Scroll Top

Energy Drink Growth Strategy Marketing: 3 Top ‘Gamer Drinks’

Energy Drink Growth Strategy Marketing: 3 Top ‘Gamer Drinks’

Video Game Players Get their Own Brands in the $63B Energy Drink Market

Energy drinks are growing rapidly, at over 12% annually in the US. “Gamer drinks” have seen particularly strong growth strategy marketing efforts, but let’s start with an overview of the market. These brands top the list for US 2023 revenue estimates:

In total, the US energy drink market size was estimated at $19 billion as of May 2023 by CircanaAnd, there is more growth on the horizon, with global energy drink revenues of $63 billion at year-end 2023, projected to grow at 8%.

According to Circana’s May 2023 estimates, the fastest growing of these five large energy drink brands is Celsius, with 136% growth from May 2022 to May 2023, while Bang/VPX experienced declines of 38%. 

Celsius ended full year 2023 at $1.3 billion (Celsius revenues are still primarily US), and we explored the Celsius growth strategy template previously.   One of the largest and fastest growing brands on the Circana 2022 list, Reign, did not make the cut for 2023, as it was surpassed by Celsius.

Now onto growth strategy marketing for gamer drinks. Since as early as 2015, the gamer drink market has been growing, attracting video game players with promises of improved performance and focus.  

To identify some of the top performing gaming energy drinks, I reviewed six online sources and reviews for gamer drinks, including PCMag, Stream Hatchet, Powder’s Blog, Gamer Bulk and others.

From these sources, three gaming drink brands are most consistently seen as leaders:

  1. G FUEL
  2. Gamer Supps
  3. Sneak Energy 

Based on these sources, these three gaming energy drink brands have the most effective growth strategy marketing.

Additionally, large energy drink brands like Monster and Red Bull are identified, as is Mountain Dew’s Game Fuel, along with workout brands Optimum Nutrition, Ghost and C4 Smart Energy.   Other brands included from these sources included: X-Gamer, Rogue Gamer, Mixt, JuJu Energy, Nerd Focus, Reign Total Body Fuel, Bang Energy, Razer Respawn, Juggernaut, Big Game Energy, Dubby and Glytch Energy.

Energy Drink Growth Strategy Marketing: 3 Top ‘Gamer Drinks’

Gamer Drink Example One:
G FUEL Growth Strategy Marketing

G FUEL was first introduced in 2012 with:

just 3 Tub flavors- Blue Ice, Fruit Punch and Lemon Lime” to offer “sugar-free, antioxidant and vitamin-fortified, focus-enhancing and high performance energy products

Its positioning highlights being a better choice for gamers than mainstream energy drinks.  It is known as “The Official Energy Drink of eSports” and the company’s headquarters is in Hauppage, NY.

By 2023, G FUEL online revenues grew to $85 million.  In 2020, G FUEL was recognized on the Inc 5000 fastest-growing list (of privately-held firms) and also as an Inc 5000 honoree in 2022.   

G FUEL CEO Bryan Crowley (who joined the firm in December 2023) says,

“G FUEL was built on a winning formula of quality product paired with hugely popular influencers and authentic content creators. That formula has cemented G FUEL as one of gaming culture’s bedrock brands. I am excited to work alongside the G FUEL team and our partners to leverage these assets to scale the company.”

G FUEL’s primary target customer is a gamer.  G FUEL’s website traffic is mainly young males, more so than the overall video game market, which is 52% male.  For instance, in April 2024, G FUEL’s website traffic was 72% male, with 41% between the ages of 18-24 and 36% between the ages of 25-34.   The top countries for website traffic are the US (54%), Canada (6%) and the UK (5%).

In addition to flavor variety and creating interest by introducing new flavors (and eliminating older ones), a product growth strategy for G FUEL is line expansion with three types of products:

  1. energy
  2. hydration
  3. protein and energy products 

G FUEL’s energy products’ line comes in several formats: multi-serve powder tubs, 20-pack boxes (single-serve sticks), collector’s boxes, energy packs (single-serve), starter kits (containing a shaker bottle and single-serve sticks), and 16-ounce ready-to-drink energy cans.   Based on the range of products available, energy is by far the largest product line, and tubs are the dominant packaging form.

The smaller G FUEL hydration product line includes hydration collector’s box, hydration tubs, and a hydration bundle with shaker bottle and a tub.

And in May 2024, G FUEL introduced a new energy + protein line that comes in a 20-serving bag, with:

 “invigorating caffeine and metabolism-boosting protein…in three tasty flavor options – Chocolate, Café Mocha and French Vanilla Latte…for anyone looking to kick-start their morning, power through an afternoon slump, get ready to exercise and fuel those late night wins.” 

The recent advertisement for the G FUEL Energy + Protein line features Zedra Energy and Chitwood Protein colliding together to deliver a “two in one power up.”

G FUEL’s 2017 marketing strategy playbook included tactics like developing specific flavors with eSports teams and pro gamers, as well as:

“becoming the official energy drink of Turner and WME/IMG’s ELeague, as well as acquiring the sponsorship naming rights to ELeague’s Atlanta-based studio.”

According to, G FUEL regularly sponsors YouTube videos, with an estimated $225,000 in 2023 spending, down from $500,000 in 2022 and $690,000 in 2021. Two of the top videos identified are from GibiASMR and PewDiePieA&E Editor Connor Baker wrote of G FUEL in 2022,

The sponsorships GFuel has been getting have massively helped their growth. They’ve been sponsoring popular YouTubers and streamers like XQC, moistc1tikal, and Pewdiepie. This has allowed them to have a stranglehold on the gaming community.

Not only have thee content creators helped, but the film industry has also been a huge help for the company. GFuel has been regularly getting sponsorships from Marvel, with a flavor coming out for nearly every new movie. They’ve also had flavors for shows like Rick and Morty and The Boys.”

Gaining retail store distribution has been a growth strategy marketing focus for G FUEL. In 2020, G FUEL announced that specific flavors would be distributed in 7-Eleven stores.  In 2022, distribution in Target for the ready-to-drink 16-ounce cans was announced.   Still, online sources mention that G FUEL can be difficult to find in stores, whether 7-Eleven, Walmart or Kroger. 

G FUEL website visits for April 2024 are estimated at 647,000 by similarweb, considerably behind competitor GG (Gamer Supps) visits of 1.6 million.  Grips Intelligence estimates G FUEL’s March 2024 revenues at $2.5 million, with 1 million sessions, again behind GG (Gamer Supps).

Energy Drink Growth Strategy Marketing: 3 Top ‘Gamer Drinks’

2023 investors in G FUEL are venture firms Kingswood Capital Management and First Beverage Group.  In November 2023, these investors announced an “eight figure” capital investment, along with the appointment of Bryan Crowley as CEO.  G FUEL’s social channel following of “over 5 million” followers was called out by Andrew Kovach, Managing Director at Kingswood who said,

“As we evaluated the opportunity, we were blown away by G FUEL’s incredible social following with over 5 million followers across their social channels…This highlights the incredible passion and loyalty for the brand.”

G FUEL’s YouTube channel has 752,000 subscribers and 1,000 videos.  In comparison, Gamer Supps has just 15,000 subscribers and 10 videos, and none of the Gamer Supps videos are more recent than two years ago. It doesn’t look like Gamer Supps is investing in new content.  Sneak Energy has 135 videos and 14,000 subscribers, with several recent videos.  Monster Energy has over three times as many YouTube followers, at 3.2 million and 1,500 videos.

G FUEL also leads close in competitors on TikTok with 1.4 million followers, far ahead of Gamer Supps at 89,000 and Sneak Energy at 35,000.  While G FUEL leads these two gamer drink competitors, the overall energy drink market leader Monster has 3.2 million followers and Celsius has 3.8 million.

On Facebook, G FUEL has 338,000 followers, Gamer Supps has 13,000 followers and Sneak Energy has 136,000 followers. Monster has 795,000 Facebook followers and Celsius has 192,000.

G FUEL is also the official energy drink of eSports team on Twitch.

G FUEL is doing more social marketing activity than Gamer Supps or Sneak Energy, while Gamer Supps appears to be selling more product, as measured by the online website traffic and sales for 2024.    Of course, Gamer Supps is selling at a lower per-serving price relative to G FUEL.  G FUEL has a broader distribution network, and if it can focus sufficiently, should be able to drive growth beyond Gamer Supps.

Energy Drink Growth Strategy Marketing: 3 Top ‘Gamer Drinks’

Gamer Drink Example Two:
Gamer Supps Growth Strategy Marketing

Gamer Supps was introduced in 2016, positioning itself as “an affordable choice for gamers and esports athletes,” focusing on three primary benefits of health, taste and cost.  The company is based out of Brick, New Jersey.

The brand packaging prominently features the letters GG, for “good game,” which comes across visually as a brand name.  GG is a phrase used to acknowledge a winner’s skill in a multiplayer video game. In my experience, the same “good game” phrase is often used in team sports like soccer as opposing teams line up to leave the field and touch hands while leaving. The brand name of “Gamer Supps” is hard to spot, and the logo is small.  Flavor names often come across as the primary branding. In my opinion, there is definite room for improvement in the branding itself.  

Energy Drink Growth Strategy Marketing: 3 Top ‘Gamer Drinks’

Grips Intelligence estimated Gamer Supps’ online revenues in March 2024 at $3.2 million, ahead of G FUEL at $2.5 million. Similarly, the website was estimated to have 1.7 million sessions, ahead of G FUEL.  If March sales are indicative for Gamer Supps, then 2024 sales for this brand could be in the range of $38 million.

Gamer Supps’ primary target customer is a gamer.  Their website traffic skews the most male of the three studied brands at 75% and the youngest, with 53% between the ages of 18-24.   The US is the number one country at 48%, followed by Canada and the UK. 

Gamer Supps’ products include tubs of powdered energy and caffeine-free drinks, waifu cups and creator cups, soups, snacks, and tea and shaker cups.

Within the primary product line of tubs of powdered energy and caffeine-free drinks, flavor names include intentionally-provocative names like Anime Girl Thigh, Blo’Hole Blast, Grandpa’s Ashes, Guacamole Gamer Fart 9000, and more. 

Powdered drink tubs on the Gamer Supps website retail at a listed price of $39.99 for 100 servings or 40 cents per serving.  This compares to a 40 servings’ tub of G FUEL Energy drink selling at the G FUEL website for $35.99, or 90 cents a serving.

In May 2022, Gamer Supps was purchased by Johnathan Schlatt, a YouTube content creator and Twitch streamer.  Prior to the purchase, Gamer Supps was under criticism as a brand that did not pay its content creators. 

Gamer Supps has been largely inactive on its YouTube channel in the past 2 years and is far outpaced by G FUEL on TikTok and Facebook. The brand appears to be focusing on a value play, and underinvesting in growth strategy marketing.

Energy Drink Growth Strategy Marketing: 3 Top ‘Gamer Drinks’

Gamer Drink Example Three:
Sneak Energy Growth Strategy Marketing

Sneak Energy was founded in 2018 by Jonny Teeling and Will Peirce and is headquartered in Manchester, England.  The focus was to create:

“a culturally relevant brand for the new media consumers, which contained zero sugar and all natural colors and flavours.”

Private equity firm True invested in Sneak in September 2021, with plans to accelerate international expansion and build out the brand’s distribution channel.

At the time of acquisition, Sneak’s business mix was 65% UK, 35% US.  Most recently, Sneak’s website traffic was 71% from the UK, 8% from the US and 8% from Denmark.  

Sneak’s customer base from website traffic was 67% male, with 45% between the ages of 25-34 and 31% between 18-24.   While still dominated by young men, this brand does attract the highest percentage female (33%) and the greatest percentage of 25-34.

Sneak website visits were 298,000 in April 2024, compared with 647,000 for G FUEL or 1.6 million for Gamer Supps.

Like G FUEL, Sneak has an energy product line and a hydration product line.  Formats include two sizes of tubs (40 and 15 servings) and single-serving sachet packets.  There are also shake products in sachets and tubs.

A 40-serving tub in the US costs $45.00, or $1.13 a serving, and a 15-serving tub trio costs $60, or $1.25. This makes it the most expensive of the three studied brands when purchased in the US on a per-serving basis.

In October 2022, Ashley Read joined the leadership team at Sneak Energy as CEO.  Recently, Read posted that Sneak is expanding to over 200 SPAR Retail stores with CJ Lang & Son Limited stores across bonny Scotland.”  This is evidence that Sneak is expanding the retail distribution.

As seen earlier, Sneak is actively creating YouTube videos, with several recent posts, including this one about “Galactic Battles: The Energy Wizards’ Ascension

The tonality of Sneak’s marketing is clever, tongue-in-cheek and less functional than Gamer Supps or G FUEL.  I’m excited to see the growth of this brand.

Gamer drinks is a particularly intriguing niche of the overall energy drink market, with a distinct customer segmentation, distribution structure and even product formulation (with tubs of powder more popular than ready-to-drink beverages). G FUEL, Gamer Supps and Sneak Energy show the unique growth strategy marketing approaches that brands use to reach and connect with gamers needing an energy boost.

For more growth strategy examples, visit our resources page. Or join us at an upcoming office hours. Start a conversation with our experts by visiting our contact page.