NOS Consumer Confusion

Nos_energy_drink NOS-tankI’d seen “NOS” energy drink around for a while, but aside from noticing that the logo was sort of clunky and spelled “son” if you looked at it upside down, I didn’t think too much about it.

I hadn’t realized it was named after a leading brand of nitrous oxide. Or that “NOS” stands for “Nitrous Oxide Systems.”

Considering all the attention paid to the negative influence of energy drink brands with names like “Cocaine” and “Hemp,” I was surprised not to have known about a “Nitrous Oxide” energy drink.

NOS even put out a version of their bottle, designed to resemble a Nitrous Oxide Systems tank, but it’s more about caffeinated racing cars, than huffing inhalants, apparently.

NOS 22oz PET was awarded BevNET’s Best of 2007 for Packaging Innovation…

“The authentic package design of NOS 22oz PET was inspired by the actual nitrous oxide canister, developed by Holley Performance Products, which prompted the design and use of ‘valve’ over caps,” said Bill Meissner, Chief Marketing Officer at FUZE Beverages.

The packaging is instantly recognizable and the association with Holley’s Nitrous Oxide canisters has been well received by customers, vaulting NOS to No. 7 in the energy drink category.

Packaging Europe

With such similar looking packages in different product categories, is there any danger of consumer confusion, a la Skinny & Sweet?

(More confusion, after the fold…)


BottleOpenAdding to the NOS consumer confusion, there are also two kinds of NOS bottle opener.

One is an ad promotional for NOS energy drink. (Photos above from above from DrinkNOS blog.)  Note how it’s designed to fit over the faux valve. Note, too, how the award winning PET bottle has a twist off cap and does not really require a bottle opener.

The NOS “Nitrous Remote Bottle Opener” on right, is actually an automotive remote control valve for a Nitrous Oxide Systems tank. (That right, another remote control bottle opener.)

“Mental confusion is a Nitrous Oxide side effect that is almost never mentioned, yet it happens with more frequency than many would like to admit.”

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design


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