Energy drink makers pivot to combat shrinking market

Energy drinks were once an essential fuel for Japan's workers in the bubble economy of the 1980s and 90s. Now, though, makers are being forced to rethink their strategies amid a slump in demand.

The market has been shrinking since it peaked around the year 2000. Research firm Intage says sales last year were down 8.6 percent compared to five years earlier.

Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare is known for its Regain brand and catchy advertisements that made it a symbol of the bubble era.

The company has sold 20 different varieties since 1988, but shipments of the flagship product ended in April this year. The firm says it will continue selling a larger spin-off with a modified recipe.

Taisho Pharmaceutical is also revamping its Lipovitan brand to position it as a sports beverage in easy-to-drink pouches.