How Guru is continuing growth in convenience

The plant-based energy drink is launching an extensive campaign to secure more space in a high-growth channel.
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Monster and Red Bull might be household names in the energy drink space, but plant-based energy drink brand Guru is looking to get its share.

The Montreal-based organic challenger, which launched in 1999, has designs on building a distinctive summer point-of-sale presence across Canada to promote its energy drinks until the end of August, meant to not just boost sales, but also secure and increase shelf space.

According to company president and CEO Carl Goyette, the high-velocity convenience channel is core to Guru’s growth strategy, coupled with increased demand for healthy energy drinks as well as plant-based products overall.

In March, the company announced that its energy drinks will be available in over 1,130 Circle K and 140 Winks convenience stores across Canada, increasing its brand presence in markets outside of Quebec to close to 3,000 points of sale.

To bring the latest shopper project to life, the brand turned to Bob for its shopper marketing expertise.

“Guru is a very well-established brand, especially in Quebec, with a strong and distinct image,” says Gladys Kounkou, account manager, shopper marketing at Bob. “Their ambition is to quickly grow their presence across Canada and spread ‘good Guru vibes’ through an ultra-stimulating national campaign at a wide variety of points of sale.”

To maximize the campaign’s impact, Bob set up a strategic partnership with Prana, a healthy snack brand that aligns with the energy drink brand’s clean ingredient corporate values, boosting the campaign’s relevance for retailers while enticing even more consumers in a peak consumption period for these types of products.

The audience of this campaign is the young, active 18- to 35-year-old, says Sabrina Thériault, Guru’s field and trade coordinator. “They lead a demanding lifestyle and Guru is the perfect alternative to recharge their energy the natural way,” she says, which means a product sourced from ingredients like green tea, guarana, and yerba mate.

With the tagline  “Good Energy, Good Adventure” (“bonne energie, bonne aventure” in French), shopper elements bring to life a contest that appeals to Guru’s active lifestyle target demo.

By purchasing an “energy combo” made up of a Guru drink and Prana snack, consumers get the chance to win a hike in the Rockies, an urban getaway to Vancouver, or a sea kayaking excursion in Forillon National Park Gaspé Peninsula to further cement its connection with healthy lifestyles.

According to Euromonitor data, the energy drink category experienced some panic-buying at the outbreak of COVID-19 in Canada in Q1 of 2020. And energy drinks had been gaining popularity pre-pandemic because of promotional activities by major players.

In Canada, the category continues to be dominated by three main players: Red Bull, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, the last of which benefits from its Monster Energy brand, the leader in the space.

Recently, Perrier announced it is is launching a new beverage drink that it says will fill a gap in the energy drink category, called “Perrier Energize,” based on its insights that while 52% of Canadians are interested in drinks with additional benefits, like energy, half of them say they wish they had healthier options to choose from.