New cola-flavoured energy drink launched amid media scare stories
Red Devil Energy Drinks has launched a new cola-flavoured energy drink despite rising health concerns about the sector in the national press.
Only weeks after rival Red Bull was embroiled in a health scare after three deaths in Sweden were allegedly linked to the brand, Red Devil has launched Red Devil Power Cola in the UK.
Red Devil marketing director Mark de Quervain said: "I think it's all a bit of a storm in a teacup really and Red Devil concurs fully with Red Bull on this one in that there is no link whatsoever. It's just not relevant."
The new drink, which is available immediately, will be marketed and distributed alongside the company's flagship Red Devil energy brand and is designed as a mixer to complement both white and dark spirits.
"Power Cola has a great taste while delivering a high energy boost," said Mr Quervain.
"What is important, however, is that it mixes extremely well with a wide range of dark and light spirits, effectively broadening the energy drink mixing portfolio from the usual vodka request.
"The energy drink and spirit mix is an extremely profitable one."
Hollywood hardman and ex-footballer Vinnie Jones, who starred in the brand's £2m advertising campaign shown last year, will return to our screens later in the year to promote both Red Devil and the new Power Cola.
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has signed a deal to distribute Red Devil in the Netherlands and is rumoured to be in talks with the brand about a possible takeover of its entire global distribution rights.
If successful, the negotiations could lead to the soft-drink giant buying the entire brand, therefore raising doubts not only about the future of CCE's existing energy drink, Burn, but also the future distribution of Red Devil's Power Cola.
CCE refused to comment about the speculation but added that Burn was proving to be extremely popular and that the company had no plans to drop it.
Meanwhile, Red Devil has also strengthened its links with the student market after clinching a lucrative two-year deal with the National Union of Students Services, a purchasing consortium established on behalf of more than 200 student union bars up and down the country.
David Healy, the consortium's business development consultant of NUSSL, said: "We reviewed the energy drink market in great detail.
"After a lengthy tender process we selected Red Devil as the brand which we believe can build the stimulant drinks category in the most dynamic and effective way."
Vinnie Jones promotes Red Devil (12 June 2000)