From alcohol to wellness energy: Monster’s ‘broad innovation base’ hopes to reap rewards with 2023 launches
The much-anticipated The Beast Unleashed – which is based on Monster’s existing flavor profiles - has launched in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Iowa via a network of beer distributors. It comes in four flavors: Mean Green, White Haze, Peach Perfect and Scary Berries. The 6% ABV drink contains 130 calories per 12oz and is free from added sugar and caffeine.
Beast Unleashed has been designed to ‘leverage Monster’s brand equity, while carving out its own unique space in the beverage alcohol sector’, according to Monster Beverage Corporation CEO Rodney Sacks: aiming to be distinguishable from the ‘many hard seltzer brands that have become so ubiquitous over the last several years’.
“We are pleased with early results and plan to expand into additional markets in the second quarter of 2023, with the goal of being national by the end of the year,” said Sacks, speaking in the company’s FY22 earnings call last week.
In alcohol, Monster is also refreshing brands acquired via the CANarchy Craft Beer Collective – a craft beer and hard seltzer company it acquired for $330m last year.
Wild Basin Hard Seltzer has just had a brand revamp: relaunching with ‘new packaging and great new flavors and taste profiles’. The Dale’s Beer family will get a refresh in the second quarter of 2023, including the introduction of Dale’s American light lager and easy-drinking lager with 4.2% ABV.
And Sacks promises more launches in the alcohol category are set to follow. “Our alcohol beverage innovation pipeline is robust,” he said. “We look forward to sharing use of additional new products in the future.”
Big launch: Monster Energy Zero Sugar
Back in the company's traditional non-alcoholic stronghold, Monster is focusing its efforts on January's launch of Monster Energy Zero Sugar in the US: a drink that has been specifically developed as an ‘indistinguishable zero sugar analog’ of the original Monster Energy Green flavor.
Last month the company also released Monster Energy Ultra Strawberry Dreams, Monster Reserve Kiwi Strawberry, Monster Energy Nitro Cosmic Peach and Java Monster Caffe Latte.
Branching out, the company has launched Monster Tour Water, a pure unflavored water line, in still and sparkling variants in 19.2 oz cans.
Furthermore, it is planning to launch Reign Storm, which will be positioned as a ‘total wellness energy drink’, in 12 oz sleek cans in US retail this month in four flavors, to address what it describes as a ‘compelling opportunity in the energy drink category’. It follows the 2019 launch of performance energy drink Reign Total Body Fuel.
Same Monster DNA, just #ZeroSugar#MonsterEnergy#Energy#EnergyDrinkpic.twitter.com/ZppsrBqWye— Monster Energy (@MonsterEnergy) March 3, 2023
Asked about the company's glut of launches during the company's FY22 earnings call, Sacks said the company's pipeline has been a balance of new ideas and rationalizing SKUs.
“I think that we’ve actually got a really broad base of innovation, I think that it has improved over the last few years, and I think we’re getting it right," he said.
Furthermore, he believes the company is now in a position to secure shelf space across different channels, allowing for successful launches.
Net sales for 2022 increased 13.9% to $6.31bn, from $5.54bn in the comparable period the prior year.
Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, was 50.3%, compared with 56.1% in the comparable period the prior year.
“We think that we’ll be able to get a good selection of our innovation on shelf, particularly the new energy Zero Sugar and also the new Reign subline, which will go up against other competitors in the 12-ounce category.
“And so far, initial response to things like our Ultra Strawberry Dreams has been really positive from consumers and bottlers to the Zero Sugar and others. So, we are pretty optimistic and upbeat about innovation this year.”
In EMEA, Monster has mirrored its US focus on sugar-free with the launch of Monster Energy Lewis Hamilton 44 Zero Sugar energy drink: following on from the success of the original Lewis Hamilton signature energy drink.
The drink launched in select markets at the end of 2022, and is set to be followed by 25 more markets across the region in the first quarter of this year.
While Monster usually launches products in the US ahead of Europe, the new version - dedicated to the British-born driver - was created in the UK for European markets.
On the global stage, the company also champions the rollout of its affordable energy drink portfolio – which consists of Predator Energy and Fury – internationally. That includes the recent launch of Predator in Malaysia, and the continued national rollout of Predator India, as well as plans to introduce the Predator brand in additional APAC countries over this year.
Other global highlights: 2022/2023 launches
In Chile, Monster expanded the Ultra line by launching Ultra Gold and Ultra Watermelon. In Mexico, it introduced Monster Energy Reserve Watermelon. In Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, Curico and Bermuda, the company expanded its Reign portfolio and launched Reign White Gummy Bear and Reign Rainbow Sherbert.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the company launched Monster Pipeline Punch. In Australia, it expanded our core portfolio and launched Monster Super Dry. In New Zealand, it expanded our juice portfolio and launched Monster Juice Papillon.
In EMEA, the company launched Monster Nitro, Monster Reserve Watermelon and White Pineapple in a number of countries; as well as juiced Aussie Lemonade, Ultra Gold, Ultra Rosa and Ultra Watermelon and additional SKUs of Burn and Reign.
During the fourth quarter of 2022, Monster launched Monster Rehab Lemon tea in Japan, Monster Ultra Watermelon in Turkey and Monster Ultra Paradise in Vietnam.