appear to be a great deal and tons of product should be sold. Still, as evidenced by the unopened trays and the amount of cases seen in the picture, the $0.25 rock bottom pricing didn’t really help move product either. What went wrong with Cheetah Power Surge, and where are they now?
The second question is easier to answer than the first. Cheetah Power Surge energy drinks are still available at their listed locations (I went into a Shoppers Drug Mart earlier in the week to check), but my guess is those cans are from the original shipment. And once it is gone it will not return to store shelves.
In terms of what went wrong, a google search reveals some level of insight. This review site mentions that the energy drink contains high sodium content and leaves a bad aftertaste. This review site states that they do not feel any extra energy after consumption. It appears that consumers were willing to try the product but it never met their expectations. Based on these unpopular product reviews, Cheetah Power Surge had to rely more on it’s marketing and advertising to sell product. When lowering the standard pricing from $2.99 to $1.99 didn’t work, it kept on cutting the price to stimulate sales. Retailers also noticed its slow velocity and took the initiative to cut the pricing themselves, which is why you see the $0.25/can pricing. Pricing anything at such marginal levels lends to the belief that there is something wrong with the product. Even if these is nothing wrong with it, it conditions purchasers to expect low pricing and will only purchase your product again in the future if it’s priced just as low.
Cheetah Power Surge seems to have done it all wrong. When consumer reviews and users sentenced the energy drink as subpar, the company launched additional flavors rather than re-formulate the product. Aside from the regular (High Octane), Blueberry and Diet flavors, they expanded to include Green Apple and Mango flavors. They continued advertising on a premium cost through Hockey Night in Canada to generate trial users. They continued signing distribution agreements to gain availability in Canadian grocers. All this has accelerated their demise because consumers do not like to feel tricked. Increased availability meant more consumers bought it once to try the product, but they never returned because of the reasons listed above and from the review sites.
Cheetah Power Surge tried to outrun the problem of their product formulation by turning its attention to external factors. In the end, this has led to $0.25 pricing and cases of product that has not left the grocery sales floor. Unlike Full Throttle, consumers will not miss this energy drink when it disappears.