Irish people are among the biggest consumers of energy drinks on the planet despite health concerns over their sugar and caffeine content.
Euromonitor International have revealed that sales of the drinks have continued to rise last year.
Safefood warned last year that some energy drinks contain up to 17 teaspoons of sugar.
The health watchdog cautioned that the drinks were “not suitable for children and young people under 16 years of age, for rehydration after exercise or as a mixer with alcohol”.
Aldi and Boots both responded to heath concerns by banning the sale of the drinks to children under 16 last year but despite the ban Euromonitor International has revealed that Ireland is number seven in the world when it comes to the intake of energy drinks.
Austria is the biggest consumer of the sugar-laden drinks followed by the UK and the USA.
Figures from Euromonitor International revealed that sales grew by 1% to 27 million litres of the energy drinks last year – and it is expected to rise by another two million litres by 2023.
The new report noted that the association of energy drinks with binge drinking is a concern.
An analyst at Euromonitor International commented that energy drinks have become extremely popular as mixers for cocktails and spirits.
“One prominent pub chain reporting that energy drinks make up close to a third of their revenues” said the analyst.
The analyst added: “Although the proposed restrictions would moderate growth over the forecast period, the trend of mixing alcohol with energy drinks will continue in that time, with steady value sales growth predicted.
The report noted that Aldi announced plans to ban the sale of energy drinks to anyone under 16 years old last January.
The report noted: “The move came as a result of the widespread negative publicity generated by public health authorities in Ireland around the energy drinks category.
“Aldi is particularly prominent amongst Irish retailers for being socially conscious and has a number of much-publicised sustainability campaigns in place.”
The report added that Boots then followed Aldi’s lead and announced that it would no longer sell energy drinks to under-16s and would be asking for proof of age at the point of sale.
An analyst at Euromonitor International said off-trade value sales grow by 3% in 2018, reaching €102 million, while off-trade volume sales rise by 1% to 27 million litres.
The report found that despite increasing competition from niche products, long-established brands continued to dominate the category in 2018.
It also noted that internet retailing sales are increasing and social media is very important for promotion.