The Hypothetical Entrepreneur – What’s in My Energy Drink?

From Adam Scouse:

Ginseng.

That’s right.  Ginseng happens to be an ingredient in many of the colorfully designed energy drinks that catch our attention as we pass by the coolers of our local convenience store and reluctantly pay for our gas. 

To do some ginseng market research, I took a walk down to my favorite general store to see what items I could find listing ginseng as an ingredient.  As The Hypothetical Entrepreneur, I left a happy customer.

Most of the products I discovered containing ginseng focused on energy boosts either in the form of pills or drinks.  Products containing Ginseng

Why even include ginseng in a product in the first place?  The acclaimed medicinal purposes of ginseng have a long history in Asian culture.   According to the Western Maryland Research and Education Center, Ginseng has been rumored to have anti-tumor, anti-viral, antioxidant, and metabolic effects.

Research has been done on the effects of ginseng, such as in this study, and I will address those issues in the future.  Right now, I hope to find out what products are currently on the market that contain ginseng and for what are they being used. 

The largest market demand appears to be for American-grown ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) where demand in Asia is high due to lack of resources and climate needed to grow the herv (.pdf p.6).

Purchase options online include companies like Ginco International

It offers ginseng remedies that range from treating stress to hormonal imbalance.  Consumers are offered a variety of choices in types of ginseng available as well as the targeted medicinal purpose.  So, whether it be as a main ingredient as an herbal supplement or as a trace ingredient in an energy drink, consumers are offered a diverse array of ginseng products. 

Ginseng promoters target multiple consumer markets.  Possible buyers may be athletes, women, those with stress, those who need energy, and even those suffering from sexual dysfunction.  While ginseng is widely sold in pill form much like daily vitamin supplements, it is also be found in teas, tonics, and as an extract.

Overall, the market for medicinal ginseng seems to be very well-saturated.  I believe I will have to look for ways that I can add value to ginseng in order to offer a product that consumers will have to have.   

But no matter the form, a large demand exists for the plant.  At this point, if I go with the claims for ginseng, all I have left to do is choose a favorite energy drink flavor to ensure a productive day behind the desk!

You can follow the full series of posts by Adam Scouse for Handshake 2.0 at The Hypothetical Entrepreneur.

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Comments

  1. Boil a snake. Such oil has a long tradition.

    “The acclaimed medicinal purposes of ginseng have a long history in Asian culture. ”

    I’ve read this before. If there are few places where it can be grown in “Asia,” what was the supply before North America (1492, Jamestown, etc.)? Why is US ginseng or some genetic variety so important? So valuable? So much better than local Asian plant materials? Have they already over-harvested their plants?

    If you are still hooked on producing, try to promote a newly-named product that is scientifically cultivated, certified pure, unadulterated, managed in a certified- sustainable-forest-of -the-Central-Appalachians. It is a product in a container like that for powdered tobacco.

    Moisten the finger, touch it lightly to the dry powder, and put the powder that adheres in “between cheek and gum.” It’s said to be a work-day “upper.”

    I just tried it for the caffeine in regular instant coffee. I’ll bet the effect is the same and taste not much worse.

    Get some insurance.

  2. Alan Thompson says:

    my understanding is that ginseng has be shown to increase nitric oxide (a vaso inhibitor) in the blood stream, which promotes dialation of the blood vessels. This can be great for energy, workout recovery, and ,of course, erectile dysfuntion.

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