Red Bull to Discontinue Cola and Energy Shots

Red Bull ColaChoosing to focus on their core offering – the canned energy drink  – Red Bull has decided to sell through the remaining inventory on their Red Bull Cola and Red Bull Energy Shots, and cease further production.

This may come as a surprise to certain some people, but predictable among other.  Red Bull Cola being discontinued seemed only a matter of time, as it never really gained distribution like their energy drink and faced tough competition from Coca-Cola and Pepsi and their broad array of cola offerings.  In grocery stores where it could be found, it was never placed in a position where attracted much attention from aisle shoppers and never really got a chance to succeed.  Adding to their demise was the opening price point, priced on average 50 cents higher than a 12oz (355ml) can of Coke or Pepsi.  While Red Bull products are generally higher priced based on its premium brand status, consumers were not receptive to Red Bull Cola as being a premium cola (or both Coca-Cola and Pepsi loyalists were simply that – loyal to their current cola offerings).  Red Bull Cola entered several markets to much fanfare especially in Europe and the United States, only to be discontinued starting in May 2011 in the United Kingdom.

Red Bull Energy ShotThe Red Bull Energy Shots being discontinued is more of a surprise.  Despite their late entry into the energy shots segment, Red Bull was a well-known manufacturer and thus many experts predicted that there would be carry over success from their canned energy drinks.  However, consumers may have already gotten used to look exclusively for 5-Hour Energy.  Though well-known as a energy drink brand, the competition was more fierce for Red Bull Energy Shots as many entrants were already in the category, and the shelf space for energy shots were extremely limited.  Not to mention the premium price point (50 cents higher than 5-Hour Energy and other competitors) served as a stronger deterrent given the absolute price points range anywhere from $2.49 – $3.49.

In choosing to focus on their core product – the canned energy drink – Red Bull may remain successful and possibly more profitable.  Though two revenue streams will soon be closed off, the disappearing costs to promote and maintain those two streams may provide them with more money to keep on the core product.  Their cooler door presence will just be as strong, as their unique size (8.4oz, 250ml) eliminate many competitive products from being placed side-by-side with them.

Since Red Bull will stop making energy shots, what will other manufacturers do?  The only success story in this market is really Living Essential’s 5-Hour Energy, as most products are even struggling to sell through before the expiration dates.  My guess is that in the next year, we will see more energy shots being taken off shelves, as grocery stores realize that the market is peaked.  The shelf space for these products, generally at the cashier will be available for faster moving products such as mints or gum.

24 thoughts on “Red Bull to Discontinue Cola and Energy Shots


  2. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks


  3. Pingback: V8 Launches Energy Shots « BevWire

  4. THat sucks! 5 Hour Energy Shots do NOT work for me and taste nasty! I have been promoting the Red Bull Energy Shots as a good tasting product that actually works! I have spoken with others and my opinion is shared. Bring back Red Bulls Shots!!! If they don’t want to sell it everywhere at least make it available to those who want, believe in, use and even depend on the product! I work in EMS and was gratefull to use this product when I needed that extra boost.


    1. BevWire

      Hey Kelly,

      Sorry to hear that – every time a product is discontinued there are always consumers that feel upset since the product worked so well for them. I also believe that Red Bull’s energy shot may still have a solid following. They may try to sell it through or other beverage broker websites that ship directly to consumers, but carrying it in-store might be too difficult to maintain.


  5. nicole

    i understand diffrent ppl have diffrent oppinions but for me red bull energy shots SUCK..they didnt work at all for me HOWEVER the energy drink of red bull really kicks me in the butt =). five hour shots are the only shot that works for me….so far….but hey im not done experimenting with shots yet so who knows. oh and kudos to the writer it was well written


  6. I have been looking for the Red Bull Energy Shot and was very disappointed when I saw it being pulled from shelves as I was just finding it worked! I am a teacher, needed it, and it was working for me. I hate the other energy shots and they do not work for me…

    Very disappointed in Monterey! Bring it back…do you have any cases I can purchase?


    1. BevWire

      Hey Rodder29, I believe it’s discontinued internationally. I do hear rumors that Red Bull will be releasing a new product later in April…keep posted to find out what that new product will be.

      Cheers, BW


  7. Bigman

    Are they back? I was given one at the weekend by some red bull girls, while at a rowing event. Wasn’t too bad, and i want some more but i can’t find them anywhere now.


  8. RCH

    I really liked Red Bull Cola. More so, it was the best cola I ever tasted. It definitely had a richer, more natural, taste than the likes of Pepsi and Coca-Cola which tasted like sugared water next to it. Bad marketing I suppose. I still have an unopened can and given the news of it being discontinued I’ll surely save it as a novelty. I find it weird that we live in a world with more beers than can be named but only two significant Colas, and both almost undifferentiated for that matter.


    1. BevWire

      Hi pr,

      Just be mindful of the dates the product. There’s typically an “optimum taste” or “best before” date on these products. 🙂


  9. Hello!

    I love Red bull cola (as all my friends do also). It was all natural and tasted great. I am sad that they are discontinuing such a great product. I saw it when I was in Germany over the summer and stocked up.


  10. anita

    Really disappointed that the energy shots are being discontinued.I liked them better than the 5 hour. They were better than any of the rest…


    1. BevWire

      Hey Brycen, not quite sure if it can still be found – in Canada or in the U.S. There may be some retailers that are still running off inventory, but definitely check the “best before” dates to make sure it still tastes fine – one you find a couple of bottles.


  11. Pingback: Red Bull Aims to Grow Category With New “Editions” « BevWire

  12. As an experienced (people would say ‘addict’) drinker of Red Bull, the fact Red Bull Cola is discontinued can only be reasonable: it sucks. It’s far less sweet compared to Pepsi and it has a weird herbal taste.

    In fact, Red Bull products often have strange tastes or flavors depending on packaging, which is against the logic of how soft drinks factories work, it should be the same product in all cans.

    But 355ml cans have a far sweeter and less carbonated taste compared to 250ml, and king-sized 473ml cans are the opposite, less sweet compared to a 250ml.


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