Coming Soon: Amp Energy redesign

Pepsi is rebooting their Amp Energy line of energy drinks with new designs and a different focus on formulations. The change seems to be an admittance of defeat for Pepsi, which at one point had higher hopes for the brand to compete with Red Bull and Monster. While it cracked the #4 sales position in 2008, it has since fallen farther behind the leaders, now sitting below Rockstar, NOS, and Starbucks Doubleshot as well. Something had to be done.

Amp Energy lineup for 2012

It's notable that Pepsi has pulled the flagship Amp brand from their NASCAR sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 car, switching it for a brand that is showing growth, Diet Mountain Dew. No more Amp Energy Tradin' Paint!

Red Bull still leads the field, but Monster is close behind. With Coke now distributing Monster, Pepsi picked up distribution of Rockstar, which is a solid #3 brand. It's notable that the top 3 energy drinks are still independently owned. Coke bought Fuze, which gave them control of NOS, the #4 brand, while Pepsi's partnership with Starbucks placed Doubleshot in #5. Right below that we find the current fate of Pepsi's in-house energy drink, Amp, which at least is doing better than its Coke equivalent, Full Throttle. (Source: SymphonyIRI sales data)

Legacy Amp Energy Flavors

When Pepsi last put a lot of focus on the Amp brand back in 2008, they launched a flurry of flavors with different functional elements thrown in. Joining the original flavor (plus its sugar free sibling) and Amp Energy Overdrive (Cherry) was Amp Energy Elevate (Mixed Berry), Amp Energy Traction (Grape), Amp Energy Relaunch (Orange). These were rounded out by a lemonade flavor, Amp Energy Lightning (along with a sugar free version). Tea was also part of the experiment, with both Amp Energy with Green Tea and Amp Energy with Black Tea joining the line. Over the years, some of those flavors just didn't make the cut, namely the two teas and Relaunch, which were phased out. We've come a long way since the original Amp branding as a sub-offering of Mountain Dew!

New Amp Energy Original Design

For 2012, it appears that Pepsi has tried to streamline the Amp Energy brand a bit with some simpler options. Gone are the "extreme" names like Overdrive and Traction. There's now a focus on 3 areas of "function": Boost, Active, and Focus. The Boost lineup seems to be your classic "energy" setup, with caffeine and B vitamins being the selling point. Here you'll find the original flavor (in the green can, still a throwback to the Mountain Dew days), Sugar Free, Cherry (formerly Overdrive), and Grape (formerly Traction).

Next up is the Active subcategory, which not only features caffeine, but also electrolytes. Here we find the new name of the Lemonade flavor (formerly Lightning) and its Sugar Free version.

The final subcategory, Focus, features just one flavor: Mixed Berry (formerly Elevate). The functional elements of caffeine, choline, and theanine are pitched to help you think better. Or something like that.

All in all, the Amp Energy lineup is now 7 core flavors, which is pretty much what it had before, now with new looks and positioning. The packaging features less busy artwork, with the color of the drink being more prominently displayed. The functional subcategories receive high billing (Boost, Active, Focus), while the actual flavor names themselves are somewhat hard to find. I'm guessing the color of the can is going to be used more to help identify that.

The functional subcategories also bring a unique pattern to the lower half of each can, each representing the shaping of a sound wave, tying into the "Amp" name. Boost shows a wave growing in intensity, Active illustrates a declining wave that then increases, and Focus has a wave building to a large point of emphasis. While not the most innovative looks, the packaging does seem to layout the Amp Energy series as individual elements that feel like part of a larger system.

Now it's up to the marketplace to decide if this brand refreshening actually translates into increased sales. What do you think?

New Original Flavor image used by permission of Beverage Digest
Other New Flavor images via

Follow BevReview on TwitterFacebookGoogle+


  1. Amp & Full Throttle were the first 2 energy brands I drank. The main reason I started drinking Amp was because of the Mountain Dew name. Although honestly I haven't had either in years as I prefer the coffee based drinks like Java Monster, Rock Star Roasted & the now discontinued Full Throttle Coffee. I can't stand Red Bull, regular Rock Star or the non-coffee Monster drinks. I do miss SoBe Adrenaline Rush though.

  2. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    Amp Tradin' Paint is my favorite energy drink of all time! I wish it wasn't a limited edition product. I also wish they hadn't discontinued AMP Relaunch (Orange), because I can no longer mix my own Tradin' Paint.

    "The Focus lineup seems to be your classic "energy" setup, with caffeine and B vitamins being the selling point."

    That should be "Boost" and not "Focus".

  3. >> That should be "Boost" and not "Focus"

    Good catch, Zachary. I've updated accordingly. Thanks! :)

  4. Terry Stock says:

    Amp can do anything they need they are # 1 in my book

  5. You guys should do a taste test for the new AMPs!!! I think they taste better than the old and dont have that syrupy feeling.

  6. I very much like the new can, on another note I have compared the ingredients of the old and new, the ingredients are different. I am bummed as I do not like the taste of the product now, I noticed right away. All the other energy drinks on the market have such a hard crash that I can't drink them, and sugar free gives me a low blood sugar within minuts of finishing due to aspartame. I guess amp thouggt no one would notice, I used to buy one every day not so much now. :o( dissatisfied

  7. B-Rizzle says:

    I've tried the Amp Energy (Boost) today. It tasted less sour than when I first tried it.

  8. I have only tried the new blue one so far and it just tastes like they watered it down. I am really not happy with it. Amp is the only energy drink I can stand the rest just taste really bad, so I'm pretty bumbed about this change.

  9. Man that new grape is gross, I think I'm done supporting the Amp Energy brand.

  10. I'm very frustrated with the new flavors. The green can Amp Energy Sugar Free was my favorite. The new green Sugar Free is terrible; it has a medicine taste to it. I have been loyal since the beggining with AMP, but now it is time to find a new drink of choice. I hope the change will bring at least in at least one new customer because Pepsi has me.

  11. Im sorry Amp but you have totally lost it with these new flavors and can designs. I used to be an avid drinker of Amp until recently. I also incorporated the old style amp cans in a art project (energy skim board) i designed because of the iridescent look that they gave off ,but with this new style can i would not be able to do so. In other words the new can design and taste have totally turned me off the drink.

  12. amp lightening was the best product out there for taste. now I do not know what to drink. thanks a lot pepsi. if you want to move to number one spot just lower price take less profit and make it up in volume of sales. Just in case you would like my input I would put your logo wrap on my open wheel modified for about 10% or less and race just as many races and do promotionals for you also and probably have better response for you with the grass roots of the sport. If you are interested you have my email address

  13. They should have left the formula alone AMP was the best tasing energy drink out. Now it taste like medicine and it has an awful after taste to it. I guess it's time to find another energy drink. Even my sister said she doesn't like the new taste.

  14. The new Amps taste awful taste like medicine ! Please bring the old Amps back!

  15. Ewwwwww…. new AMP tastes HORRIBLE! Bring back the old AMP please please please. You messed everything up :(

  16. I don't like the new taste at allll. I used to love amp especially blue and yellow but now I can't even finish the can because it tastes like medicine and fake sugar

  17. The new amp formula is horrible, this was the only energy drink I really liked drinking(overdrive). After many taste test to find a new favorite, it would have to be the Monster Nitrous, this is a very smooth, not so sugary tasting drink.

  18. Cristina says:

    Please please bring the old taste back I used to buy two a day they were SOOO good they had a great taste like a soda and now they taste like cough syrup.

  19. I don't mind the look of the new can but the taste is AWFUL. I LOVED the old Amp Overdrive. Now, I can't stand it. It's not the same. I had originally tried Amp for the Mountain Dew labeling. All the other other drinks are disgusting and I never liked but when I found Amp Overdrive, I was in love. Please bring the old one back!

  20. I so hate the new amps and you guys really screwed up please just stop with this nasty crap you have going and bring back the only energy drink I would ever drink….. If y'all dont then I guess I'm do.e with energy drinks

  21. lloyd Alexander Knight says:

    wow….Ive been buying that delicious amp overdrive red can for over 2 years. Im a manager at mcdonalds and I need them and I love the taste. I bought 3 every single day. after this new stuff, you can just forget it!! absolutely taste horrible. it has a nasty medicine taste complete different. I want the old stuff back!! I no longer buy these or anything from pepsi company. you thought your sales were going to go up? your wrong. havea good life. Im done with this nasty stuff!

  22. I wish they didnt discontinue Overdrive cherry since it deff gave me the boost I needed before hitting the gym. The article indicates that overdrive cherry is now "considered" Boost (in the green can) but I can tell there is a big difference, and the green can does not give me the so-called "boost" I need. So sad…


    Disgruntled AMP drinker

  23. my product name blackbon energy drink so i jast new product market you help me

  24. alan pischel says:

    I used to drink 2 red amp overdrive every day along with my son and brother .The new flavors taste horrible. None of us will drink them. Please bring back the old flavors. The pepsi truck driver said the amp sales are way down.

  25. Stephen says:

    Amp is going in the wrong direction. First they dropped their tea flavors, which were among the best flavors on the market. Now they had added sucralose to their drinks. Besides the great flavor of their Lightning Lemonade, one of the main reason I chose Amp was because they did not use sucralose or aspertame in their regular sugared products. I had to throw away the new Lemonades after I tasted them, because the sucralose is so obvious in the flavor, and that stuff tastes horrible. VERY DISAPPOINTED in the change in formula. I guess the original Rockstar and FullThrottle are going to be the only drinks left on the shelf without sucralose or aspertame. That's another $20 a week that Amp won't be getting now.

  26. Terrible. It is hard when you have a go to, everyday drink and they turn you away from it. I do not drink diet drinks because I do not like that fake sugar after taste. I don't know what the new AMP has in it that gives it that after taste. My wife and I have purchased our last cans of this garbage.

  27. This new stuff is right down disgusting Pepsi is loosing alot of supports bring back the old stuff we need to start a petition

  28. For the love of zeus!!! Bring back the old amp taste & theme art!!! As a stockholder and old amp loverI command that you bring them back!!! I can't enjoy life without the old amp!!!

  29. I tried the Sugar Free version & the aftertaste was hideous.

  30. happi luna says:

    Amp green tea was the best energy drink flavor I ever tasted. they should bring it back.

  31. I tried Boost Cherry AMP months ago & it was less medicinal. I just tried the Active Orange AMP this morning and it tasted like Fanta.

  32. This new formula tastes awful. I wish they would bring back the old formula 😞 in the old skinny cans. I used to buy the four packs of.the skinny cans. Please bring it back.

  33. branson thornburg says:

    I agree amp with green tea tastes the best i use to buy cases at a time it needs to come back

  34. I use to buy a lot of the Orange amp very disappointed you discontinued it. Bring it back please. I just loved the taste and have been trying to find any that are left around my area.

  35. Coming Soon: Amp Energy redesign –


  1. [...] has a great piece on what Amp has been up to recently (link here).  Pepsi's own energy drink product has gone through packaging redesigns, name changes, and [...]