Playboy Offering Energy Drink

Tod Hunter
CHICAGO — Playboy has started selling a new Playboy Energy Drink. Initial distribution is in Boston, with distribution to follow next month in Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The drink will be available in Playboy's hometown of Chicago in the second half of this year.

"We are taking a strategic distribution approach," said Sarah Haney, vice-president of licensing for Playboy Enterprises. "We will have nationwide coverage by the end of the year."

The branded energy drink is the company's first beverage. Haney said it was "a natural fit. Playboy is really about delivering a lifestyle to its customer and part of that image is fun and parties and energy drinks capture that [image]."

The Playboy Energy Drink, which features ginseng and guarana extract, is available in regular and sugar-free versions.

The energy drink market is reportedly valued at $3 billion a year. Energy-drink sales are expected to grow 20 percent year-on-year in 2008, down from growth of 30 percent last year, said Michael Bellas, CEO of Beverage Marketing Corp. in New York.

Bellas also said energy drinks generate a gross profit margin of 50 percent or more and Playboy could have a hit on its hands if it can generate buzz — and sales volume.

In 2007, Hellhouse Media entered the energy drink market with "Pure Pain" and Arrow Productions put out a "Deep Throat" drink.