January 8/Chicago/Press Release -- Six in 10 Americans who consume energy drinks and shots are concerned about the safety of the products, according to research from Mintel. The results were based on responses from nearly 700 adults.

In spite of the increased scrutiny of energy drinks, the market expanded 17% in both 2012 and 2013 (estimate). The energy drink category is estimated to have generated $11.3 billion in sales last year, reflecting a $1.7 billion increase from 2012, Mintel noted.

Jenny Zegler, global food and drink analyst for Mintel Food & Drink, said loyal users continue to purchase energy products due to the perception they are "more effective than other beverages".

According to Mintel, more than half (56%) of individuals who consume energy drinks and/or shots do so because the products are more effective for alertness and energy than other beverages. Slightly more than one third (35%) report the products are convenient while 31% enjoy the taste, the market research firm said.

Health concerns could eventually eat into the financials of energy drink companies like Monster Beverage, Rockstar and 5-hour Energy. Mintel reported that 39% of respondents said the products are not good for their health while 35% were aware of negative information concerning their health effects. Slightly more than one third (35%) of individuals also noted the products are too expensive.

“Manufacturers must address these health issues in order to retain current users," Zegler said, "while concerns about price should be addressed by promotions and limited-time discounts."