Speaking on Monster Beverage Corp's Q3, 2013 earnings call last week, CEO Rodney Sacks said that Nielsen (all outlets combined) data for the 13 weeks to Sept 28 showed Monster sales were up 9.3% YoY, while the overall US energy drinks and shots market notched up growth of just 3.1%.
In comparison, sales at rival Red Bull were up 7.4%, while sales of NOS surged 17.1%. However, sales at all the other key players were down (Rockstar -5%, 5-Hour Energy -9.7%, AMP -16%, Full Throttle -2.2%), he added.
Ultra Blue quickly became one of the top five selling Monster SKUs in the convenience and gas channel
In the c-store and gas sector, Monster sales were up 10.2% in the five weeks to Sept 28, ahead of the overall market, which was up 5.2%, he added.
“Ultra Blue quickly became one of the top five selling Monster SKUs in the convenience and gas channel (Nielsen 13wks to Sept 28). In October, the company launched a new Monster Ultra Red line extension, and is in the process of launching a new strawberry Muscle Monster energy shake.
“Muscle Monster has become the second best-selling brand in the protein supplement sector [in the c-store/gas channel] and achieved a 20% market share.”
Full commercial production of Monster Energy to start in Japan in next few months
Solid progress is also being made overseas, he said, with test production runs for Monster Energy products having taken place in Korea, full commercial production expected in Japan shortly and plans now in progress to produce the drinks in India.
Meanwhile, sales in Chile are progressing well and distribution in Brazil (via Ambev), is growing rapidly.
Safety and regulation
Commenting on the FDA’s probe into energy drinks and caffeine consumption, Sacks said that stakeholders were waiting for the agency's report.
But he added: “Many studies conducted in recent years in the US, Canada and Europe, including a very recent study, have all consistently concluded that the principal sources of caffeine for teens under 18 are coffee, soft drinks and tea and not energy drinks.
He also stressed that that a 16oz Starbucks brewed coffee contains 330mg of caffeine, more than twice the 160mg of caffeine in a 16oz can of Monster Energy.
In the three months ended Sept 30, Monster’s operating income was 7.6% to $151.4m on net sales up 8.9% to $590.4m.
Click here to read more about energy drinks and caffeine consumption in a presentation at the recent Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Houston, Texas.