Monster energy drinks to spread deeper into Europe

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcoholic beverage Energy drink Caffeine

Hansen Natural, the maker of Monster Energy, is embarking on a major expansion plan in Europe as back home in the US, manufacturers of alcoholic energy drinks protest against a Michigan state ban.

Despite subdued consumer demand in developed markets, Hansen Natural achieved a 23.9 per cent increase in net sales to $381.5m in the latest quarter and a 15.8 per cent improvement in operating profit.

In the US the company closed the market share gap with its main rival Red Bull and abroad it took on new markets, most notably Germany – the second largest energy drink market in Europe.

International expansion

Moving forward, Hansen Natural is looking to further capitalise on the potential of international markets.

Rodney C. Sacks, chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We are in the process of launching the Monster Energy brand in Switzerland, Austria and Iceland and are planning to launch Monster Energy in Bulgaria before the end of the year.”

Meanwhile, makers of alcohol energy drinks in the US are facing up to a new ban in Michigan.

Caffeinated alcohol ban

After four students were hospitalised last month when they drank Four Loko, known as ‘blackout in a can’, The Michigan Liquor Control Commission decided to crack down on caffeinated alcohol.

It has banned Four Loko along with 54 other high caffeine alcoholic drinks, ordering the products off the shelves pending a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation into the safety of alcohol energy drinks.

Reacting to the news, Phusion Projects said it would be considering legal options, adding that the Commission did not give enough advance warning or opportunity for beverage makers to respond.

International spirits maker Diageo has also given its reaction to the decision. In a statement the company said its Smirnoff Raw Tea should not have been on the list of banned drinks as it was taken off the shelf over a year ago.

In addition, the statement said: “Diageo never marketed Smirnoff Raw Tea as an energy drink and does not market any other brands that way or make claims on any products implying energizing, stimulating or invigorating properties.”

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