Monster Energy Drink and Red Bull have sunk sharply to their lowest consumer perception levels in the US since May 2009. Both brands' perceptions have fallen heavily into negative figures since the FDA announced it was investigating reports of five deaths in which the consumption of Monster drinks was cited.
Red Bull reached a lower perception level than Monster, but stabilized last Friday, while Monster continued to decline.
The impact of two senators asking federal regulators to crack down on energy drinks seems to have affected the category, not only dragging down Red Bull, but also Five-Hour Energy, which has consistently been in positive perception levels for most of the year.
One noticeable exception, AMP Energy, maintained the same consumer perception since the FDA report, putting them in the rare position of being ahead of Five-Hour Energy, Red Bull, and Monster.
Monster Energy Drink, Red Bull, Five Hour Energy and AMP Energy were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" All respondents are age 18 and over.
On October 22nd, the day the FDA announced its findings, both Monster and Red Bull had worked their way to their highest buzz scores all year, and one of the few times Red Bull was in positive territory: Monster had a 7 score, while Red Bull with a 5 (compared to Five-Hour Energy at 10 and AMP Energy at 1).
Four days later, Red Bull had tumbled to -22, with Monster close behind with a -18 buzz score. By Friday, Red Bull leveled off at -21 while Monster dropped even further to -26.
Five Hour Energy sagged six points to a 4 buzz score on Thursday, and then dropped to -5 on Friday. AMP Energy has remained level, now maintaining a zero score.