Goodbye Full Throttle, Hello Nos Energy


FullThrottleSplashpage - drinkfullthrottle.com

The above image is what the viewer sees when they visit Full Throttle Energy’s website.  However, the website will soon undergo changes to remove the NHRA logo and “drag racing” copy.  Various news outlets reported that Coca-Cola’s Mello Yello will be replacing Full Throttle as the title sponsor of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in 2013.  The Sports Business Daily article also mentions some quick insights into why Mello Yello was given title sponsorship over other Coca-Cola beverage brands (link here).

This effectively spells the end of Full Throttle as Coca-Cola continues to reduce investments in this homegrown energy drink brand.  Full Throttle had four flavors existing in the Canadian marketplace as recent as just two years ago.  But with the distribution switch from Rockstar Energy to Monster Energy, and the rise of Coca-Cola’s other homegrown energy drink – Nos Energy Drink – there just wasn’t any room for Full Throttle.  First the underperforming flavors of Diet Full Throttle, Blue Agave, and Red Berry (Fury) were phased out leaving only the Regular Citrus as the sole Full Throttle marketing offering.  Then the website’s functionality was limited to the above image – there is no click-through possible except for privacy policies, contact info, and the link to NHRA.  And now the loss of the NHRA official sponsorship, which removes even more functionality from this brand.  One of the key questions left to be answered is that, since Full Throttle has been given less investments in the past few years, why hasn’t there been communication to acknowledge its discontinuation?

Nos Energy 473ml Assortment

Even though Full Throttle has been at the end of its product life cycle for more than a year, it would appear that there were multiple factors playing into why no official announcements were made.  For one thing, Full Throttle was still the title sponsor of NHRA and it would be detrimental to Coca-Cola’s relationship with the NHRA if they discontinued their official energy drink while the sponsorship was still on-going.  How will the racing association look if their official energy drink was not even on the market anymore?  It is also during this languishing time for Full Throttle that Coca-Cola rapidly increased its sponsorships and visibility for Nos Energy Drink.  Nos Energy Drink obtained sponsorship for NASCAR, Formula Drift, and Major League Baseball among other organizations.  Occurring simultaneously was the portfolio expansion of Nos products.  Originally available only in a 650ml bottle, Nos began extending itself to a 473ml can, then increased its offerings to include a Sugar Free and Grape variant.  It recently introduced two other variants into the Canadian market: Cherry and Citrus.  The product proliferation was to further entrench Nos with the consumer market and expand their visibility at the point-of-sale.

Full Throttle’s role in the energy drink portfolio shifted from growth to flanker status – it’s purpose was to hold steady until Nos Energy Drink was ready to take over as the company’s official homegrown energy drink.  Now this transformation looks all but completely done.    In-aisle shelf space and cooler space has been shifted from Full Throttle Energy to Nos Energy Drink.  As such, consumers will likely be seeing an official Coca-Cola communication on the end of Full Throttle Energy in 2013.

Will Nos hang on to become Coca-Cola’s successful energy drink brand?  Only time will tell, but given the investments that the company is putting behind this brand, it will stand a better chance of success than Full Throttle.

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7 thoughts on “Goodbye Full Throttle, Hello Nos Energy

  1. shannon

    Full Throttle is one of the best energy drinks on the market. It doesn’t have the ingredients that give the other energy drinks their energy drink taste, mainly guarana. If it’s true they’re discontinuing Full Throttle, it will be a sad day! Let’s hope they create something similar!!

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  2. Pingback: Rockstar Energy To Launch Energy Waters « BevWire

  3. Shawn

    Full Throttle is, in my opinion, the best energy drink on the market. I do not like the overpowering sweetness that amp, nos, rockstar and monster have. I would be very dissapointed if full throttle is discontinued. It is bad enough that blue agave flavor is not available where I live. Last weekend I drove 2 1/2 hours into the u.s.a. to stock up for bit.

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  4. Karl

    i agree with these other comments, full throttle is a great drink and the red fury was amazing. i have not been able to find it anywhere and sounds like it may be lost forever. I don’t like any of the Nos and the Monster and Rockstar drinks do not taste good either. I cannot believe that Full throttles are being eliminated. Shame on Coke.

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  5. sandy cherry

    I was late to try the energy drinks but when I finaly did I like the full throttle red then suddenly it wasn’t available anymore it bothers me that coke put a product out allowed us to injoy it and now based soley on race car advertising. They take this product away well hay I think today I’m done with coke cola

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  6. Cathy

    This was the most delicious energy drink on the market. I cannot find it ANYWHERE where I live in the Philadelphia area now, so I ordered a 16 pack at a ridiculous price from Amazon. I haven’t found any other energy drink that I liked the taste of. Some of them are downright nauseating! It figures–whenever I find something I really like, it doesn’t last.

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  7. Jack Hughes

    Cathy, I agree with you completely. Full Throttle was the only palatable energy drink out there, and now it’s gone! Red Bull, Rock Star and Monster all taste horrible, as if flavored with PineSol or some other chemical. Full Throttle had a clean citrus taste and a nice amount of sweetness. It’s just too bad to see it go.

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