Kraft takes on Red Bull with caffeinated MiO Energy

Ever-controversial Kraft (since its takoever of Cadbury anyway) is planning to take on Red Bull and other energy drinks with the launch of a bottled caffeinated version, MiO Energy, of its MiO ‘water enhancer.’

MiO, which you add to water to make it taste better (or different) has generated $100m in revenue in its first year on the market and now Kraft is aiming it at the growing, and controversial, energy drinks sector.

MiO Energy is a highly concentrated liquid that comes in two sizes – 12 servings and 18 servings. When a half teaspoon of MiO Energy is mixed with eight ounces of water, it creates a beverage that contains 60 mg of caffeine – about the same as one six ounce cup of coffee. Flavours will include Black Cherry and ‘Thunder Punch.’

Kraft, which is planning to split itself into two business, snacks based on Cadbury which it bought two years ago for £12bn and its traditional North America-based foods business, clearly reckons a $6bn US market for energy drinks is worth any flack it receives from health authorities who worry about children consuming such drinks and their effect when mixed with alcohol (vodka and Red Bull is a popular tipple in the UK).

Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld says: ” “We have certainly seen strong growth in the energy drink category. We’ve had a smashing success with MiO and I think this is the perfect platform for the category.” she says MiO Energy will be aimed at “millennial” male consumers who tend to buy energy drinks at convenience stores.

Under Rosenfeld Kraft has been trying to re-energise its business, partly through handing advertising assignments for some of its smaller brands to creative agencies new to its roster like Droga5 on Athenos and Mother New York on Sour Patch Kids confectionery.

MiO is handled by Taxi New York which won it from Mcgarrybowen. Taxi, founded in Toronto, is a relatively new addition to the WPP stable.

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