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Sales of energy drinks soar amid prolonged war in Ukraine

Sales of energy drinks soar amid prolonged war in Ukraine

Posted June. 10, 2024 08:09,   

Updated June. 10, 2024 08:09


With Ukraine having a hard time in the war against Russia, Ukrainian soldiers manage to bear up along a thousand-kilometer-long frontline thanks to energy drinks, reported the New York Times (NYT) on Saturday. Energy drinks contain a high concentration of caffeine and taurine, helping boost concentration and relieve fatigue.

“Ukrainian soldiers will pass up coffee, Coke, and even water in favor of the liquid jolt they need to keep going,” said the NYT. A Ukrainian soldier was quoted as saying, “When you have to walk 3, 4 or 7 kilometers. And you’re carrying 40 kilograms of gear. And you’re covered in sweat. And you haven’t eaten much or slept for three days. If you don’t drink this stuff, where are you going to get the energy for that final push?” It is said that energy drinks are considered a “currency” by frontline soldiers due to their high popularity.

Along with the world’s bestselling brands such as “Red Bull” and “Monster,” the domestic brand “Volia,” which means “will” in Ukrainian, has also gone like hotcakes across the country since it was released in January 2023, the following year of the outbreak of the war. IDS Ukraine, one of the country’s biggest bottled water suppliers, promotes its products with patriotic marketing strategies. Right after it launched “Volia,” it donated 40,000 cans to the Ukrainian military. Denmark-based Carlsberg Ukraine also introduced “Battery” last year.

Although the domestic market has collapsed in Ukraine since 2022, sales of energy drinks have risen almost 50 percent, reported the NYT. Marco Tkachuk, the CEO of IDS Ukraine, analyzed that there has been a growing demand for a quick dose of caffeine that does not require hot water or a tea bag. “Energy drinks in the army are not just a drink but the most popular gift,” said Anton Filatov, a soldier who was previously a movie critic.

The energy drink market has been boosted not only by frontline soldiers but also by general consumers. “The civilian population’s heightened need for energy sources arises from constant missile attacks, anxiety, and lack of sleep,” explained Taras Matsypura, a vice president at Carlsberg Ukraine. Amid the growing popularity of energy drinks, new products appear on the market with novel flavors, such as cotton candy, cactus, and even cannabis.

Jeong-Soo Hong hong@donga.com