In the boom times, people quaffed energy drinks and the industry bloomed to its current $896 million in sales. Naturally, the Washington Post reports, the recession has produced a new star: “relaxation beverages.” Loaded with a somewhat questionable “calming” ingredient also in green tea, the drinks are on the rise. One slogan: “Slow your roll.” Another: “Unwind from the grind.” And Superliminal Purple Stuff Pro-Relaxation Formula doesn’t even need one.
But marketers are trying to sell their products to the same crowd wooed by Red Bull and others. So the message is a little skewed: “We're about not being nervous as we jump out of a plane,” one says. And the new sector is inextricably tied to its polar opposite. One entrepreneur developed a relaxation beverage after the crew of a movie sponsored by an energy drink drank too much of it and devolved into violence. “We started talking and said, ‘Why hasn't anyone done the opposite?’”