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Duracell vs Energizer: Which Battery Is Better?

Durcell vs Energizer

Duracell vs Energizer: Which Battery Is Better?

From video game controllers to TV remotes, from smoke alarms to flashlights, many of our most-used electronic devices still rely on good old-fashioned battery power. Not everything can plug into a wall charger like our cell phones or our laptops.

For this reason, Duracell and Energizer remain significant competitors in the battery and consumer goods industry. But which of these two popular battery brands is the best of the best between Duracell vs Energizer? Let’s take a look at some of their most important specs, comparing their pros and cons in an effort to determine a winner.

Duracell vs Energizer: Side-by-Side Comparison

DuracellEnergizer
Founded19241896
Founder(s)Samuel Ruben, Philip MalloryConrad Hubert
Parent CompanyBerkshire HathawayEnergizer Holdings, Inc.
Key ProductsBatteriesBatteries
Battery Power (AA)2000 mAh2200 mAh
Battery PriceMoreLess
Battery TypeAlkalineAlkaline
Yearly Revenue$2 billion (2021)$3 billion (2021)

Duracell vs Energizer: What’s the Difference?

Now that we have a better idea of how Duracell and Energizer compare on a basic level, we should take some time to dive a little deeper into their key differences. The side-by-side comparison is proof enough that these two battery brands have their fair share of distinctions, but it’s just as helpful to understand what these distinctions mean for the actual quality of Duracell vs Energizer. Let’s examine the key differences between the two below.

Business Model

Firstly, let’s break down the different business models of Duracell vs Energizer. Duracell, for one, is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Overseen by billionaire Warren Buffett since 1965, Berkshire Hathaway juggles a multitude of different companies and holdings.

Energizer, by comparison, is owned by Energizer Holdings, Inc. This parent company also presides over the Varta, Eveready, and Ray-O-Vac brands. With this, it could be reasonably argued that Energizer Holdings’ business model is more committed to batteries than Berkshire Hathaway’s.

Battery Power

Secondly, let’s get a lot more specific: What kind of power is inside a battery from Duracell vs Energizer? For the purpose of this comparison, let’s focus on just a couple of the most popular battery types from each brand.

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Duracell’s AA batteries have 2000 mAh of power inside. Energizer’s AA batteries have 2200 mAh by contrast. A Duracell AAA battery has 1150 mAh. An Energizer AAA battery also has 1150 mAh. This gives Duracell a slight disadvantage in comparison to Energizer, which packs more power into its AA batteries.

Battery Types

Thirdly, what kind of chemistry is included in a Duracell vs Energizer battery? We can see above that both brands make good use of alkaline batteries, which are some of the most energy-packed batteries money can buy today.

There’s more to it than just this, however. Duracell also dabbles in lithium and silver oxide batteries (in addition to rechargeable NiMH ones). Energizer also offers lithium, silver oxide, and NiMH batteries. But, as we’ll soon learn, Energizer was slower to embrace alkaline than Duracell was.

Average Price

Another major consideration in this Duracell vs Energizer debate is the average price of each brand. On average, Duracell products tend to be much more expensive than Energizer’s rival products.

A 24-pack of Energizer AAs might cost you $18, whereas a similarly sized pack of Duracell AAs might cost you closer to $22. This puts the Duracell batteries at around $0.92 per AA battery, whereas Energizer’s AAs cost closer to $0.75 a battery. This lower cost is commonly found throughout Energizer’s product line.

Market Share

Next is market share, which is a great way to see which company is performing better in a particular industry or sphere at any given time. Since the companies first originated, Duracell and Energizer have traded off the top spot in the market countless times.

Today, both sit at the top of the heap — each sharing a little less than 30% of the market share a piece. Most recently, Duracell had a higher market share. Energizer currently has a lower market share. However, we know that this fact can change at any time.

Products

Last, but certainly not least, is the difference in product lines between Duracell vs Energizer. To state the obvious, both Duracell and Energizer run the gamut in terms of battery sizes. But what about their particular brandings?

Duracell’s two main varieties are CopperTop (Plus) and Ultra. Energizer, by comparison, has Energizer Max, Energizer Ultimate Lithium, and Energizer Recharge as its main products. This difference in branding shows that Energizer products are a lot more willing to lean into a distinction between lithium and alkaline, whereas Duracell is not.

5 Must-Know Facts About Batteries

  1. Regardless of its size, shape, or its power level, a battery must always consist of the same four key parts: a positive electrode, a negative electrode, an electrolyte, and a separator.
  2. The very first battery in history is credited to Alessandro Volta, an Italian inventor from the 1700s. The so-called “Voltaic Piles” consisted of layer upon layer of copper and zinc discs. The discs were layered between vinegar or salt water-soaked cloth or cardboard. While they were about the size of your head and only generated a little bit of electricity, they served as the first battery.
  3. Did you ever make a battery out of a potato back in elementary school science class? This is possible through the magic (or, rather, the science) of chemistry. Whether it be a potato, a lemon, or a pickle, any fruit or vegetable with lots of potassium or sodium can function as a battery due to its positively charged ions.
  4. Despite the expiration date you see on the battery, the truth is that certain battery cells can actually last for decades. When kept in a proper environment and used safely and appropriately, some batteries have been known to last 50 years or longer. (These aren’t your typical AAs, however. Most people can attest to these running their course in a matter of 5 years or less.)
  5. Industry experts estimate that around 15 billion batteries are made and sold globally each year. This brings in total revenue of over $100 billion annually. Eveready, for example, can produce 600 batteries a minute.

The History of Duracell

Duracell first came about through a joint collaboration between Samuel Ruben, a scientist, and Philip Rogers, a businessman. Ruben and Rogers met in the early 1920s, and by 1924, the P. R. Mallory Company was born. The new battery brand was known best for its mercury batteries.

They earned a lot of attention by providing these mercury batteries for the military and its equipment. At the time, the military relied on carbon-zinc batteries above all. With the advent of the P. R. Mallory Company’s mercury batteries, the military soon switched over.

Things didn’t slow down after the war was over. As a matter of fact, the P. R. Mallory Company’s innovations didn’t stop there. When the well-known camera company Kodak invented flash cameras in the 1950s, Duracell helped revolutionize the product with the creation of the AAA battery.

Labeled a zinc-carbon cell, Duracell’s innovation helped make Kodak’s hot new product a reality. A decade later, they adopted the Duracell name: a portmanteau of “durable” and “cell,” which Duracell’s batteries certainly were. They kept the P. R. Mallory name alongside Duracell until 1980.

Duracell and P. R. Mallory went through a number of changes throughout the ’80s, ’90s, and into the 2000s. First, Dart Industries acquired P. R. Mallory in 1978. Then, the company merged with Kraft in 1980. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts took control eight years later, then saw themselves acquired by Gillette in 1996.

Like a hot potato (or, rather, a hot battery), the Duracell name once more hopped from parent company to parent company when Procter & Gamble bought Gillette in 2005. Procter & Gamble spun off Duracell in 2014, and less than one month later, Berkshire Hathaway bought Duracell.

How Energizer Competes

To understand the history of Energizer, you must first understand the history of the Eveready Battery Company. In the late 1890s, a little company by the name of American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company received a patent for a nifty electric device.

The thing was powered by some newfangled D batteries, which were to be arranged in a row inside a paper tube connected to a light bulb and a reflector. That’s right: this nifty device was the world’s first flashlight. The product was a hit, and before long, the company changed its name to The American Ever Ready Company.

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That was 1905. By 1914, the name was truncated to the much snappier “Eveready.” For the next several decades, Eveready and their zinc–carbon batteries continued to grow in popularity. However, in the 1950s, there was a competitor on the rise: the aforementioned Duracell and their mercury batteries.

Though Eveready had their own alkaline batteries ready to debut, they wrongly figured that zinc–carbon batteries would continue to rule over alkaline. As such, Duracell took a significant hold on the market until Eveready reversed course a couple of years later in 1959.

Eveready rebranded to Energizer in 1980 — the same year Duracell merged with Kraft. Energizer was absorbed by the Ralston Purina Company in 1986. They called the new division Eveready Battery Company, Inc.

At the time of the acquisition, Energizer and Eveready had more than half of the battery industry’s market share. New Ralston ownership saw this market share drop significantly. Today, Energizer Holdings, Inc. presides over Energizer and Eveready. It continues to compete neck-and-neck with Duracell, with both holding around 30% of the market share each.

Duracell vs Energizer: Pros and Cons

Pros of DuracellCons of Duracell
Great shelf lifeMore expensive than Energizer
Largest market shareAs leak-prone as Energizer
RecyclableLess revenue than Energizer
Solid performance in low temperaturesOwned by a large conglomerate
Pros of EnergizerCons of Energizer
Long-lasting when in useSmaller market share
More affordable than DuracellLess durable than Duracell
More battery power than DuracellKnown to leak after running empty
Greater annual revenueLess environmentally friendly

Duracell vs Energizer: Which One Is Better?

After examining Duracell vs Energizer at length like this, is it any clearer which battery is better? Not particularly. By and large, it really seems to depend on what kind of battery you’re looking for and what kind of product you’re trying to power.

With that being said, we can look at a couple of factors that might make one brand worth winning out over the other. With its greater revenue and its lower price on average, Energizer comes out ahead of Duracell in two very important ways. Their batteries also have more power than Duracell’s. Energizer has been around for decades longer, as well.

Duracell vs Energizer: Which Battery Is Better? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What kind of batteries does Duracell make?

Duracell puts most of its energy (no pun intended) into alkaline batteries. However, the company also has a line of lithium batteries as well as rechargeable and silver oxide batteries.

What kind of batteries does Energizer make?

Energy offers alkaline, lithium, rechargeable, and silver oxide batteries. In its early days, the company put its primary focus on zinc–carbon batteries. It shifted to alkaline in the late 1950s.

Is Duracell cheaper than Energizer?

The price per battery really depends on what kind of battery you’re looking for. However, Energizer does tend to offer its most popular batteries — such as its AA — at a lower price than Duracell.

Why can't all batteries be rechargeable?

Rechargeable batteries aren’t always practical for all product types. For instance, single-use disposable products do not need rechargeable batteries. What’s more, rechargeable batteries cost more and are often heavier than alkaline batteries.

What battery company is the biggest?

CATL is the biggest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, whereas Duracell holds the market share on alkaline batteries.

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