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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Energy drinks

I'm back in DC after a wonderful vacation. I'll post a few pictures from my trip soon.

While in Minneapolis, Andrew steered me toward Longform.org. It's an edited compilation of links to interesting longer-format articles from a variety of sources; many are recent, but it also links to older stuff. (Andrew showed it to me in the course of seconding David's recommendation of Instapaper, which is a very snazzy way to keep track of and read written content from the web.)

Anyway, one of the articles I found through Longform is on the flavoring industry. It's a good read.

Other flavorists were perplexed by Red Bull, which was created in 1987. "Have you ever tasted such a crazy flavor?" Hagen said. "What is it? There is nothing like it, and every once in a while you come across a flavor that is not especially balanced but for some reason it takes off." Today, it is virtually impossible to market an energy drink that does not have the same unbalanced characteristics that Red Bull has. "It scores terribly when you put it in front of consumers who don't think it is an energy drink," a salesman for one of the top flavor houses told me. "But the spiky note in there now defines 'energy.' So when I build energy flavors with our client it has got to taste bad. If you give the consumer a great-tasting orange flavor for an energy drink, their liking drops way down, because it doesn't have that 'energy note' they expect."

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