Red Bull

Red Bull

Red Bull is the brand name of an energy drink that originated in Thailand and, in a version adapted to Austrian tastes, is now popular throughout the world. Sold by Red Bull GmbH as an energy drink to combat mental and physical fatigue, it contains, per 250 mL (8.3 U.S. fl. oz.) serving, about 21.5 g sucrose, 5.25 g of glucose, 50 mg of inositol, 1000 mg of taurine, 600 mg of glucuronolactone, vitamin B — 20 mg of Niacin, 5 mg of Vitamin B6, 5 mg of Pantothenic Acid and .005 mg of Vitamin B12 — and 80 mg of caffeine. The caffeine in one serving is similar to that found in an average cup of brewed coffee (typically 100 mg/250 ml cup, but 72 mg for a U.S. regular 6 fluid ounces cup of coffee) or twice as much as found in a can of Coke (40 mg/330 ml can). A sugar-free version has been available since the beginning of 2003. Sugar-free Red Bull is sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium, as opposed to sucrose and glucose.

The drink is intended to taste like mixed berries, and is commonly used as mixer in alcoholic drinks such as vodka and is the base ingredient in the now famous Jägerbomb and Remytini. Almost 1 billion of the slim 250 ml cans were sold in 2000 in over 100 countries, 260 million of them in the UK. In 2006, more than 3 billion cans were sold in over 130 countries. 3,903 employees generated 2.6 billion euros in turnover.

On March 24, 2008 Red Bull introduced their first foray into the cola market with a product named 'Simply Cola'.


Red Bull has an aggressive, multi-angle, and international marketing campaign. Red Bull Gmbh sponsors everything from extreme sports like snowboarding, cliff-diving, surfing, formula 1 race cars, and break dancing to art shows, music, and video games. It also hosts events like the "Red Bull Flugtag" and other such contests, designed to amuse participants and observers. By associating the drink's image with these activities, the company has created a very marketable "cool" image with tremendous brand power. In addition, the sleek, thin, sharp packaging creates a sexier image than some other cola counterparts. Hence, this one energy drink has created a market for over 150 related types of merchandise. British institution Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints about claims made in the publicity of Red Bull in the United Kingdom since 1997. Even with all of the concerns regarding Red Bull, in 2000 the corporation earned around $1 billion in worldwide sales and Red Bull held 65% of the market share.

Red Bull is also extending protection of its trademarked phrase of 'gives you wings' to cover similar variants. A charitable Polish organization, Fundacja Gražyny Malecha, which collects money to provide clothing and school books for impoverished children, is currently being sued for trademark infringement for using the phrase "give children wings" in its slogan, despite the stark dissimilarity between the companies making it unlikely that a consumer would be confused.


The original Red Bull drink was developed in Thailand by the company TC Pharmaceutical, where it was sold under the Thai name 'Krating Daeng'. The recipe was based on Lipovitan, an earlier energy drink that had been introduced to Thailand from Japan. Krating Daeng sales soared across Asia in the 1970s and 1980s, especially among truck drivers, construction workers and farmers. Truck drivers used to drink it to stay awake during the long late night drive. The working class image was boosted by sponsorship of Thai boxing matches, where the logo of two red bulls charging each other was often on display.

The Thai product was transformed into a global brand by Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur. Mateschitz was international marketing director for Blendax, a German toothpaste company, when he visited Thailand in 1982 and discovered that Krating Daeng helped to cure his jet lag. Between 1984 and 1987, Mateschitz worked with TC Pharmaceutical (a Blendax licensee) to adapt Krating Daeng for European audiences. At the same time Mateschitz and Chaleo Yoovidhya founded Red Bull GmbH; each investing $500,000 of savings and taking a 49% stake in the new company. They gave the remaining 2% to Chaleo's son Chalerm, but it was agreed that Mateschitz would run the company. Red Bull GmbH launched the “Austrian” version of Red Bull in 1987, which is carbonated and not as sweet as the original Thai recipe. “Austrian” Red Bull entered its first foreign market (Hungary) in 1992, and the United States (via California) in 1997.

It is the Austrian formula that has taken almost half of the US market for energy drinks, and up to 80% of the market in some other countries continue to market the original formula across Asia. In 2006, Forbes Magazine listed Chaleo as being the 292nd richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of over $2.5 billion while Mateschitz was listed at number 317.

(Credit: Wikipedia).



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