V is an energy drink brand produced by Frucor, a New Zealand-based beverage manufacturer. It was launched in Methven, New Zealand, in August 1997, and in Australia and South Africa in 1999. The product's success, a market share over 60% in New Zealand and 42% in Australia, makes it the most popular brand of energy drink in both countries.
The drink was originally available in six different varieties and two standard size packages, which were supplemented with limited edition 300 ml aluminium bottles. V has recently become available in other sizes.
Available in South Africa as early as 2001, V was introduced into the United Kingdom in 2004, and to the Maldives in 2008. The company established Netherlands-based Frucor Brands International in 2010 and entered the market in Papua New Guinea and Spain in 2011 and South Korea in 2012.
The standard size of V drinks is a 250 ml can. Limited edition flavours can be available in 300ml aluminium bottles, 350ml glass bottles, 500ml cans, 500ml PET plastic bottles, or 710ml cans.
V Energy was the original V drink. In 2001, the company released V Energy Sugarfree, a sugar-free version with the same flavour as the standard product. V Energy Black was released in Australia and New Zealand in 2004, featuring coffee flavouring in place of fruit. In Australia it was marketed toward students and advertised as less acidic, with twice the taurine to be gentler on the stomach. It was discontinued in July 2013 due to falling demand.
V Energy Berry, released in New Zealand in 2005 and Australia in 2007, had berry juices, flavourings and lemon juice; it was discontinued in January 2013. V Energy Lemon followed in 2008 with a yellow and gold label, but was discontinued in October 2009.
V Double Hit, released in October 2008, is a 500ml aluminium can, available in original, sugar free, blue, and black.
V Isokinetic was a non-carbonated sports drink that came in a 600ml plastic bottle. It is now discontinued.[when?] October 2011 saw the introduction of V Energy Blue, with a distinct flavour and bright blue color.
A limited-edition variety of V flavoured with blood orange called V Energy Orange was released in September and October 2012 in New Zealand and in Australia in March 2013. It appears intermittently for a limited amount of time in selected markets. V Energy Purple Plasma was another limited edition first released in late 2012 as a tie-in to the Halo 4 video game, with Halo characters appearing on the side of each can.
On June 5, 2013, it was announced on the official New Zealand V Facebook Page that a new flavour of V would be released in New Zealand on July 1. Called V Energy Graphite, this drink's flavour consists of guarana and maca. When launched in Australia the cans featured Wolverine as played by Australian Actor and Producer Hugh Jackman in place of the New Zealand graphic design that had been chosen from the Facebook page.
V 0% Sugar, released in Australia in late 2013 in Citrus Fusion, Tropical Rush, and Blood Orange Burst, was a new sugar-free version.
In late February 2014, V NZ announced the limited edition V Kaboom. In early October 2014, they announced a new limited edition, V Gnarly. Then in March 2015, a third announcement introduced limited edition V Carnival, with a cream soda flavour.
V Iced Coffee, sold in 600mL plastic bottles, has been relaunched in NZ with 720mg of Guarana per bottle, under the logo "The cousin once removed".
V Reaktor was released in March 2015 as a limited edition flavour to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron. It has a strong sour taste.
Jono and Ben made their own flavours of V drinks, which were announced on their TV show. Both are limited edition: The red can, Jono, is a cranberry flavour, while the white can, Ben, is a more tart feijoa flavour.
V Zero is the green V flavor without added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and hence has its own flavor, as opposed to Sugarfree. It was launched in the New Zealand market in September 2015.
V energy shots
The energy shots (described as "Pocket Rockets") are claimed to be as effective as the larger cans but have an extremely bitter taste that, according to the V Pocket Rocket website, is to stop young children from drinking them.
When the company first created V energy shots, samples were sent to members of its online community V Republic, with a warning that they shouldn't be consumed by those under 16 years of age. However, Frucor sent the samples without checking the ages of all recipients. The company later apologised to recipients.
- "V New Zealand Website". AC Neilson Research. Frucor. 13 April 2003. Archived from the original on October 14, 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
- "V Australia Website". AC Neilson Research. Frucor. 13 April 2003 http://www.v-energydrink.com/default,153.v. Retrieved 1 December 2008. Check date values in:
- "Meet V Gnarly, Your New V". V Energy. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- "V Energy NZ - Timeline Photos | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2015-11-24.