Secrets to manufacturing the perfect energy drink

    Energy drink manufacturing is a dynamic and promising industry, offering ample opportunities for success. Whether you are an experienced professional seeking helpful information or an entrepreneur just starting in the market, this article will share with you valuable insights and knowledge from Tan Do’s 25 years experience in energy drink manufacturing.

    Energy drink with an emphasis on natural caffeine sources and minimal added sugar

    Important notes before manufacturing an energy drink

    To ensure the energy drink’s success in the market, several crucial factors must be carefully considered before starting the energy drink manufacturing process. Here are 4 important notes that our clients consider before creating an energy drink product.

    1.     Target audience

    Knowing your audience allows you to create a product that aligns with their preferences. Different demographics have varying taste preferences, dietary restrictions, and lifestyle choices.

    For energy drinks, the demographic usually includes younger people with high tolerance for caffeine. Some target audience groups for energy drinks include:

    • Gamers and young people who need mental alertness and concentration
    • Fitness enthusiasts looking to boost their workout energy.
    • Younger audiences with a preference for energetic branding and exotic flavor profiles.

    From there, you can tailor advertising campaigns to resonate with specific groups and create your product positioning. What sets your drink apart? Is it the taste, health benefits, or packaging?

    2.     Target formulation and unique selling points

    Formulation is the key to selling your energy drink products. Almost every energy drink formulation will contain the same blend of basic ingredients. However, competition requires companies to develop unique formulations to attract their target audience.

    Here are ct.

         High caffeine for performance

    Caffeine content is a differentiator among consumers seeking enhanced performance. Knowing the ideal amount of caffeine ensures that the product effectively boosts alertness and energy levels without exceeding safe consumption limits.

    In addition to caffeine, producers may blend in other components like amino acids and B vitamins. This will help improve physical performance. With such a clear formula, manufacturers can easily market the product to athletes or students.

    Energy drink manufacturingSome of the most well-known brands for caffeinated energy drinks

         Natural formulation with herbal ingredients

    Consumers are becoming more health conscious and looking for natural products. Formulas with herbal ingredients such as ginseng, green tea, and chrysanthemum will target these target groups. These ingredients provide additional health benefits, such as reducing stress and enhancing immunity. Understanding these properties helps manufacturers turn on product benefits.

    The formula’s strength is also its lack of additives and preservatives. This will be a huge marketing advantage.

         Exotic flavor profiles

    Unique and novel flavors can make a difference in a saturated market. Unusual flavors such as dragon fruit or yuzu can pique consumers’ curiosity. New flavor products will help the brand position itself as trendy and innovative.

    3.     Packaging design

    Packaging is often the first interaction consumers have with your product. It reflects your brand’s personality and values. A well-designed packaging creates instant recognition and reinforces brand loyalty.

    Additionally, proper packaging ensures the beverage remains fresh and maintains quality throughout its shelf life. It helps protect the product from external factors such as light, air and pollution that can affect its flavor. Here are a few tips on the best-selling packaging types, from world-famous manufacturers:

    • PET bottles: transparent to show color, easily resealable to carry around and 100% recyclable
    • Aluminum cans: diverse sizes and shapes to control portions, easy to decorate with labels and efficient for shipping

    Many energy drinks use larger cans/bottles to deliver more caffeine per unit. Gamers, students, and professionals often choose larger energy drink containers for extended periods of focus and alertness.\

    Energy drink manufacturingThe 24-ounce cans of MONSTER ENERGY

    4.     Regulations

    Understanding and adhering to regulations before the energy drink manufacturing process is not just a legal requirement, but also a crucial step in ensuring consumer protection, managing risks, and meeting environmental and ethical standards.

         Marketing regulations

    Even though energy drinks are not heavily regulated as other supplement drinks, countries around the world are realizing its potential health effects.

    That’s why in the UK, marketing regulation specifically bans advertising energy drinks to children under 16. The regulation also forbids placing advertisement of energy drinks in the vicinity of primary and secondary schools. Many other countries like Australia and the US are following suit.

         Labeling regulations

    The potential health effects of caffeine mean energy drink must be clearly labeled to avoid confusion. Regulations require the words “energy drink” be written on the label. However, these words aren’t required to be prominent on the labels. In addition, the caffeine content inside the drinks must be clearly stated in the nutrition facts panel to inform consumers.

         Regulations for Formulated beverages with caffeine

    Regulations set safe limits for caffeine content in beverages. Excessive caffeine can lead to adverse effects like jitteriness, increased heart rate, and disrupted sleep patterns.

    According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), single doses of caffeine up to 200 mg (approximately 2 ½ espressos or 4 cups of tea) do not raise safety concerns for healthy adults and the elderly. Regular caffeine consumption up to 400 mg over 24 hours is also considered safe for adults, except pregnant women.

    In Australia and New Zealand, the Food Safety Standard states that a formulated beverage with caffeine must contain no less than 145 mg/L and no more than 320 mg/L of caffeine per product.

    The process of manufacturing energy drinks

    Energy drinks are manufactured on an industrial level through a well-defined process. Let’s explore the key steps involved:

    Energy drink manufacturing production process Tan DoEnergy drink manufacturing process at Tan Do Beverage

    1.     Sourcing and preparing ingredients

    Almost all energy drink recipes use the same mix of base ingredients for energy drinks. These often include: caffeine, water, Taurine, B-Group Vitamins, sweeteners, Ginseng, Guarana.

    Manufacturers often rely on concentrates, extracts and powdered ingredients to produce consistent flavors at high volume. For example, ginseng and guarana extracts are used in manufacturing energy drinks in lieu of the fresh ingredients. Fresh, natural ingredients are difficult to use as they can’t guarantee consistent flavor for large volumes.

    Other ingredients like caffeine, sweeteners and vitamin are also used in powder form. Powdered ingredients make the mixing process easier, because the manufacturer does not need to worry about the added liquid amount like in concentrates.

    2.     Mixing and heating

    Mixing ingredients in energy drink production is more complicated than we usually think. First, the manufacturing plant must have its own water treatment system. The system must filter and sterilize the water on-site to ensure food safety standards for input ingredients.

    Then, large stainless-steel tanks are used to combine ingredients. These tanks are designed to handle large volumes of ingredients and ensure thorough mixing. These tanks have a heating function to homogenize and pasteurize the ingredients.

    The treated water will be pumped into the tanks first, then the other ingredients are measured out and added into the tanks. This mixture is then vigorously heated and stirred to ensure homogeneity. After mixing, it has to go through another filter system so that no lump or inconsistency remains in the final products.

    Only then, the mixture will enter a holding tube system to cool down and get ready for the filling process.

    3.     Filling and pasteurizing

    Before filling begins, all equipment, bottles and cans are sterilized to avoid contamination. This is done through rinsing with sterile water or steam sterilization. High-speed automatic filling machine is used to fill energy drinks into bottles or cans.

    If energy drinks are carbonated, carbon dioxide (CO₂) is injected into the drink, giving it its characteristic fizziness. The process involves injecting liquid CO₂ into the beverage mixture.

    Then, the drinks will pass through pasteurization tunnels or retort pressure tanks to eliminate harmful bacteria. The pasteurization process helps extend the shelf life of energy drinks, making energy drinks safe for a longer period of time under appropriate storage conditions.

    The most common method of pasteurization is heat pasteurization, where the mixed product is heated to a specific temperature over a certain period of time. Two common methods are batch pasteurization and continuous flow pasteurization.

    Energy drink manufacturingA variety of Tan Do carbonated energy drink flavors.

    4.     Labeling and Finalizing

    There are two main methods used to apply label onto energy drinks: shrink labels and printed cans.

    Shrink labels are made from heat-sensitive plastic and are pre-printed with product information, branding and regulatory details. The containers will pass through a heat tunnel, causing the labels to shrink tightly around the contour of the container, ensuring a nice, tight fit. This method works for both bottled and canned energy drinks.

    With printed cans, labels and all the necessary information are pre-printed on the metal surface. This eliminates the need for a separate labeling stage, and reduces costs. This method also ensures durability and resistance to environmental factors such as moisture and abrasion.

    Labels are designed to comply with regulatory requirements and convey important information to consumers, such as:

    • Nutrition facts panel that provides information about serving size, calories, nutrients (such as carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins), and vitamins.
    • Ingredient list with all ingredients used in the energy drink.
    • The total quantity of caffeine (from all sources) must be declared on the label, both on a per can/bottle basis and, for multi-serving containers, on a per-serving basis
    • An advisory statement such as “Not intended for children, pregnant or nursing women (and persons sensitive to caffeine)” should be included.
    • Labels should not promote mixing energy drinks with alcohol or claim that consuming them counteracts the effects of alcohol.
    • Labels should encourage moderate and moderate consumption.

    Random samples are taken from each batch for quality testing, including sensory evaluation, chemical analysis, and microbiological analysis. This ensures that the product meets safety and quality standards. Finished products will be stored in warehouses before being sent to retailers, distributors, or consumers.

    Energy drink nutrition fact labelReady Sports Drink is made with vital electrolytes and superfruits for energy.

    Cost of manufacturing an energy drink

    The cost of manufacturing an energy drink can vary based on several factors. Generally, it costs roughly $0.50 to $1.50 to make a single energy drink can. However, for large-scale production, the cost can be as low as $0.25 per unit. Here’s the breakdown of the main cost components. Understanding these cost components helps businesses make informed decisions in the energy drink manufacturing process.

    Input material costs

    Material costs account for an insignificant part of the total production costs. These include the cost of active ingredients (caffeine, taurine, B vitamins, etc.), flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. In addition, there are label materials (printed labels, embossing, special coatings) and packaging materials (glass bottles, PET bottles).

    Prices may vary based on ingredient quality, sourcing method, and supplier. However, raw ingredients only account for a small part of the total cost for most energy drink manufacturers.

    Machinery costs

    The cost of machinery and equipment used in the production process is a significant investment. These include mixing tanks, pasteurizers, filling machines, labelling machines, etc. The device’s price is determined by its capacity, automation level, and additional technological features.

    In addition to initial costs, manufacturers must consider maintenance, repair and equipment upgrade costs. All these factors mean machinery and equipment costs make up the biggest portion of the price.

    Labor costs

    Labor costs comprise salary and benefits for production personnel involved in the energy drink manufacturing process. These costs will vary based on geographic location, labor market conditions, skill level and production efficiency.

    Management, operations, and administrative staff costs must also be included in general labor costs.

    Additional factors to consider are overhead expenses (rent, taxes, marketing), utilities (such as the electricity, water, and gas used in the production process), and regulatory compliance (licensing and certification).

    Conclusion

    Energy drink manufacturing is a journey that requires formulation understanding, strict quality control and regulatory compliance. With this knowledge, manufacturers can confidently navigate their products in this complex market.

    Discover our extensive services and see why major international brands choose Tan Do as their go-to partner for energy drink manufacturing solutions.

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    Richard
    Hi readers, I'm Richard, F&B marketing executive for Tan Do Beverage - a leading private label manufacturer in the beverage industry. The articles that I write have all been consulted with our professional R&D and Quality Control staff, so that all knowledge shared will be accurate and helpful. Our Blog is designed to provide the best industry insights about general beverage trends, manufacturing knowledge and guides for beverage business operations.

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