The recent addition and promotion of 28 Black’s limited edition Sour Apple flavour variant has seen a swift uptake in sales across the entire 28 Black energy drink range.
Chrish Graebner, managing director Asia Pacific of Level Beverages, the distributor of 28 Black in Australia, told C&I Week sales were well above expectations and that this had temporarily caused a tight stock situation with high demand for additional stock.
“It’s a top quality German made better-for-you product, but it’s not exactly round the corner, so when the stocks temporarily ran low everybody said ‘Oh that’s a nice problem to have’. It sort of is, but at the same time it’s not,” Mr Graebner said.
“Interestingly, the introduction of Sour Apple increased sales across the permanent flavour range, and they are outselling forecast quantities quite significantly, so there’s new stock of every flavour on the wharf as we speak”.
The company’s National Bus Back campaign, which commenced in early January, fed into this success, according to Mr Graebner.
“We had the bus campaign in every state and so it definitely lived across the nation but on a state to state basis. NSW had greatest stock demand, generally our east coast sales are stronger than south and west.”
The National Bus Back campaign is now winding down, however, Sour Apple will remain available in the market until at least July.
Mr Graebner says Level Beverages is keeping its “options open” for more limited edition releases following the success of Sour Apple.
“It seems to be the current state of play of the category. Red Bull does an annual limited edition now and V is the master in the short-term, temporary flavour. Interest is strong on doing another flavour sometime in the year.”
In addition to the now-familiar bus back advertising Mr Graebner says that in-store visibility is of key importance.
“I am very grateful to our wholesale supporters and their reps who put effort into in store visibility,” Mr Graebner said.
“We also had strong promotional engagement with the BP company-operated sites as well as a very large promotion in Caltex Star Mart. There was very strong visibility with the gondola-end facings, header visibility, and on fridge visibility. I am very grateful to our trading partners for the opportunity and hope that there are some more independent convenience operators who would consider giving our better-for-you energy drink range a chance.
“What has helped tremendously and what makes such a difference to us, is the trade gets a little bit behind us, we are so grateful to all of our trade partners.”