Building on their momentum of the Red Bull Editions, the energy drink manufacturer will launch a new flavor exclusive to 7-Eleven locations in Canada and the U.S. Aptly named the “Summer Edition”, the drink’s packaging is a sunny-yellow colored 12oz (355ml) can. The tropical fruit-flavored drink adds to the Red Bull Editions line-up of the Red (cranberry), Blue (blueberry), and Silver (lime) flavor offerings. 7-Eleven has exclusivity of the Summer Edition in July and August, with a consumer promotion running until September 2nd (per the corporate 7-Eleven news release). After that, no guarantees whether this becomes available across other retailers or it is truly an exclusive, limited-time offering. If history proves to be repeated, then the Summer Edition will be here to stay. Red Bull had previously launched their Red Bull Editions exclusive to 7-Eleven in March, followed by availability at other retailers a few months later.
It’s not the first time beverage companies have partnered with 7-Eleven for exclusive offerings. Most recently, Gatorade had launched their Gatorade Fierce Green Apple flavor exclusively with the convenience retailer. The results of that launch is detailed in this Pepsico news release. The proven success of exclusive launches help 7-Eleven secure more preferred agreements with other beverage manufacturers. After all, the convenience retail channel generates healthy sales and even healthier profit margins. And with 7-Eleven adding more retail locations across North America, they certainly have the clout to command more customized products. For Red Bull, this arrangement is preferable since it helps the energy drink manufacturer lock up more valuable shelf space in the nation’s leading convenience retail chain. In addition, this also allows them to focus their advertising support behind one product at one retailer, helping to drive a stronger, more focused message.
In BevNet.com’s article on the Red Bull launch, the publication detailed that Red Bull is slower to launch new products relative Monster Energy, leading to slower sales growth (link here). The comment is not without merit, as it appears that Red Bull’s sales are more reliant on existing drinks rather than new innovations – especially with a innovation history that includes unsuccessful attempts to diversify with Red Bull Cola and Red Bull Energy Shots. However, their recent product launches came from an area where they are the clear leaders and have been quite successful. And with fewer launches, Red Bull is able to put more attention into each launch, and ensure that it receives full support across media outlets as well as. Case in point: their launch efforts behind Red Bull Total Zero and the Red Bull Editions have been well executed with media and in-store support. Even their BULL Energy Drink has garnered strong attention despite catering the beverage to a highly specific market.
The lower frequency also helps Red Bull convey a stronger brand presence that coincides with their premium pricing. Fewer launches highlight a prestige that will be harder to sustain if launches become fast and frequent. So with the Summer Edition now available in 7-Eleven, let’s see how Red Bull celebrates with their Summer Edition. It won’t be forever until they have another product launch, but it will surely be after they make sure the Summer Edition is successfully entrenched with the customers and consumers.