Cheerwine's newest sister beverage: Savage Energy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Mark Wineka

Salisbury Post

Salisbury-based Carolina Beverage Corp., known for Cheerwine, has unleashed a new energy drink.

Savage Energy — with the slogan “Release the Savage in you” — is available in convenience stores in the Carolinas, and the company also has orders for the drink in Virginia and Missouri.

It has been approved for sale but has yet to show up in Wal-Marts.

Carolina Beverage Corp. President Mark Ritchie said the company saw an opportunity to enter the growing energy drink market with a new product and unique package.

Most energy drinks come in 16-ounce cans that cannot be resealed.

Carolina Beverage Corp. provided Savage Energy with a wide-mouth, long-necked, plastic bottle and a resealable cap. The company has exclusive use of the package design.

The 16-ounce bottle also is a distinctive jet black with what Ritchie refers to as a “cat-beast” design.

The label features the face of a cat beast as a pupil within the iris of an eye. It also encourages the consumer to “taste the untamed energy of Savage and feel the power.”

“The jungle is yours to roam, yours to rule,” it adds.

Other commonly known energy drinks include Red Bull, Venom, Adrenaline Rush, 180, ISO Sprint and Whoopass.

A Brown University Web site says energy drinks typically contain large doses of caffeine and other legal stimulants such as ephedrine, guarana and ginseng.

Energy drinks may contain as much as 80 milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of a cup of coffee. Mountain Dew has 37 mg of caffeine; Coke Classic, 23 mg.

Savage Energy relies on an “energy blend” of caffeine, inositol, choline and D-glucuronolactone. It also has taurine, panax ginseng and certain B vitamins.

College students often are seen as the predominant market for energy drinks. Ritchie said the biggest segment for energy drinks seems to be males, 18 to 35.

“They’re the convenience store shoppers,” Ritchie said.

He added that while a small percentage of the population buys energy drinks, it is a growing percentage.

Carolina Beverage Corp. sells Savage Energy by the single bottle and will eventually offer four-packs.

Ritchie said Savage Energy has a tart, citrus flavor but one that’s not as tart or medicinal tasting as other energy drinks. It does a better job of masking the vitamin flavor, he said.

Ritchie said the company has been “more than pleased” by the acceptance of Savage Energy by retailers and has had positive feedback from consumers.

Savage Energy is available in regular or sugar-free.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or