ZOA moves into colorful 12-ounce slim cans

ZOA, the fast-growing energy drink backed by the one of the biggest movie stars in the world, is debuting a new look in 2023, a dramatic rebrand that includes brightly colored 12-ounce slim cans and two new flavors: Cherry Limeade and Strawberry Watermelon.

“We’re getting ZOA out of the gym and making it an approachable lifestyle brand,” says Matt Stallman, senior portfolio manager for Molson Coors’ non-alcohol brands. “Whether it’s fueling your Monday morning commute or afternoon pick-me-up, there are a lot of different occasions that ZOA can play in.”

ZOA, which launched in early 2021 in jet-black 16-ounce cans, has soared in its short time in the market. Among energy drink competitors, it’s the fastest brand to achieve $50 million in sales, according to IRI. It’s the one of the fastest-growing large energy brands on the market and the No. 14 energy drink in the U.S., according to IRI.

Its striking makeover, aimed at modernizing the brand, broadening its appeal and differentiating its look from competitors, primes ZOA -- which is sold and distributed by Molson Coors Beverage Company through its distributor network -- to take the next step in its continued ascent in the energy drink space. 

“We feel moving to much more bold, colorful packaging is really going to sizzle on the shelf. It’s going to make it easier for consumers to shop,” Stallman says. “It brings more pop and personality.”

The move to colorful, 12-ounce slim cans is driven by consumer insights and represents another step in ZOA’s efforts to reach more consumers, Stallman says. That’s in line with a decision last year to eliminate sugar from the line.he says.

Transitioning into 12-ounce slim cans is a play to broaden Zoa’s consumer base, he says, noting that the package size “dominates: 12-ounce is where the business is.”.

“This format dominates: 12-ounce is where the business is,” Stallman says.

ZOA’s refresh comes as the energy category continues to grow. It’s a more than $18 billion category in the U.S., and zero-sugar energy drinks with natural ingredients are contributing a significant amount of growth, Stallman says. And it comes as ZOA booked a 25% increase in buy rate last quarter, according to IRI, when its cans featured co-branding of the blockbuster film “Black Adam,” starring ZOA co-founder Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. (Other partners include Dany Garcia, Dave Rienzi and John Shulman.)

There’s no doubt Johnson’s star power provides a boost. And Stallman says the new-look ZOA is well-positioned for success in 2023.

"The sky is truly the limit with this brand,” he says. “The trends don’t lie.”